Mama Ginger Tree doesn't live here anymore.  I have moved to The Norwindians.  The names have changed, but we're the same family.  Please add The Norwindians to your reader!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Guest Post #3: Feeling Alone... Together

Today's guest post is from my friend V.  V and I have been friends since high school (over 20 years!).  My high school boyfriend had a friend named J who was always asking my about my friend V.  "She's so cute."  "What's your friend V doing?"  But she had a different boyfriend.  To make a long story short, J finally got the girl (V) well after high school and they are now married with a darling son.  

We've seen each other through high school, college and everything that has come along since.  As you'll soon see we share a bond that will always keep us close.  She is an amazing person who really should have her own blog.  But for now I'll just steal her fantastic writing for mine.

So I’ve never blogged before.  Did I even use the word as a verb in the right way?  I’m happy to cover Mama Ginger Tree’s watch while she and the entire Candy Cane Forest are away on vacation, but I can’t promise I’ll do her blog (Why does that word puzzle me so? I think I’m just more comfortable with a pen and lined journal...but I digress) justice, but here I am.  MGT is one lady who deserves to be able to cross yet one more thing off of her never-ending To-Do list. And have I mentioned that I can’t possibly ever say no to her?  She’s had my back countless times over the years, from teaching me how to clean a beer-soaked rug to cooking my family some of the best comfort food I’ve ever eaten when my dad was ill.

MGT and I have been friends since high school – I envied her sparkling blue eye shadow, lofty blonde hair and ability to flirt with boys.  I didn’t even talk to boys during freshman year (not much point, as I still happened to look like one myself).  And did I mention that she was a whiz at math and that I absolutely sucked at it?   I’d probably still be trying to graduate if she didn’t tutor me through it.  On the bright side, 80’s clothes are back in style, so I’d be in good shape there.

Of all the things we shared in common, losing a parent as a child is definitely the most impactful.   A loss like this isn’t easy at any age, but I think what we both immediately understood was the way it makes you feel different than the other kids; like you stand out – and not in the “Aren’t I fabulous?” kind of way.  As a kid, I always hated having to explain about my mom.  It was (ok, sometimes is) painful and people, peers especially, were never quite sure what to say.  It was often awkward for me and for them, and I somehow felt like it catapulted me into the land of “different.”  Not sure about others out there, but most pre-teens and teens I knew were all about conforming: Vertical bangs? Check. Leggings? Check. Love of Bon Jovi? Check.  If memory serves, we didn’t even want to walk down the hallways at school without one of our friends by our side (in fact, it was preferable if all ten or twelve of us could move in an amoeba-like fashion throughout the school).

Now that I’m older, I have a different perspective.  The loss of my mom is still hard, but when I grieve, I grieve in a very different way now.  I grieve for my son never knowing his grandma.  I grieve when I see a grown woman and her mother out shopping or having lunch.  I grieve that my dad doesn’t have my mom there beside him when he takes my son to a park or to the library.  Every so often, depending on my mood, the weather and so on, just talking about my mom can reduce me to a puddle of tears.  But on the vast majority of days, I feel amazingly strong and resilient, like I’m living proof that life does go on and that people who experience devastating sadness can come out of it and have lives that are happy and fulfilled beyond measure.

I’ve survived something that no young girl should have to endure.  It wasn’t easy, but MGT made me feel like I wasn’t alone.  It was nice to be “different” together.  Our shared loss got us through the turbulence of adolescence, the ups and downs of the college years, the fear of finding our way after college, the adjustment to married life and, eventually, parenthood.  Our friendship and mutual understanding sustains me to this day.  What a lovely thing not to walk through high school hallways – or life – alone.


Marinka said...

What a wonderful post. You'll hear this often, but let me say it first: you should have your own blog!

Thank you for giving us more insight into our MGT. I'm so sorry for the losses that you both endured. I'm glad that you have each other.

Michelle said...

beautiful my dear friend. It's amazing after all these years how I can learn a little bit more about you, and MGT. so when are you going to start "blogging?"

binks said...

Welcome to the blogging world.
It is amazing how someone else can put exactly how you feel down so eloquently. Thanks for a great post.

Carrie said...

what a lovely thing, indeed. Here's to never being alone! How blessed you both are to have such a friendship as yours...

thanks for such a great post!

Overflowing Brain said...

Welcome to blogging- what a wonderful post way to enter our weird little world with!

heartatpreschool said...

Nice writing V! You should have your own blog. ;-)