Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Friend Fix

I was just out of college and working at my first job as a counselor for teens when I met my friend, Kathie. She had just moved to New England from her home in Iowa to be with her future husband, and I shared an office with him. Kathie had left behind her beloved midwestern hometown and her large family. She was a little lonely for friends, so her boyfriend asked if I might call her to go out. Please! So I did. The truth was that I had recently moved to a new part of the state to start my post-college life. I had a new small apartment and while I adored my two cats (such listeners!), they didn't hold their liquor too well and they never had any good gossip. Kathie was the warmest, funniest, most even-keeled woman I had ever met and I told her guy the next day that if he didn't marry her I was going to steal her away. He was smart enough to marry her, and ever since then...twenty-two years ago...we have been friends.

Kathie was home raising children long before I was and I stopped by regularly to blather on about my personal dramas and wash her dishes. I remember when her oldest son, now a towering, handsome twenty year-old man, was a fragile premie, weighing only several pounds and strapped to a heart monitor. Her life was full of responsibilities and full-fledged adulthood, and I was somewhat in awe of her. By contrast, I think I offered an alternative to mommy talk and acted as an interpreter of all things Massachusetts(you'd be surprised!) to her warm, easy-going, midwestern personality. She was there when I met my husband, and she stood next to me at my wedding. Her youngest and my oldest are a month apart, and her company and support during my early motherhood helped me grow up. She knows just about all there is to know about me, and she still accepts my calls.

We got to hang out together this past weekend after several months of busy schedules, and after talking, eating, laughing, and talking....and eating, I am reminded of how wonderful it feels to share time with a true-blue old friend.

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