Monday, November 9, 2009

Dear California Girl

I had the good fortune of spending a few hours with a dear friend yesterday.  She moved away last January - to California.  I miss her very much and thought I'd write her a letter, introducing this blog. 

Dear California Girl -

It made my day (week) seeing you yesterday, even if only for a short time.  You look great and for the most part it seems like California is agreeing with you nicely.  I'll bet if you were writing me this letter, you would say the same thing about me, right?  Because we do look good, both of us, and we had our "so happy to see each other" faces on today, didn't we?  And don't get me wrong - I AM happy, it just takes a visit with you to make me step back for a minute. 

Because the other truth is this - I miss you terribly and I cried the whole way home from lunch, wanting to run in the doors of my home like a teenager, sobbing to Husband over the void in my life since you left.  I know we were never connected at the hip, we didn't talk every single day, we didn't go out together with our husbands and we only went out a few times by ourselves that I can remember.  In many ways, we are very different people. 

So why is the void so great and the pain so much with you gone? 

You and I shared a connectedness over our daughters' friendship, over our parenting styles, over the values we try to instill in our children.  I considered you my Calgon Girl - the one you call when you need a "take me away from it all" moment with your children, your life, with the (sometimes) pressures of being a grown up all the time.  Because sometimes it's no fun. 

And YOU, while understanding completely, could always find the humor in any situation and make me feel so happy it was YOU I called.  Sadly, I haven't found that with anyone else yet since you left - as a matter of fact, I'm wondering if you can ever be replaced.  I have other friends, sure, just not ones that fill this particular niche where you were so outstanding.

I remember one time when I was letting Youngest cry it out over a nap, I called you and said, in tears, "Can I just talk to you for a little bit until I see if she's going to stop?"  And you dropped everything and stayed on the phone with me for 30 minutes, making me forget the wailing I was hearing upstairs.  I was so embarassed about crying on the phone like that and you reassured me that the only reason I was crying was 1) sleep deprivation and 2) it was winter and the first sunny day we'd had in 6 weeks - all of that unexpected sunshine finally let our pent up emotions flow.   Even though I wanted to cave and head up to get Youngest out of her crib you said, "NO!  Don't you even THINK about ruining the good job you've done already - she's almost there because of YOU!" 

I will never forget that conversation, ever.  You, with wit and empathy, let me know so many things:
  1. It's ok to cry.
  2. I was making the right decision about a child.
  3. Fatigue does scary things to people, but it's alright because the first year doesn't last forever.
  4. I was going to make it.
As much as I care about you, though, I would be lying if I said you are the only one I miss.  Oldest hasn't found a friend like your daughter yet either and it makes ME so sad.  She doesn't even realize it, I don't think.  That your daughter got her and still loved her anyway.  And was such a good influence on her, because of the way she's being raised by her totally awesome mother.  Plus the realization that my Youngest and your Youngest would be in the same class together if you were still here is, well, heartbreaking. 

So when you said yesterday that you thought about not calling people because you didn't want us to think we had to drop everything and come running, let me assure you - no matter how much I cry afterward over missing you, believe me, I will drop everything EVERY time. 

And what I didn't tell you yesterday is that not only did I start a blog (gasp!), but as I write this and think about why I miss you so much, it's becoming clear to me that I started the blog because of you.  Or because you're not here anymore - it's my way of chatting with cyber-land as if you and I were talking instead.

So you better start reading it!  There's no time zone issues with a blog - it's open 24/7.  :)

California Girl, thank you for being the kind of person who changes the lives of people you touch.  And THANK YOU for lunch today - it came at the perfect time and means so much. 

Your Sad Little Friend Miss E  :)
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