Sunday, May 03, 2009

things that last

She is not my oldest, longest friend, but she is perhaps my dearest. Ours was a friendship forged out of coming of age together—struggling together (as we still do now, come to think of it) to discover who we are, what is important, and where we fit into God's greater plan.

Hol and I met the weekend of freshman orientation, as did my husband and I, and we have all been friends ever since. We schlepped through the valley together, ate smuggled-in homemade meals by candlelight in the Haven, sang in the Chorale, toilet papered upper classmen. We took long, meandering walks, stayed up 'till all hours of the night rearranging our dorm room (again), suffered through mandatory chapel (made more interesting by my creation of the "official" chapel poll), created "Primal Whine Therapy."

I carried her books when she burnt her foot with the hot pot, she listened to hours of debate over whether or not I wanted to date that geeky tenor with the big glasses and annoying sense of humor. I helped her pick out the dress for her senior recital, she suffered through my daily alarm clock ritual and still continues to speak to me, twenty-some years later. (Though she still knows better than to expect much out of me in the morning.)

We have been key players in "the best days of our lives." We went through all four years of college together, lived together for two of them. We weighed in on each others' prospective husbands. We stood up in each others weddings. We sang trios and duets at each other's churches. Our six-year-olds were born four days apart (funny how neither one of us could figure out why we didn't feel well that weekend we hiked Clifton Gorge). Despite three hours and a world of difference between our lives (but not our hearts), there is always a sense when we get together, whether here or there, of finally coming home. We had an all too brief time of homecoming this weekend, and now, as I make my way across I-70 toward the east, toward the place I call "home," I find myself desperately and heartbreakingly homesick.

There is a joy in the visiting, but always a sadness that lingers in the leaving. Would that I could coral all the people I love into a tight, tidy little area within arm's reach and keep them there forever. I know this is part of life. Sometimes we get to love people up close, sometimes we have to love them from afar. We take the moments we can steal and we savor them, hoping the flavor will linger on our tongue for a good, long while. Those moments are sometimes few and far between, but the commitment to maintain them remains. And should I ever be so fortunate as to have all the people I love all in the same place, you'll know where to find Holly. She'll be right next door, and I'll be in her kitchen watching her knead dough.


Jack Bunny said...

Classmates? How come you look so much younger than she does?

lorie said...

I guess I just got in the good light--she actually looks MUCH better than I!

Cindy said...


lorie said...

don't be--you and i are going to have BIG FUN once kindergarten is OVER FOREVER!!!