I met her years ago at a wine club , in other words- a bunch of bored women that get together once a month to taste wines and eat cheese and talk, and boy could we talk, and eat and drink.
There were,at any given time fourteen women in the club and although all of them I found very nice and welcoming, I made an instant connection with two women, she being one of them. The THREE of us call ourselves the YA YA’s, but I have to separate them for the purpose of my Friday with friends post as they both deserve their own spotlight.
Anyway…at one such wine club night we were outside partaking in a glass of what other but … wine , chatting about life and such…I think this was maybe my 3rd time at wine club so I didn’t know anyone that well yet. This woman started telling me that she was single , but had been dating lately and the weekend before she had a date with a ” wild” man from up around where we all lived. She had just had surgery and was supposed to be at home resting, but instead was out playing leap frog on the dance floor with this guy, that’s right I said leap frog…on the dance floor. I instantly knew I had to be her friend, as I had never known ANYONE at our age ( we were in our early 40’s) that played leap frog with anyone, let alone on a first date, in a bar, on a dance floor, after surgery.
We started to giggle and then I asked her for the name of this ” crazy, wild” man she was out with, she said his first name, I swallowed hard, looked her in the eye and said ” was his last name ( bleep)? ” She looked back at me, swallowed hard and said- ” Yes, do you know him?”
” Yes I said, I do. He is the father of my children and my ex-husband, I know him well.”
And….on that note, let’s HOP in to this story and let me introduce you to this week’s Friday with Friends LEAP FROG L
I think of all the people I know she has lost the most people in her life in the shortest span, within a year she lost her beloved sister , her Mother and her Father. Before that she had lost a brother and since then she has lost another sister and brother.
I don’t know how anyone survives that, the loss almost literally of your entire family at such a young age. I can only imagine if that were me, my heart would be filled with concrete, hard as stone. Yet for her it seems as if every loss she has endured opened her heart more.
She lives her life to the fullest and things I would never dream of doing with anyone else she has a way to pull me to do them and to stuff my ever so ” serious side”…we have been known to re-create dirty dancing scenes on the deck of our other ya ya sister, dance in her kitchen while belting out the words to our favorite songs, things I never even did when I was young and free- she has a way to pull them out of me , I love her for that…I also love her because:
She has deep empathy, she is well aware that our time in this world is not up to us, at any moment we could be taken or someone could be taken from us. She is present, in the moment, she feels everything, she cherishes everyone she loves and she loves them with wreckless abandon.
When I came to her four years ago on a cold winter day , beside myself because I didn’t feel like my husband was in love with me anymore, I didn’t feel like he even liked the person I was anymore, I knew he had already checked out of our marriage. I told her everything, I knew I had to leave , yet I had nowhere to go at the time. Without hesitation or a second thought she offered me the lower level of her town home. ” Move your stuff in, you can have the entire lower level, set everything up down there, make it your space.”
I did and I lived there for 3 months, she asked for nothing in return- all she wanted was for me to have a safe place to heal. By all accounts, it was the longest , best slumber party EVER!
We had dinners together, went shopping together, had our nails done, did facials, stayed up late in to the night drinking wine, got up early and shared our morning coffee. She let me talk, and talk, and TALK about the same things day after day after day…and she never once told me to shut the hell up and get over it already. She let me stand knee deep in the river of my pain and offered a bridge for me to cross over it.
When I think of her I often think of a commander in the armed forces, one who has seen battle many times more than us mere soldiers, she has seen first hand the damages, the heart break, the death, yet she doesn’t run from it. She stands on the front lines, she walks in to the fire first, guiding her troops safely to the other side.
She should be awarded the purple heart in life: She more than anyone I know has been wounded and scarred , she has lost so very much already, yet she is the first to show up and sign up for another tour of duty with her heart.
My wine cup runneth over my dear friend, I salute you and your beautiful, wounded, shining heart. I hereby re-enlist to be your friend for a lifetime.