Thursday, January 21, 2010

Brenda

We held hands like two little girls in dress-up clothes walking down the corridor. She is my lifelong friend, the sister of the heart and my children’s other mom.

It is a long way from Darke County and Portland. Yet, just as years cannot separate dear friends, neither can the miles when it comes to celebrating a son’s wedding. We don’t write often and seldom talk via phone. Sometimes I’m afraid that things will change when I next see her, but it never happens.

Brenda and three of her daughters, their men and a grandson came to celebrate another of our children’s wedding. I had been back for Meg’s wedding but could not make it for Jake’s or Becky’s. Brenda had come out for my daughter’s wedding. What a blast! We danced the Bunny Hop with Christmas wreathes on our heads. We celebrated not only our children but also our friendship.

I was Brenda’s maid of honor when she married and she was my matron of honor. Childhood friends who once played house and dreamed of becoming wives and mothers stayed close on that journey forward. We were both married in Painter Creek Church. Pews filled with family, hers and mine. Friends from the church who had watched these two girls grow up. We got married near Neff Road, near home.

James walked her down the aisle as later he would his aunt and his mother. She, too, sat behind me, nearby. She was touched by this honor my son paid to her. She should have known that she was his mother, too. We shared a love of one another’s children drawing our own children close to each other.

Some day someone will see two toddling old women holding hands, leaning on one another not for support but for absorbing all of the love the two cherish, a lifetime of knowing nothing else. They will not see the joys we have shared, the weddings, the births and, yes, the losses. They will not know that we cannot remember a time when we weren’t in one another’s lives, that we sat on the floor with cut-out, paper dolls, played house in the corncrib and made a commitment to never be parted by this thing called distance.

They stood in the lane, hand in hand…..forever they will be a memory there.

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