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?

Advertisements

Friendships

So, Ella has been napping (in her swing) for an hour.  I prioritized and worked on church stuff first, so hopefully she’ll snooze long enough for me to blog too.  We’ll see…

This past weekend I had the priviledge to serve as a bridesmaid for one of my longest & dearest friends, Christie Lynn Grubbs (now Christie Brust – that sounds odd).  Christie and I have known each other since we were youngish – late elementary, I think.  We met at Oak Hill Christian Service Camp and saw each other at area-wide church things.  She was perfect.  So smart – she could sing you anything you wanted to know about the Bible and probably still can.  We both attended Music & Drama camp and both returned to become counselors of that week.  That is where our bond formed.  There was one particular summer where there was a shift in staffing at M&D.  For those of you who don’t know – this is a RARE thing.  We had two female staff members choose to do other things leaving Christie and I as the two “young” staffers.  We stayed together a lot on tour that year.  And we’ve stayed close ever since.  When I was planning my wedding to Jeff in 2006, it was Christie (co-deaning with me by then) who would meet me at church, take me by my shoulders and say, “Okay – now we need to talk about CAMP for one hour.”  She is a great grounding force.  She was my bridesmaid that year and I returned the favor this year.  It was nice to get to wait on her Saturday since it usually works the other way around…especially with Ella tagging along.  I’ve said it on facebook and now I’m saying it here.  IT WAS A HONOR TO STAND BESIDE CHRISTIE AT HER WEDDING.

I’ve had lots of friends in my life; and quite a few “best” friends.  My first “best” friend was Melissa Crane.  We went to Skipwith together.  We spent a lot of time at each other’s houses, too, since we lived around the corner from each other.  After I moved to another school zone I had three besties: Mary Hairfield, Carrie Cauthorne, and Lisa…oh, I’ve forgotten Lisa’s last name.  We also had coordinating boyfriends who were best friends too.  It was fun.  Our parents actually dropped us off at Ridge Theater for a group date in fourth grade.  What parent now-a-days would drop off six 4th graders saying, “See ya in two hours.  Don’t cause trouble!”  None.  I can recount that day in great detail.  Especially that they had two theaters showing the same movie (ours) and we lost Jason & Lisa and did cause trouble trying to find them in the middle of the movie.  I’ve lost touch with all those people these days, but that was so long ago.

I changed best friends in middle school.  I started with a girl named Jenny and ended up with a gal named Miranda – who remained one of my besties until 2001 when a large fight split us up.  There won’t be any details of that here.  I will say that Miranda and I were “those” best friends.  We dressed alike – not always matching (but yes sometimes head to toe), but we loved to buy the same exact outfit in two different colors.  We were always “the same, but different”.  I still love that phrase.  We switched houses for a weekend and lived with each other’s families.  We kindof stole a car together when I was 16.  (We BORROWED it – it was going to be Miranda’s but she was too young to drive and we needed to go rent movies.  I say “stole” because we in no way had permission to drive that car anywhere.)
When I got to RBC (now MACU) in 1996, I ran into a childhood friend named Erin from whom I became inseperable.  She had a roommate, I didn’t.  Her roommate had a computer and Erin’s t.v. worked better in my room on the opposite side of the building.  So, her room became the study haven and my room became the place to chill.  Since I had an empty bed, Erin spent lots of nights in my room.  I even covered for her (and a handfull of other gals) after accidentally telling a staff member (who was dating Erin) that we’d watched “Seven” (rated R).  I wouldn’t confirm that I watched with with anyone other than myself.  Luckily, I escaped major punishment, too.  She was in my first wedding and I was in her only wedding.  Our friendship lessened after we were living in different states, then cities, and now countries.  I’m friends with her on fb, but have yet to send her the message I have started a hundred times.  I want to tell her everything that has happened since we lost our closeness.  There is just so much to say…especially that I miss her very much.

I didn’t have any good girl friendships for a while after that.  Actually…not until 2005 when Melissa Hess moved to town attached to the church’s new youth minister.  Mo and I quickly bonded and she quickly became like a sister to me.  We went on trips together (with and without our hubbies) and there was a point in time that we did something together every Friday or Saturday – and sometimes both.

Around the summer of 2006, I also became good friends with a former camper – Bobbi Jo.  Now, to know Bobbi Jo is to love Bobbi Jo.  Well – for me.  She’s one of those people who you’re gonna love her or you’re not, but there is little inbetween.  We were both bridesmaids for Christie this weekend and one of the stylists (not Kathy, but her coworker who doesn’t know us well) asked if BJ and I were sisters because we bickered/picked with each other like sisters do.  It was a great feeling to be mistaken for her sister.  I a certain brother-in-law would get to a point he was ready to date someone seriously, I’d be hooking BJ up so that we really could become sisters.  Oh, that would be FUN!!!

Then, along came Ella.  Wow – how my world changed.  Jeff and I could still choose to do something on Friday and Saturday night, but that would require (1) exhausting our moms as they alternated care or (2) paying Katie Quinn a lot of money to babysit.  Needless to say that our social life has suffered.  People actually stop asking you do things after you have a kid – do you know that?  People just assume that you’ll say no.  We’re adjusting to this new form of life okay, though.

After about 6 months of being home and not being very social (we did take Ella to the Hess’ new years eve party and I was feeding her as the ball dropped), I needed some mommy friends.  Gals who had little ones too and could talk “shop” with me.
[Ella wakes up screaming…be back later]

And thus began my venture into the world of RichmondMommies.com.  Thanks to that site I have found four good girl friends (Amy, Bridget, Katie and Whitney) who I get together with at least once a week (with our kids).  As seen on a previous post, we went out withOUT our kids on my birthday and are planning to do something for Whitney’s bday this month.  And this Thursday night Amy and I are heading out to a preview for a consignment sale this weekend.  They’re having give-a-ways and other vendors on hand offering discounted and free services.  I’m so excited.

There are other friends not mentioned here – my sister-in-laws, for example.  And I didn’t go into detail about the fact that I didn’t have many female friends at all until the last five years.  That is when I met girls who weren’t girly-girls and then met a few girls (Bridget) that are girly-girls and inspire me to want to be girly…sometimes…

I guess the point is that friendships come and go; or change as life changes.  I wouldn’t trade any of my friendship experiences.  They’ve made me a better person.  I savor my friendships now.  Like all relationships, friendships require work.  I’ve always known that, but now I’m proactive about it.  Who are you favorite friendships?  Have you thought about it lately?

Okay – back to my angel.  Gotta Go!