When I lived back in Ohio, I worked my way through undergrad at a local Bridal Shop. I was a commuting students and didn't really have a network of friends on campus, but the girls at this shop became those amazingly close friends that lucky people find in their early twenties. The even luckier people keep those friends through time and distance and life changes. Technically, I shouldn't really have been friends with most of them. On paper, we didn't have much in common, and the then-boyfriend-now husband never really understood my loyalty to this group of women. They weren't really his kind of friends. But thank God they were mine. Over the four years I worked at that shop, we commiserated over the occupational hazards of the job, watched each other go through bad break ups, rough patches with family, but we also shared in each other's joys--the new baby, the relationship that finally seemed right, the engagements, and together we celebrated each and every one of our weddings. Out of the five other girls that worked at the shop, two became the closest friends I've ever had. I've done a fairly good job keeping in touch despite living in a different time zone with AB, but once I went off to grad school and she got married KD was always harder to keep up with.
After Little Man was born, I lost contact with KD even more. It's hard enough to keep track of friends who don't return your calls, but it's impossible to do it with a toddler running around you. The last time I called K was in March, and she never called back. I decided to officially give it up.
Then today, out of no where, I get a call.
Friendships are funny like that. We'll probably never be as close as we were those years during college--too much time has passed, too much distance between us. That's ok. I think that A was right; real friends are those people who you can talk to after a huge silence and it's like no time at all has passed.
We live in very different worlds, but I'm glad that I still have her friendship. It's a link to one of the happiest periods in my life. It is a link to that time in my life when I was able to become myself.