Early morning in a hotel room in Birmingham, AL and it’s already scorching outside. The boys are asleep, but I’m still basking in the glory of seeing an old friend last night. We picked up as if we were just sitting next to each other in AP English, but in reality, it has been TEN years since I’ve seen her face and hugged her tightly.
With social media, one can “feel” like we know what’s going on in each other’s lives, but nothing replaces uninterrupted conversation and rehashing old memories. When you’re 45 and you see someone who knew you at 11 in that awkward braces-for-her, round-thick-glasses-for-me phase, any ego or feeling of adultness goes out the window. We saw each other’s hearts get broken and dreams get lived out. I twirled a flag in a band she led onto the field, and she had to witness all my annoying academic dominance in high school.
Can you believe she actually apologized for something she said that was cruel to me 30 years ago? She is one of the most beautiful loving souls I have ever known! Her faith and love for God has always brought me to her like a moth to a flame; she has been a safe space for me to express my faith. Why do we all hold onto old garbage? I do it too! We all do.
This time our conversation covered motherhood, marriage, aging parents, losing parents, our nursing careers, and each of our unwanted entrances into the world of rheumatology. Just like in high school, we laughed and smiled about our daily quest to do the best we can and survive the icky parts of relationships, parenting, and work. Both a little wiser, and me definitely a lot humbler (her too, I’m sure), it was refreshing to be REAL for a few hours with my friend who saw me with 2” high bangs and overalls with one strap unbuttoned. You can’t lie to a friend who has seen all that.