Another one about friends

Oh me, oh my…how time flies by.  Forget once a week…apparently I’m only good for about once a month.  Now that summer is winding down we’ll see if I can focus on blogging one day a week…

Friends…
In sixth grade, I had a friend named JK.  We were really the best …seriously… we’re talking hours on the phone, making our parents drive us around together, and generally driving everyone around us crazy.  Sometime around Christmas break, JK started hanging out with these three girls (JP, KP, and JH).  Well, those three girls did NOT like me.  They picked on me mercilessly.  It was bad enough that I was in the guidance office in tears at least once a year.  It didn’t help that they were a couple feet taller and also threatened to beat me up on a regular basis.  Well, JK knew all of this and still started hanging around with them.  Needless to say, JK became “one of them” and I became her ex-best.

It was okay, I recovered and had other friends.  The following summer I became best friends with a girl in the neighborhood named P.  She was going to be in 6th and I was going into 7th and we just clicked (though in elementary school we didn’t like each other).  We stayed best friends until I went away to college.  I mean, this was supposed to be one of those lifetime friendships where are kids played together and we were old ladies telling stories about the time we “stole” her car before she was old enough to drive it.  It didn’t fall completely apart in my freshman year, but it started to deteriorate.  We had another friend who was in the same grade as P.  I moved 3 hours away and had other friends (including one childhood bestie who P was very jealous of).  I moved back after freshman year and our friendship was strengthened.  I drove 4 hours on the weekends I could get off from work to visit HER at college.  I gave her money when she bounced a check.  I made her stay at college even though she wanted to quit and move home.

I got married…something she didn’t support and made very clear to me.  She was my maid of honor, but did none of those duties.  I just knew that she’d hate me if I didn’t give her the title.  The bridesmaid next to her (the same friend from my college year) did all the traditional MOH stuff helping me pick stuff out and get myself together.  She didn’t approve of my getting married either, thinking it far too fast (is was), but she was there for me every step of the way.
I got divorced…  and while going through that divorce I met someone new.  Someone else P didn’t approve of.  It was horrible knowing that the friend I depended on most didn’t like anything in my life.  It came down to a weekend away for another mutual friend’s wedding.  It was the worst friend-fights of my life…one I thought I wouldn’t recover from.  But I did…

And here is my most recent friendship heartbreak…
On Sunday, I learned through the grapevine that someone I love is pregnant…

In 2005 I became friends with someone I felt God designed to be my closest friend…
We got along great…rarely disagreed…and had a lot of grown-up fun together.  It was perfect – her hubby and my boyfriend got along great, too.  When I got engaged, she was so excited for me and immediately set about helping me plan my wedding.  She wasn’t my MOH (we had barely been friends a year!), but she did a lot of the MOH stuff since my actual MOH was due to have a baby.
As married couples, we had so much fun.  We hung out every weekend and often invited along other friends, too.  We were that comfortable – we knew there were other people in our circle…we just knew that we were most important to each other.
Fast forward a couple blissful years and I got pregnant.  She was the most excited friend about my baby.  She even asked if she could be the one to cut the cord.  As the pregnancy progressed, she seemed to pull further and further away…but I just put it off on busy schedules and other things being important.  She stopped asking if she could cut the cord and said she’d prefer not to be in the room with me at all.  She thought it would make her sick.
Then Ella entered my world.  Yes, my world altered…my time was taken up by breastfeeding, sleeping, and caring for my wee one.  She was there – one of the first to visit me in the hospital, one of the first to come to my house, making me food, calling me, making sure I was doing okay.  But eventually, even Ella seemed to become a wedge in our friendship…

Outside of our friendship, a storm was brewing.  I wasn’t directly part of that storm system, but someone I’m very close to was.  Someone whose bond to me is blood.  As that storm got stronger, our friendship grew weaker.  Eventually it was hard to find things to talk about.  Sure, we were still there for each other for the big stuff.  I tried hard to pretend that the storm wasn’t affecting me, or us.  I worked hard to keep being her friend even though she’d done and said some horrible things to/about someone important to me.  She hadn’t committed any crime against ME.
But it took its toll…and we eventually only spoke when we saw each other (which was still quite often).  Then another life change occurred for her, meaning that we’d see each other only if we set aside time to do so.  Neither of us has.  I was so hurt by the storm and all that happened because of it, that I didn’t have the energy to reach out to her.  I was afraid of what would be said…I was afraid of being hurt indirectly.  So afraid of indirect hurt, that I forgot that I could still be hurt directly.

