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It's Not The Years, HONEY - It's the Mileage!

Posted Feb 04 2013 9:30am

My husband, Garth (not his real name) and Wayne (also not his real name, see what I did there?) met sometime around 1st grade.  They lived a couple of blocks away from each other and, throughout their elementary, middle school and high school years, remained the best of friends.

Then Garth (NHRN) asked Wayne (NHRN) to help him move into his college dorm, inviting a mutual friend along (Tia, not her real name either) knowing that his friend Wayne (NHRN) had a secret crush on her and that the feeling was mutual.

Note:  I feel it safe to say, having successfully conveyed the fact that no one in this story would willingly care to be associated with my blogging (no, I can't say as I blame them), I feel it unnecessary and quite cumbersome in my continuing to use the (NHRN) acronym (you're welcome!)

Wayne and Tia were married a few years later and asked Garth to be their best man.  Garth and I were dating for about a month when he asked me to attend the christening of Wayne and Tia's first born son.

Garth and I were engaged a few months later (he had me at, so you want to go out to dinner or something?) asked Wayne to be the best man at our wedding and then, a few years after that, we asked both Wayne and Tia to be Godparents to our middle girl.

Wayne and Tia moved back to the old neighborhood to raise their kids, into a house down the street from my in-laws, while Garth and I had two more children, catching up to Wayne and Tia in requesting a table for six (or twelve, on those rare occasions we would eat out, all together).

At this point in time, we started referring to our pregnancy time lines to keep track of each other's milestones or whenever we'd share stories about the summers our families spent vacationing together.

Then, one day, something changed and we did not speak or see each other for the next ten years.

What the hell happened?  Honestly, I couldn't tell you.  Garth and I still don't really know and would be hard-pressed to come up with an answer that would make any sense.  

The only thing I can tell you, for sure, is that Wayne and Tia had disconnected themselves from most everyone, at that time (especially, family) and, as awful as this is going to sound, Garth and I took some solace in wondering (more like, hoping) maybe it wasn't "just us".

Still, all was NOT lost, as we continued to exchange Christmas cards and then leave our happy birthday wishes for each of their kids...on the answering machine.  

Then we stopped calling.

Garth and I would see Wayne, from time to time, while driving past his and Tia's house (considering they still live down the corner from my in-law's) and catch glimpses of their kids, who would wave at us and perhaps wonder if we had moved or where we had gone.

Then they stopped waving.

Even longer story, shorter (seriously, I'm almost done) Garth and I received an invitation to Wayne's suprise 50th birthday party with a note:  although there has been distance in our relationship, you are both forever in our hearts and the boys and I know Wayne would love to have you at his party -- hope you will join us!

Garth and I were both silent on the drive to the restaurant on Saturday night, wondering if we would know any of the people attending the surprise party, whether or not anyone would recognize us and just what in the hell WAS it that robbed these two best friends of the last ten years, anyways?!?

We walked into the restaurant, were greeted with a roomful of blank faces and, as terribly awful as this is going to sound, again took solace in knowing (or, at least, we were pretty sure) nope, it wasn't "just us".

Garth hugged his Godson and asked if there would be any family attending the party?

"You're it, Uncle Garth."

[lump meet throat]

Then it hit me, like a well-deserved bitchslap upside the head:  years after moving out of the house I grew up in, I never quite understood why my parents insisted on visiting "the old house" and then call to tell me just how bad it really looks.

Until, the day the kids and I took a quick detour , were stunned into silence and then spent the rest of the drive home...remembering.

It's sort of the same with Wayne and Tia:  no matter how broken, battered or beaten-up life gets us (seriously, a lot can happen in ten years, yes?) our friendship has good bones.

Aaaaaand, yes, they happen to be getting older and more fragile by the minute (our bones, I mean, and us too, I guess) but, we STILL look good....DAMMIT!!!

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