Thursday, July 9, 2009

Life Together - its a long one

A friend recently sent this series of quotes from a book/memoir that she had just finished reading. It's called The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan - I haven't read it, but have been thinking about friendships a lot recently since she sent this and the e-mails that followed.

I guess I am just amazed at the beauty of relationships and that somehow we get to live life together. Even when they (relationships) are hard and especially when they seem perfect, I think about the peace and simplicity that deep relationships bring to life.

If I'd written it, I'd feel it was too personal to share, but since it's from a published book :)...

Anyway, its below if you'd like to read through it. Basically, it celebrates the deep friendships that are there in the crap and there in the happiness.

"We'll confer about jog bras, and contractors and pediatricians. We'll gossip about babysitters, teachers, in-laws. We'll speculate about who had a shot of Botox, who cheats on their taxes, who cleans until midnight.

We'll celebrate each other's achievements: opening an exercise studio, a corner store ,a jewelry business. We'll celebrate our kids' achievements: making the traveling team, singing in the choir, learning to knit or speak French or play the flute. We'll borrow eggs, earrings, extra chairs. We'll throw birthday parties for each other and stain the rugs and shatter the wineglasses and mark up new counters with the odd slice of lemon. We'll worry about who seems down, who looks tired, who's drinking more and more. We'll say things we'll wish we hadn't and have to find a way to regain each other's trust. Things will break, they always do. Many will be fixed.

We'll fret over our children: too shy, too angry, too needy. We'll brainstorm ways to help them become more resilient, patient, lighthearted. We'll protect them--fiercely--pulling little bodies from the deep end, double-latching windows, withholding car keys.

We'll bury our mothers and our fathers--shuttling our children off for sleepovers, jumping on red-eyes, telling each other stories that hurt to hear, about gasping, agonal breaths, hospice nurses, scars and bruises and scabs, and how skin papers shortly after a person passes. We will nod in agreement that it is as much an honor to witness a person leave this world as it is to watch a person come into it.

We'll admire each other for a fine creme brulee, a promotion, a finished marathon. We'll commiserate about commutes, layoffs, mortgage rates, the High School Musical soundtrack. We'll confide in each other about feeling anxious or angry or uninteresting or how many pieces of Halloween candy we accidentally ate from our kids' bags. We'll confess that we text while driving or that we should be having more sex or that we yell at our kids every day. We'll admit that we believe in God, Jesus Christ, Heaven and Hell, or that we don't.

People will drift in and out. Book clubs will swell and thin. We'll write someone off and they'll reemerge later and we'll remember both why we loved them and why we let them slip away, but we'll be softer and we'll want them back.

We'll give up things together--caffeine, Tylenol PM, catalogs, social smoking. We'll take up things too--morning walks, hybrids, organic dairy, saying grace. We'll persuade each other to bake, sell, fold, stuff, paint, and write checks for our favorite non-profits.

We'll diagnose each other's brown lawns, torn muscles, basement odors. We'll check each other's heads for lice, and examine new bumps and moles, and listen to lists of symptoms. We'll teach each other how to set a ring tone, make a slide show, download a movie.

We will call and say, 'I heard the news' and whatever the news is, we will come running, probably with food. We'll insist on second opinions, lots of rest, and the best surgeon. We will face diseases, many kinds, and will--temporarily--lose our hair, our figures, and our minds.

Eventually, someone who's not supposed to die will--maybe one of us, maybe a husband, God forbid a child--and all this celebrating and confessing will make certain essential comforts possible. We'll rally around and hold each other up, and it won't be nearly enough but it will help the time pass just a hair faster than it would have otherwise. We will wait patiently and lovingly for that first laugh after the loss. When it comes, and it will come, we will cry as we howl, as we clutch, as we circle. We will transcend, ladies. Because we did all this, in that worst moment, we will transcend."

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