As we both released from a lengthy and long overdue embrace that only old friends can understand...tears equally flooded our eyes.
How could this gorgeous grown up person standing in front of me be my childhood friend? The one that spent girls summer camp giggling until dawn with me. The friend who sneaked out with me on the very first day I was allowed to drive to school. The one that endlessly chased boys with me and then promptly ran away.
We named our first cars together. Mine was Baretta because it was EXACTLY the same car with EXACTLY the same dents and paint job that TV show Baretta drove. Her car we christened "Dubby"...an adorable vintage blue VW bug. Let's just say I preferred it when she drove, as the back doors on Baretta wouldn't even open!
Immediately we recounted how much time had passed since seeing each other...at least ten years we think. And even longer since we have had time to really "catch up!" We have crept in and out of each other's lives with occasional Christmas cards and wedding invitations. But it is her simple expressive notes arriving around Jocie's anniversary angel day that remind me why we are forever friends.
In Utah for a summer visit we finally arranged to meet for lunch this week. There are so many gaps of information and facts to update when you haven't visited with forever friends for such a long time. The conversation was continuously filled with smiles and laughter. Cindy has the most beautiful smile and contagious laugh. Her giggles soon opened up the memory of teenage moments we shared so many years ago. We discussed whereabouts and details of children, siblings and our parents. The years between us gradually melted away with each detail recounted.
I saw the sympathy in her beautiful blue eyes as the conversation slid easily into Jocie's story. Of course she wanted to know how I really was doing and how I have survived such tremendous sorrow. Mistakenly people believe that you "get over" the loss of a child. Blatantly...you just don't! It's like wall paper on your mind...it's there every single day. Somehow I have figured out how to joyfully live with that wallpaper surrounding me. And at this point, I told her I'm as happy as I can be given what I've lost! Somehow from across the table her heart touched mine as if to gently say "I'm so very sorry my dear friend."
In parting we vowed not to allow ten years to slip by before our next reunion. Because there is nothing like an old forever friend.