About a year ago, a 17-year friendship ended by mutual decision, but her parting words to me were a prediction that I was going to have a lonely life due to my inability to be a good friend. We each had one child when we met and proceeded to have 9 more between us. I hung in there through difficult times for the sake of our kids, but finally it became apparent to both of us, in different ways and with different conclusions, that we would be better off apart than together. It took awhile to let my heart unconstrict from her criticism. And because she had pointed out my shortcomings many times, I wondered if her words might be true. A certain someone close to me assured me that her characterization of me was off-base and wrong. But I, ever the self-flaggelator, JUST IN CASE, took this loving person’s words with a grain of salt. What if she was right? What if my inability to be a “good friend” as she defined it was TRUE? Would I ever have another good friend?
I am happy to say the answer is yes, yes, and more yes. I have a dear friend, Ranee, who loves me, accepts me, enjoys being with me, and for whom I do the same. She has been a rock for me — understanding and empathizing in so many situations.
Today, I had coffee with a new friend, Suzie, and dinner with another new friend, the Incomparable Miss L. I enjoyed both of these people immensely and these connections came on a day I needed to connect with some warm and loving folks. It was actually a good day in many ways, but I was given news this evening that was difficult to hear and is going to require significant effort to get through, not just on my part, but the part of others of my family members.
I believe my ex-friend and I tried to treat each other as we would want to be treated. I think one of the big problems was that we wanted to be treated in different ways. I was looking for a type of authenticity she was convinced that I did not really want, and she certainly did not want. Be that as it may, with Ranee and Suzie and Miss L, I feel a connection that comes naturally. I don’t feel like I have to figure out how to be someone other than Siouxsie. They all seem to like Siouxsie just fine. True, we haven’t been friends for 17 years yet, but I have hope that we *could* be long-term friends, and that we *will* be. So here’s to you — Ranee, Suzie, Randi — and all of you wonderful people I don’t know yet. Thank you for being a friend! (Who hears Leo Sayer singing that line!?! – you and I can be friends, too!)
PS. There are many others I am privileged to call friend — you know who you are! Love you all!