Thursday, April 29, 2010

Lasting Impressions 24

Today's Lasting Impressions post is brought to you by Lisa, from Lisa's Yarns, who loves all things books and Paris. She's a wonderful friend with whom I share nearly weekly phone calls and always makes me smile.

“How did you two meet?”

That is a question that we will often ask two people in a relationship, whether it’s a husband and wife or two best friends. The relationship can often times be traced back to a shared memory. Maybe they met on the first day of elementary school. Or they suffered through college calculus together. Or they were introduced or set up by a mutual friend. For the most part, I can vividly remember how I met all the girlfriends in my life.

With the exception of one. My cousin Julie. You see, we met when I was 11 months old.

She lived on a farm 7 miles from my house so we essentially grew up together – we were sort of unofficial Irish Twins. We spent summer weekends at the family cabin together. We celebrated Birthdays and Christmases together. In high school, we both dated boys that lived in a town an hour away so we carpooled together. There are countless photos; photos of bad haircuts and chubby phases and high school graduation and prom night. I don’t have many memories from my childhood that don’t include Julie.

We went to separate colleges and somehow never managed to visit each other. I don’t know how this is possible. Neither of us are phone talkers so sometimes months would pass without any communication. But each summer, we’d reunite in the lakes area - where our parents’ both have cabins – and we’d pick up right where we left off.

I watched her fall in love and marry the man of her dreams.

Recently, I watched her make the transition from wife to mommy. It’s a role that is perfect for her.

After all, even though I am 11 months older than her, she’s done her share of ‘mothering’ in our relationship. She has looked me in the eye and told me things that are hard to say. Things like “I don’t like how he talks to you.” She has been a shoulder to cry on during difficult break-ups. Recently, she’s helped me put things in perspective when I was struggling at work.

She doesn’t just tell me what I want to hear. Instead she holds up a mirror and helps me to see life for what it is – both the good and the bad. And for that, I am thankful.

Those who read my blog know I absolutely adore the poetry of Mary Anne Radmacher. The poem below is so fitting for our friendship.

How long have we known each other?
cannot recount
the we of us
by a clock.

i recognize you
before we met.

i knew you always
when you first spoke.

tales of your history
were reminders not new:
i grew up
somewhere else
With you.

your destiny that.
my journey this.
threads: warp and woof
defining another kind of beauty
refining utterly other function.

don’t recount our ways of knowing
for the who of we two
untangles in the if of
not the is of