10/17/2007

A journey together, a journey apart

It started many years ago in middle school. It was an awkward year for all of us; we were young and in a new school. It was an entirely new environment. It was the dreaded sixth grade. I remember looking around, I could see so many new faces, and although there was a crowd, I saw some one familiar. It was the girl that lived across the street from me, but whom I had never spoken a word to. I'm not sure why we never spoke. She was sitting right there in the seat next to mine. I think that is when we found comfort in each others timid smiles. I finally gathered the courage to say something, and the only word that came out of my 11 year old mouth was HI, and she said hi back. From that day on we were inseparable. My new best friend was now my trusted confidant, my stylist, and my adviser. As the years passed our friendship grew stronger and stronger. No one could come between us. We finished middle school and we faced our new journey through high school together. After high school we stayed close friends but as boyfriends entered the picture our friendship would have to withstand many ups and downs. Despite everything that came our way, our friendship would always survive. The seasons passed us by, we grew up, and unfortunately our paths began to grow apart. It was no longer our journey together. She now had her own path, and I had mine. Our interests were no longer the same either. We no longer found it amusing how we could have such different personalities and still be such good friends; frankly it became a huge weight on our backs. At 18 I wanted to venture out and go to every dance club imaginable, while she at only 19, was ready to settle down and was preparing for marriage. Eventually, she got married and the girl who used to be My best friend was now some one else's best friend. I knew then that our friendship would never be the same again. Even though she was a married woman we stayed friends. We tried to speak every few weeks or so. When we did talk our conversations seemed to only scrape the surface. We never seemed to have deep meaningful conversations. The usual updates on the family, and old school mates was all we seemed to talk about. A few years later I too was married, and eventually had my first child. After I had my daughter I couldn't help think about my friend and her situation. You see, she was battling infertility; she had been for about 4 years when I had my first daughter. Sure my friend came to visit me when I had my baby, and but I could see the pain in her eyes. I felt a strong sense of guilt. I wondered how the strained friendship we did have would make it through this. I could feel her pain every time she spoke about her latest invetro procedure. She would try and change the subject, she always told me she didn't want to bother me with her problems. To change the subject she would ask how my daughter was doing, but some how her inquiry never felt right. Even though we were not as close as before, I still knew when she was in pain. I could see her pain, it was pouring through the phone right into my heart. More time passed and the phone calls that used to come daily, then weekly, then monthly were now once a year if that. Then the phone calls stopped all together Seven years after the birth of my first child, I received a phone call. To my surprise it was my friends' youngest sister. She was calling with great news, my old friend was finally pregnant and she was carrying triplets. The invetro-fertilization finally worked. To say I was happy would be an understatement. I asked for the baby shower details, where and when, but to my surprise it had already passed. I was never invited. I couldn't help but to feel hurt. I wondered for a second why she never told me, why she didn't call me herself but I knew why. Our lives had gone in completely different directions and we were no longer the same little girls who met that fall day. The memory of us in sixth grade was now just that, a distant memory. I eventually got the number of the hospital where she was staying under complete bed rest and I called her that very day. We talked and talked. I gave her my best wishes, and when she asked about me and how my life had been I told her my great news. After about 4 years of my own battle with infertility, I was also pregnant with my second child. Although I didn't have to go through invetro, the battle was equally difficult. To make things more interesting our due dates were exactly the same. We laughed and talked that day for hours. It seemed that we were back in school catching up. On a cold October day she gave birth to her three healthy girls and a month later I gave birth to my second healthy daughter. Of course I had to call her again and catch up, so I did. I called her when she was finally able to bring her daughters home. This time we only spoke for a few short minutes as our new born daughters cried for our attention. That day we said what would be our last goodbyes. As I reflect on those wonderful years we spent together, I know that she was an important part of my life. I must admit that I still miss her at times. I will never forget my dear friend. I know she is out there somewhere living the life that she always dreamed about and was finally able to get. I know I am, and I wish her the best. I can only hope that one day my daughters will get a chance to experience a friendship as great as ours was.

Here's to you Amanda. I will always have a special place for you in my heart.

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