I was pulling out of my mom's driveway on Friday when I saw Denise in her mom's driveway. Denise lives out in California and we haven't seen each other since shortly after high school. We sat out in the middle of the street reminiscing. Some memories we shared, others we had to remind each other of. How differently we view our memories, yet how connected we are because of the years spent together.
We are going to try and spend an hour or two tonight catching up, if Denise can fit it into her schedule. She spent the weekend with one of her brothers and flies home tomorrow. She is a widow. She is childless. She just lost her job two weeks ago. She smiles and laughs the same as always. She said she left years ago to "start over". I wonder from what? I was lost in my own world, my own self when we were teenagers. Somehow, I didn't see Denise and the things that drove her to need to start over.
I am older and wiser now. I want to listen. I want to see Denise for the person, the soul who inhabits the skin...once the child I climbed trees with, played dolls with, played baseball with...now the woman who is a strangely familiar stranger. I want to know her hopes and fears. I want to give her the gift of friendship I was much too immature to bestow in our younger years.
Image taken from here.