The last two days have been filled with mixed emotions. One of our best friend’s mom passed away. Last night was her wake, and this morning was her funeral. Although she had been ill and it was expected, it is still difficult to lose a mom and I am so sad for all of them.
As I sat in the church, the same church where my mom’s funeral was, I got very weepy. So many of the songs were sung at my mom’s funeral and although I miss her everyday, it was one of those days that made me miss her even more.
Her death brought many of our old friends together. Good friends. Long time friends. Occasions like this made me realize how long it has been since we all got together. We always say it won’t be so long next time, but life often gets in the way. Each time we say the same thing and promise to make it happen. We try to have an annual Christmas brunch together with this group of friends and with the holidays around the corner, we are hoping to all meet up for a much less somber occasion.
Life really is too precious. Maybe my goal for the new year should be to really put more effort into making these get-togethers happen. It was so good to see all of them. All of us together in the same place. It has been too long since the last time that happened….it may possibly have been my own mom’s funeral almost two years ago. We need to find a happier reason and make the time. It just goes so fast!
We just got a phone call from a woman looking for my mother-in-law, Nancy. I don’t know who she was. We didn’t even answer the phone at first because we did not recognize the number on caller ID. As she left a message we realized it was someone who was trying to reach her. Today is Nancy’s birthday and according to this woman, they worked together many years ago. She said that she found our number and was hoping that she had reached the right family because she wanted to wish her a Happy Birthday. I spoke with her for a little while and she was so excited that she had tracked her down. Apparently she hadn’t seen or spoken to her in over ten years. She said she had no idea why, but for some reason, she never forgot her birthday. After speaking to her for a little while, I passed along her number so that she could call her and wish her a happy day herself.
I had been sitting here wondering what to write about when the phone rang. After I hung up, I knew exactly what it was going to be. I thought it was so nice of this woman. She had been thinking about my mother-in-law and obviously had to do some research to find us and then make the call in the hopes that we’d be able to get her in touch with Nancy. She sounded so excited when she realized she had the right person. I am so glad I could point her in the right direction and now perhaps they can rekindle what seemed like was a really nice friendship even though they haven’t spoken in so long.
I don’t often write about my mother-in-law. We don’t see her very often. She doesn’t live far away at all, we just don’t have the same relationship as we do with my family. We did talk to her today and said we’d meet up soon – after all this bad weather clears up. She hasn’t been well and has not been going out much this winter so once some Spring like weather shows up, we will take her to lunch to celebrate. Considering ANOTHER big storm is headed our way tonight, I am not sure when that weather is going to show up but it has to come sometime soon doesn’t it?? Winter cannot last forever…can it?
Although I think about my mom everyday, there are some things that make me miss her more than others. Simple things usually. My mom was a very simple person. She did not care about fancy clothes, or posh furniture. She was not showy or ostentatious at all. I think that was one of things everyone loved about her. She had everything she needed and she never longed for “stuff.” She was happy with what she had. She was even happy when she was not well. She was always able to wear a smile despite how she was feeling.
I talked to my friend Tricia today and we talked about “putting on a smile.” We laughed because just like me, she said people are always asking her how she is always smiling. She has gone through a tough period too. Her husband was out of work for quite some time, her mom was incredibly ill and she and her sister are trying to hold the whole family together throughout it all. Very similar to how I feel. We all know that we need to keep smiling because if we don’t smile and keep looking for the positive, we’d probably fall apart!
Our families have been friends since we were very young. I think I was about five when they moved into the house behind us. We were backyard neighbors for years and have all remained friends. They called my mom “Aunt Ellie”, we call her mom, “Aunt Joyce.” She and my mom were best friends. The morning of my mom’s wake, Aunt Joyce had a massive heart attack. It was devastating. She went through weeks of recovery and dealt with setbacks throughout it. She has been recovering slowly but I found out today that she was just in the hospital again with congestive heart failure. She’s home now and has a nurse coming into check on her several times a week. I am so relieved to hear that she is recovering but still I am sure that it is so hard on her family.
As we talked and caught up on what’s been going on in our lives, we kept bringing up the fact that if we didn’t find the positive in all of it, we would topple and plunge into a place none of us want to go. We all miss my mom and think about her daily but we are each moving forward with our lives and that would make my mom happy.
Spring Break – with little to do! This kind of opportunity rarely presents itself!! This morning I had the chance to meet two good friends for breakfast. A luxury!! This is something I never get the chance to do and the three of us spent a few hours just catching up. I talk to them often, but usually other things are going on, distractions that keep us from focusing on each other; kids are needing us, pets need to be walked, work to be done…never just the three of us alone. It was great. I almost felt guilty sitting there leisurely for two hours! I felt like there was something else that I should have been doing!! The three of us took notice of how many other people were out for breakfast that day. Some of them dressed in tennis skirts and workout clothes, a few having breakfast meetings and others, like us, just enjoying a nice breakfast out. Made me a little envious of “the stay at home mom”. The three of us talked about everything from family, exercising, upcoming vacations, new recipes – everything.
The three of us have been friends for years. Long before having kids, jobs and “adult stresses”. We used to be able to get together much more often. This week, my boys are off from school but old enough to be on their own. Their children are all in school. If they weren’t, this breakfast could never have happened. This was a breakfast, where none of us had any other commitments. There was no one else to tend to other than ourselves. Just three close friends catching up, as if not even a day had gone by. We just fell right back into our old conversations, sharing what has been going on and reconnecting with each other.
I know as our children get older, we will be find a way to balance their schedules and we will fall back into some of our old routines and get the chance to socialize more. Maybe not for a long leisurely breakfast like today, with the constraints of our jobs, but after work for dinner or happy hour. Until then though, we will grab the opportunities when we can and appreciate the times that we do get with each other, no matter how few and far between they might be.