We still have/had mutual friends.  I knew what was going on.  We are (as of this moment) still friends on facebook, though I “hid” her last week.  Seeing what she said to the friends who replaced me in her life hurt a lot and I couldn’t take it.  I starting hiding our mutual friends because their posts were related to her and, again, it hurt too much.  She doesn’t comment on my posts, so I assume she probably already hid me.

Then on Sunday I heard through the grapevine that she is pregnant.  That was a direct hit on my heart.  When I was pregnant we’d decided that I would be the first to know when she was pregnant.  That I might even find out before her own mom.  And now, since we don’t ever talk, I found out through the grapevine.  I guess I thought that since our friendship disintegrated this year…within the last 6 months…that I’d at least get a message before hearing it from someone else.
Don’t misunderstand…I’m not upset that I didn’t get that message.  I’m sad and heartbroken because it revealed just how over our friendship really is.  I just kept thinking through the storm that once we no longer saw each other in the stormy situation, that we’d figure out a way to make our friendship work.  I’m 32 and heartbroken even worse than that 12 year old girl at the beginning of the story…or that 23 year old…  I’m devastated.  I miss my friendship with her so badly and as far as I can tell, she doesn’t miss me at all.  It simply hurts.  I still love her dearly.  I will miss all the “might have beens” of our friendship.

That said, I know that I have some really great friends…friends who WILL be lifetime friends:
I have Bobbi Jo (who I talked to Sunday after I found out) who has assured me that she isn’t going anywhere.  I can’t imagine my life without her in it.  She loves me, adores Jeff, and dotes on Ella like she is Ella’s blood-related aunt.  Ella calls her B.Jo – a name Ella came up with.

I have Christie who has been with me through thick and thin.  She keeps me grounded and centered and I can say things to her (about her) that I don’t dare say to other friends.  Sure, the most time we spend together during the year is at camp, but that week has bonded us in a way that people rarely get to bond.

I have Amy – my newest dear friend.  We met just about a year ago on a playdate that I posted about here on my blog.  I predicted then that we’d become good friends and we have.  Ella and Jackson are just three weeks apart in age and that makes for fun times together.  But we don’t just hang out with our kids.  We make time to hang out without our kids.  We talk about married life and its highs and lows.  She’s helped me through some really down times in the last year and she’ll help me now.
Amy, when you read this…I need a night out.  Badly.  Maybe after the beach.

I have my bookclub girls (which includes Christie & Amy).  We meet once a month and just talk.  Sure, we talk a bit about the book we all read, but we talk about other things too.  Thank you Amy, Christie, Jen, Arressa, & Jenna.  My nights out with you are invaluable in my day-to-day life.  Let’s never quit getting together…even when we’re too old to read or drive and our kids have to drive us to meet up.

Sorry for the long sad rant…I just needed to get it out.

At least when I post once a month, it has enough words to make up for the three weeks I didn’t post!  Right?

