Generations
Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I was eight years old when we moved home to Washington. My dad was career Army and wanted to finish out his thirty year stint at Fort Lewis. The day we moved into our new home off base was full of promises. It had this great wooden gate that was perfect for swinging on. As the drudgery of moving day went on around me, I was busy swinging on that gate, content with the world in motion. I remember looking up at the backyard balcony next door to see what I thought at a time was a boy fixing me with the best look of disdain a nine year old could display.

Thus began my life long friendship with Linda, who would be relieved to know that she is indeed, not a boy.

Linda and I have had our ups and downs, periods where we haven't talked to each other, times where our friendship has been tested to the breaking point, but we always have found our way back.

I'm not sure when friendship turns into family, but it has with us. We don't speak every day. There are days when we can't stand each other and there are days when we are the only person who understands the other without ever a word being spoken. I just know that I would do anything for her.

She practically lived at my house when we were kids. When we found out her parents were being transferred to Kansas I think my heart literally broke. She stayed with us the last two weeks before moving and I secretly prayed that her family would forget about her so I could keep her. Sadly for me, they came and got her in time for the move.

When my mom died two years ago Linda stated to me in her matter of fact way, "Kara, you're an orphan now. So I guess I'll just have to be your mom."

Our relationship is as complex and simple as any familial relationship can be. I trust her with my child, my secrets and my friendship. I love her as one can only love someone they have grown up with, weathered bad and good times with,and survived puberty with.

For most of my life, Linda has played a major role. I wonder sometimes if she knows how much that means to me. Both of us are so reserved, we tend to "do" instead of "say". We buckle down and do what needs to be done without asking for help, we suck it up and move forward instead of breaking down and loosing ground. We can be stubborn, pigheaded and isolated, but I would move mountains if she needed to get to the other side.

Sometimes with years comes a forgetfulness. We don't always tell people what they should hear, like, 'I am here for you, I would do anything to help you'. With familiarity sometimes comes complacency and I don't think I've told her often enough how much her being there has been a strength for me.

Our children are only a few years apart and we have raised them as family. They look at each with the annoyance of cousins that are thrown together whether they like it or not. It means something to me that our friendship has grown to include a whole new generation. That the things that bind us will bind them. That their memories will include each other, just as ours do.

The laughter, the fights, the spilled milk, it will all go on in them, even after we are gone. I hope that at our funerals they will be comfort to each other, that they can reach out to the other and say "I remember". I hope that they will be the family their mothers are and within that family Linda and I will always live on.






3 Comments:
Blogger archshrk had this to say:

Hello, Michele sent me.
Great read. Thanks for sharing. It's good that you have this kind of friendship but it's even better that you shared it.

12:51 PM, February 21, 2006 

Anonymous nancy had this to say:

Here via Michele.

It is great to have friends like that!

9:58 AM, February 22, 2006 

Blogger kari had this to say:

There is NOTHING like a true blue friend. I've had the very same best friend for over 30 years.

2:06 PM, February 22, 2006 

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