Some friendships last forever. This has proven to be true with a certain group of women I met on the campus of Ithaca College some 35 years ago now. You know it’s a lasting bond when you don’t see someone for 20 years and you pick up like you just saw them yesterday. The same banter, same jokes, same smiles. The same soul connections. Only now there are miles of experiences to share; happy times, sad times, encased with a plethora of bumps and bursts along the road of life.
It’s this road that brought the five of us back together this past summer. Our Jennifer tragically lost her dear husband, Ron, this past February. One day it held the sweetness of Valentine’s Day and the next day he was gone. I attended the beautiful service for Ron, complete with a room full of love and ending with a heartfelt Henry David Thoreau quote. The same quote that is the main quote in my book. A sweet validation that our souls are always connected in this world and beyond.
After the service, Cindy (another soul sister of mine and friend of Jennifer’s) and I walked to the club reserved for all of us to gather. Interesting how a loss makes you notice beauty in the world more. We were commenting how beautifully the trees were lining the lawns of Buffalo’s most prestigious historical homes. Life becomes a bit surreal when we face losing it. I ran into Jenn in the privacy of the coat room, which was good because after not seeing her for 15 years we needed the comfort of a cocoon. She to melt into me, and me to be strong for her. I held her on my lap for a few minutes while she wept. Feeling our sister friendship that never faded. I still remember so clearly Jenn’s words pressing through her tears as we hugged, “I was hoping you’d come.” It was never a question for me.
Soon after, Lauren contacted me suggesting the five of us gather at either her cottage or mine in support of Jenn. I happily offered my place, and after a few emails with Marjie, Kelley, and Lauren, the summer weekend was arranged. I can’t quite describe the joy I felt upon seeing each Holmes Hall girl arrive but with every welcome hug we grew into what we knew. Loving each other.
A few wineries later, we returned to the cottage for more laughs, delectable delights, and reminiscent chatter. Intermittently holding the sadness between us to allow Jenn her grieving space. Always holding her in the silence interspersed with tears. We agreed that this must be an ongoing theme in our lives, to reunite every year or two.
Funny how the most tragic of events can breathe rays of sunshine into life. One thing I know for sure, this girlfriend bond that began back in 1979 will never be broken. The magic of love between our connected souls will forever hold the truth of our inexplicable, extraordinary existence. The miracle of friendship.