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A book report

I read.  A lot.  Most people don’t know this about me.  I don’t always pass along books and I often don’t pipe up my opinions on books unless I’m asked.  This is the reason I got a late invitation to the book club I attend.  No one knew I read, so no one invited me.  Until one day, a friend posted that she was really looking forward to a glass of wine at bookclub.  I asked her about her book club and the person who founded the club (also a friend) quickly emailed me to invite me to join explaining that she didn’t know I liked to read.  So….now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…
I need to apologize to all to all of the people that have suggested to me that I should read Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  There was so much hype (which turns me off) and so many people suggesting it that I was actually relieved that I was going to be out of town for the bookclub meeting that would discuss it.  I didn’t even read it.  Until last week…  I had already read the March bookclub book (finished that the day of the February meeting) and really needed something to read.  Since we’re discussing reading Gilbert’s newest book, I decided that I should cave and read Eat Pray Love.  Man, I’m so glad that I did.  It was great!!!
I enjoyed reading about good places to eat in Italy (though I’m not sure I’ll ever find them if we get to go).  I now want to go stay in an Ashram in India someday.  And I totally want to go to Bali and find Ketut Liyer and sit on his porch talking about life.  Seriously…great book!!!

Here are four quotes from the book that have really stuck with me and why:

“…to even believe [what good works will yield] is an act of faith, because nobody amongst us is shown the endgame.  DEVOTION IS DILIGENCE WITHOUT ASSURANCE.”

Wow!  What a way to put it!  I’ve always explained faith – at least MY faith – as being willing to step out into darkness and trust that God will lead the way.  The author goes on to say, “There’s a reason we refer to ‘leaps of faith’ – because decision to consent to any notion of divinity is a mighty jump from the rational over to the unknowable…”  But what a great sentence – “Devotion is diligence without assurance.”  I actually put the book down for a moment to mull that one over.

…the day of the week that you were born is more important in Bali than the year…the patron god of children born on Thursdays is Shiva the Destroyer, and that the day has two guiding animal spirits – the lion and the tiger.  The official tree of children born on Thursday is the banyan.  The official bird is the peacock.  A PERSON BORN ON THURSDAY IS ALWAYS TALKING FIRST, INTERRUPTING EVERYONE ELSE, CAN BE A LITTLE AGGRESSIVE, TENDS TO BE HANDSOME (‘a playboy or playgirl’) BUT HAS A DECENT OVERALL CHARACTER, WITH AN EXCELLENT MEMORY AND A DESIRE TO HELP OTHER PEOPLE.

Ella and I were both born on Thursdays.  I just thought, “hmm..well, I’d definitely fit my character description in Bali”.  I’ll also say that I LOVE Banyan trees.  I thought that was cool.  I am trying to learn not to talk first or interrupt, but those are long lessons.  I actually started in a women’s Bible study today called Conversation Peace.  It is about taming the tongue (interesting since we JUST read that passage in James in Sunday school).  I also love the line from the age-old poem that, “Thursday’s child has far to go!”

“…LITTLE GIRLS WHO MAKE THEIR MOTHERS LIVE GROW UP TO BE SUCH POWERFUL WOMEN.”

Wow…I love that sentence.  I have a little girl and my life is amazing since she entered it.  She definitely makes me live.  She is full of energy and requires energy to keep up with her.  She is loving the “warm” weather we are experiences (the 60s) and longs to be outside.  Yesterday, Jeff walked back and forth in front of our house with her.  Everytime he tried to direct her to me (to go inside), she immediately started running the opposite direction.  It was funny, though not so much when he did carry her in.  I do believe she can be powerful.  Oh, God, let me be the mom that raises up a woman of power – power within herself that no one can push her down or around and power in YOU.

“But I was always coming here.  I thought about one of my favorite Sufi poems, which says that GOD LONG AGO DREW A CIRCLE IN THE SAND EXACTLY AROUND THE SPOT WHERE YOU ARE STANDING RIGHT NOW.  I was never not coming here.  This was never not going to happen.”

My favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) “‘For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”

Just think.  Before I was born, God knew that Ella and I would be having a rough-nap afternoon.  That I would have given up naptime in her crip and reluctantly put her in her swing (so grateful it has a high weight limit and that she loves it), and returned to writing this blog.  God drew a circle around this chair and this desk….well, kindof.  He knew I’d be married to Jeff.  He knew I’d be the mom to Ella.  He knows if I’m going to have another baby someday or not (and how soon is that someday, God?).  He knows our days.  The Bible also says is Psalm 139 (NIV) “Oh Lord, you have searched me and you know me.  You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.  You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways”.  God knows us.
I’ve known this for a long time.  Psalm 139 is my second favorite scripture in the Bible.  The whole chapter.  I love it.  It just really hit home when worded by the Sufi poem, “God long ago drew a circle in the sand exactly around the spot where you are standing right now.”
WOW!

