This evening I was invited to have dinner with a couple of friends. They wanted to have one more meal together while we were all still in the same town. I was treated to a lovely meal downtown and I feel special because of their caring.
We are getting closer to moving. I have packed so many boxes, I think I should be finished. I’m not and when I look around all I see is more ‘stuff’ that needs to be sorted through. But, that is not what I wanted to write about tonight.
When we moved here five years ago, I never truly thought about what it would be like to live in a city where I knew no one. I had lived in San Diego for so long, that I knew people and had friends. I took that feeling of belonging to someone’s circle of friends for granted. I still miss those friends, and time and distance has not erased the wish to meet for coffee or walk around lakes. They are forever etched into my heart.
This evening I had dinner with two women. One I know and can talk with, but, we have never spent time one on one. Until this evening when we carpooled to the restaurant. It was the first time I had actually spent more than five minutes alone with her. The conversation was easy and fun and I will always remember the drive into town.
The other women was my first friend in Charleston. When you move, you meet neighbors and they are polite and nice. They sort of have to be that way, since, after all, you are neighbors. Then I met people at church, and again, people are nice because, well, they sort of have to be. I felt that these people were a given. But, this woman, was my first friend. She had a conversation with me when there was no real obligation for her to do so. Of course, she did own a shop and I was in shopping, but, the conversation went beyond that. I visited her store often and each time the conversations grew in length and fun. Soon, I was working with her and we would talk the day through, if we could. I had a friend.
I once wrote a blog post about friendship, I referenced the Girl Scout song, make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold. I mentioned this friend in the link and said that I thought that she would one day move from the silver group into the gold.
This evening, I realized that this woman has become a golden friend. We have shared much the past few years. We have laughed and cried and shopped and laughed some more. We are both retired military wives and we know what it is like to start over again and again. We know that distance does not make a friendship disappear.
Our friendship will not disappear, this we know. But, once more, this evening I felt the pang I have felt so many times in my life. I have sat at a table laughing and talking only to have the time run out and the last words spoken: good luck; this is a new adventure; and, we will miss you. All wonderful words, but they hurt the heart when you think of so many friends you have said this to. I carry in my heart faces of women who have blessed me, laughed with me, propped me up when I could not stand, and made me laugh until I snorted soda, or tea, or coffee from my nose.
So, in the next month I will be in a familiar situation again. I will meet new neighbors. We will find another church to attend. And hopefully, I will find someone who will take that chance to strike up a conversation that will never truly end.
And so dear friend, thank you for the dinner and the memories of a wonderful time spent here in the Lowcountry.
Thanks for stopping by…. DAF