Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl!

"She is a friend of mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It's good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind."~Toni Morrison, Beloved

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Okay, this post isn't really about the Super Bowl. I had no vested interest in the outcome, and I watched the second half only so that I would have some idea what the rest of America is talking about for the next day or so. Despite my lack of enthusiasm for the game, I do love a good Super Bowl party. However, I didn't receive any invitations this year. Now I wish I had thrown a party myself.

But I had a good weekend. I did some desperately needed house cleaning and grocery shopping, worked a bit on my novel, and spent time with each of my kids.

And I had a joyful telephone reunion with one of my best friends ever. Pat and I became acquainted in May or June of 1978, shortly after I finished my freshman year of college. The dorms were closed during the summer months, but I took classes year round and had a student job with the university, so I sublet a room in the boarding house she was living in, and the rest, as they say, is history. That's Pat on the left, me in the middle. (Does anyone know where I can find Cheryl, on the right?)

There are so many stories. My roommate, Robbin (left), Pat and I camped out overnight to buy concert tickets, pre-Ticketmaster, to see John Denver in Carbondale in 1978.

We landed seats in the second row.

We shared Halloweens and Christmases and birthdays. We went on camping trips and shopping trips and spent Friday nights at Melvin's and Sunday afternoons at Dairy Queen. Once, she even took me to visit my paternal grandmother in southern Missouri; we went to Elephant Rock State Park and explored Cape Girardeau. She encouraged me to do my first 10K run--well, she ran; I walked--and helped me brew homemade kuhlua from sugar and coffee and Everclear, which we used to make milk shakes. Those were good times.

She graduated before I did, and landed a job in Tucson, Arizona; my first airplane trip was to visit her there. I shared Thanksgiving with her and her roommate, Nancy.


And later that weekend we walked across the border into Nogales, Mexico, the first time I ever left the United States of America.

Pat actually knew my ex-husband before I met him--they were both members of a co-ed service fraternity, which I eventually joined--and was my maid-of-honor in our wedding in May, 1982.

She even visited us once after we moved to Raleigh in 1985. Then it was just Christmas cards for a few years, and with our nomadic lives, we eventually lost touch altogether. I tried to find her on Facebook, but she shares her name with over five hundred people there, so it was rather like looking for a needle in a haystack. She didn't know I had reclaimed my maiden name, so she had a hard time finding me, too, but eventually tracked me through Casey (thanks, Casey!)

It has been so wonderful to reconnect with Pat--reminiscing about the good times we shared, and catching up on the past many years. Each of us has been through a lot, both good and bad, but it is as if we were never apart.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart."

Mmm-hmm.

3 comments:

Dan said...

You are leaving footprints. :-)

Carol Burnside said...

OMG, the hairstyles, the clothes! This brought back memories. We're definitely in the same age bracket. ;)

Pam said...

Yes, Carol--we're the PERFECT age!! :-)