So that is my book report.  I went into Eat Pray Love thinking it would just be a good read and came away with for page corners flipped for statements I wanted to remember (for various reasons…hence the Thursdays child thing).  That last one rocked my day.

Where are you standing right now?  Do you see your God-drawn circle?

What a great weekend…and it is only Saturday night!

Just had to post that I am having a fantastic weekend.

First – I got to spend a lot of time yesterday with my friend, Bobbi Jo.  We have a good time when we’re together and I always laugh a lot around her.
Then – last night was Christie’s Panty Party.  It was less about embarassing her with lingerie for she & Andrew (though we certainly did and with lots of laughs) and more about getting to celebrate my really, really close friend before she gets married.  This is such a special time and I’m so excited for her.  I wanted to make her feel special last night and I think we accomplished that.  Thanks to our friends who came out to shower Christie with laughter & lingerie.

Overnight was not pretty since Ella isn’t sleeping well and she & I were up battling it out between 11:30 pm and 2:30 this morning.

BUT – I woke up at 7:30 this morning next to my beautiful baby girl.  Then – I got to get ready and head out to breakfast with my friend, Melissa – who I feel like I never get to see and we used to go out at least once every weekend when she & Jay first moved here.  It was so wonderful to just sit with her and chat for a couple hours in a local coffee shop.  So needed!

Then, lunch today was a celebration of mine & my dad’s birthdays.  My grandmother, great-aunt, and aunt came in town from Newport News to eat with Dad, Mom, Jeff, Ella & Me.  We had a good time and Ella got to show off a bit.  After lunch we went back to mom & dad’s apartment and hung out while Ella really showed off how much fun she is to be around.  So good to have Ella spend time with her GG, EE & Aunt Carla.
Tonight, we went to Jeff’s parents for dinner in a late celebration of Jeff’s mom’s birthday (Feb 3).  It was great since all three boys (Jeff, Jerry & Gabe) were all able to be there with no schedule conflicts.  Kristen & I were there, too, but the most fun is watching Nana and Papa interact with their two grandkids.  We were all together.

It has been a great two days and tomorrow is lining up to be fantastic too…
I actually get to go to church at United tomorrow.  I feel like it has been a lifetime since I’ve been there and for me it has.  The last time was January 24.  Church was snowed out the 31st & February 7 and then Jeff & I were away last weekend (Feb 14).  I can’t wait to hear my dad preach.  He is my favorite minister…and it isn’t just bias.  I feel that he preaches from the heart to the heart and I love that about him.  Tomorrow’s theme: God as our shepherd.  So excited!
Then tomorrow night is my book club meeting.  I haven’t posted about book club before…not sure why not except I just post so little…
Tomorrow night we’ll be discussing the book, The Help.  It was a GREAT book that I recommend to anyone interested in a fiction story set in a all-too-real 1960’s segregated Jackson, Mississippi.  I had to remind myself that Mae Mobly and Aibileen weren’t real people.  Oh, little MaeMo – your nanny Aibileen loved you.  It has been a month since I read the book and I can’t recall what MaeMo called Aibileen in the book, but it tugged my heart strings.  SUCH A GOOD BOOK. 

I’ll have to do posts on the books I read since I have become a voracious reader.  I read the bookclub book and then find as many other books to read in the remainder of the month.  I can’t stop and I love it.  I’ve also found that I’m currenly very drawn to stories (fiction & non-fiction) set during the 60s that focus on segregation and integration.  I find it fascinating…okay – that is another post too.

Well – that’s it.  It is a great weekend and I just found the desire to share that with you.  Thanks for reading!