Last week I talked to my friend Mandie for the first time in over seven months. We’ve emailed briefly here and there, but haven’t spoken. It’s the longest we’ve gone since we met fourteen years ago. Mandie is very good at keeping up with people. She always sends birthday cards and thank you notes, she always brings the right gift for the occasion, and she will reach out for contact for a certain amount of time before she lets you know that it is time for it to be reciprocated. In her last email she sent to me she jokingly sent me her phone number. I knew that was my cue to call her before her courtesy of waiting for me ran out.
It was so refreshingly her. We talked about our animals more than we talked about my children, we talked about jobs and how we balanced out the world since she’s working two jobs and I don’t have one. We laughingly joked about people from our distant past, in that way we always used to, us against the world. It was, however, the first tentatively hesitant conversation between us since for the first time there were barriers, things that we would not talk about. I appreciated her discretion, and could still read between the lines. When we started catching up on people, she started telling me about a family member.
“I felt like I should give her another chance since that would be the Christian thing for me to do, especially if she’s had a change of heart. If she hasn’t had a change of heart though, that’s a different story,” she was saying. All of the sudden I wondered who we were talking about. I agreed with her and that was that. We could move on in the conversation, and without saying it, I knew that she was extending her friendship to me, no matter what, accepting the good and the bad.
She told me about how she had snuck into her now vacant childhood home, the house I had spent a day with her when the power went out at our school our freshman year. Talking about ourselves so long ago in a place I could remember so vividly gave me a somewhat distorted feeling. Here I am, no longer that awkward and foolishly silly girl, but now a wife and mother who talks on the phone while watching her toddler daughter run around outside, who is constantly snapped back into reality by distractions of kids and the outdoors, yet who still tries to connect and laugh with a best friend.
So much has changed and my life simply is so different than it used to be, but I was so thankful; she was my same old friend.