forever friends

An old friend of mine recently came back into my life. After maybe ten or more years, she decided to reconnect. During that time and up until a couple years ago, I’d been sending e-mails and the annual Christmas card with the family newsletter inside letting her know what we’d been up to for the year, always with an added postscript of hoping to reconnect soon. After several years of not receiving even a Christmas card in reply, I stopped sending them, thinking she didn’t want to know me anymore. I didn’t know why, but figured she’d get in touch when she did.

At the time she stopped seeing me regularly, she had just lost her mother and was having a tough go of it. She sought out religion in the hopes of getting comfort. And she kept her distance from not only me, but a few other friends as well. Before she broke away, she had given me a small angel knickknack inscribed with “I’m thinking of you.” She told me at the time that even if she lost touch, that I should always remember I was in her thoughts and prayers.

Ten or so years later and about seven months ago, I got a call from my friend, whom I’ll call Ann. Ann said she missed me and my family (she, my husband, my brother, and I had all worked together at one time, long, long ago) and wanted to see me. I dropped everything and she and I met for coffee. It was so good seeing her. It felt like old times, as though we had never lost touch.

I’m not sure exactly why she dropped out of our lives, other than to figure out some stuff she was going through after the death of her mom, but I didn’t pry. I didn’t care. I was just happy to have her back.

Our lives are so dissimilar now–she’s single and has never been married; she has no kids and no pets, either, while I, on the other hand, have been married for over 27 years, have four kids and a dog and a cat. Our lives rotate on different axes, but overlap just enough–kind of like a lunar eclipse–for there still to be more than a passing friendship. I don’t know why certain people are in our lives or why they drift away or return, but I think there is a reason for everything. Maybe one day Ann will fill me in on all the details, but I really don’t care either way. Truth be told, there wasn’t a lot we would have done together all those years while I raised four kids and she maintained her single, uncomplicated lifestyle and her distance, but it doesn’t matter. What matters now is that she picked up the phone that warm June day and rang me up.  By the way, I had kept that little angel in a prominent place all those years and occasionally glanced over at it and thought of Ann. What she said was true: She was always thinking of me. And so was I.

playing hookie at the movies

I love movies, especially good ones. I’m not the type to rush out to see the latest blockbuster that everyone is talking about.  I rather prefer films with thought, depth, and beauty, qualities oftentimes hard to find in American films, I’m sorry to say. And what I love more than seeing a good movie is seeing a good movie with my kids.

I basically have just one of those left  now, kids that is. The other three are over 18 and manufacturing their own lives. But my 12-year-old is still my captive audience. And I appreciate the fact that he enjoys going to the movies as much as I do, especially good movies with thought, depth, and beauty.

And so today I rushed through a work assignment so that my boy and I could take in a movie that we’d been wanting to see for some time. The movie, Hugo, just received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture, so I was even more intrigued.

We rushed to the theater, about a 6-mile drive from home, arriving slightly after the previews had begun, which was good timing because it prevented us from having to sit through all those commercials, which is exactly what a movie preview is. In fact, when we saw our picture had not yet begun, we slipped into the very short concession stand line to grab a bag of popcorn, our favorite snack, to make our movie-watching experience picture perfect. We were still in time for the opening scene.

The film was everything we’d hoped it would be and filled with all those things a good movie should be. Ilove the fact that it delves into the imagination and confirms the viewers appreciation of books and movies. I moreso love that my son was able to take it in with me and enjoy it as much as I did.

I hope one day my boy will look back fondly on these little movie excursions of ours. I hope, or rather I know, that he will in the the same way that I know he appreciates a good film and a good book. And a good bag of popcorn.