Our dear friends stayed with us until about 5pm yesterday, when we had to send them on their way. We’re lucky right now in that they are working just two and a half hours north of us for the entire summer, so the trip wasn’t difficult, and we got a bonus day with them yesterday out of it.
These are our oldest friends. J has known our friend, Mr. H, for longer than she’s known me. Once J and I got together, Mr. H was heartbroken. He had been in love with J, and he was so jealous of us. After a short period of mourning, he dealt with it, and he and I became great friends. He and I can talk about the craziest things; we bond over fixing things. He’s just great, and for years, he was almost always present in our lives. For years, he was even going to be our sperm donor (obviously, this changed later on). In 2000, he met the soon-to-be Mrs. H, and she turned out to be the most fabulous person in the world for him–and for our friendship. She just fit right in with our wacky conversations and ability to laugh for hours. Mr. H performed our commitment ceremony in 2001, and Mrs. H helped me cater it. A year later, I was their wedding photographer.
After they got married, things did change for awhile, as friendships do. They had straight married friends to whom they were growing closer, so we didn’t see them very often. They also came into quite a bit of money, and that changed them. We had some rocky times. However, each summer, we’d go camping and find ourselves again and laugh until we cried and our bellies ached the next day. As things continued to change, Mrs. H became an integral member of our ladies’ poker club. Mr. H would bring us fresh salmon anytime he caught it. We weren’t as close, but we still had fun. When we moved, these friends took some time to realize it was actually happening, and when they did realize it, they were stunned and sad. They were there with us in the last days a few times, and when we went back to clean, they insisted we stay with them. They take care of us.
We hadn’t seen them since that night when we stayed at their house, so this weekend, was a great treat. Mrs. H was recently diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, but she’s found this great holistic nurse/accupuncturist to help her through it (her doctors just wanted to keep her on hard core steroids and antibiotics), so she’s got this crazy diet, but we had fun making our way through that this weekend. She was so excited that we were able to make her dinner without altering our own too much (incidentally, it was skewered grilled shrimp and chicken breast marinated with lots of our own fresh basil; a grilled medley of farmer’s market squash–later baked to make it super soft for her–with a couple of drops of sesame oil and some tamari; and white rice). Food was actually a great focus all weekend. We all ate too much.
The greatest thing about this weekend was the laughter. We had so many amazing moments. We sat in the park on Saturday and had a picnic while we told stories. Mrs. H told us about a time when she was a teenager when her dad decided she and her brother needed to wear helmets when in the car with him. We laughed and laughed. Later, we sat around our house and our cat, Pierre brought us all a live lizard. Much chaos ensued, as did more laughter. We spent the majority of the weekend laughing and laughing while holding our bellies and letting the tears stream down our faces. This is what we do.
J and I needed this, and we could tell that they needed it too. We used to live just a few blocks away from each other, so when we had the itch to see one another, we’d call up or drop by, and we’d suddenly be having a barbecue and a bonfire. It’s hard not to be able to do that with them. They told us they drive by our old house all the time wishing they could stop in.
I think this weekend confirmed for us all that we’ll be the sort of friends who will last forever, who will get together in twenty years and still laugh as hard and still love each other as much. I didn’t know if I’d ever have that because I’ve never been great at keeping friends. In some ways, too, this was permission for J and I to move on with some new friendships as well. We don’t have to forget the old to bring in the new; we just have to be open to it all.
J and I are left feeling somehow revived this week. Our friends brought a little piece of us back, and they helped us bless our new home with love and laughter. Oh, how we’ve needed this.