Having a true friend, a real friend, is a blessing that happens once or twice in a life time. I am off to Florida tomorrow to visit my closest friend. “Friend” is not quite the right term for Risa. She has been more like a sister, a nuclear family member. Over many years of growing, changing, sharing, and moving to new locales, me north and Risa south, we have always found ways to renew and cherish our friendship.
Risa was there for me during the mid years of single motherhood, always including my children and me in family gatherings, holidays and parties. It was Risa who kindly told me that it was okay to spend some of my money on myself, instead of always only on my kids. It was Risa who would take me shopping, and “dress me,” when I did not have a clue.
Risa and I went to Boston University School of Social Work together. We anxiously wrote our papers in separate wings of her house, and ate the original versions of wraps, and our beloved ice cream, laughing and slurping up and down Commonwealth Ave. Endlessly we discussed the trials, tribulations and triumphs of graduate school that ultimately made us both into psychotherapists.
There were many friends who helped me weather the years of single motherhood, and I am grateful to all of them, but Risa had my back through thick and a awful lot of thin. Now, off I go to see her in her new home, as we are on the cusp of becoming “really” old, being grandmothers, and living at two ends of the country. However, I expect that we will carry on as usual.
Non-stop we will “analyze our differences, parse our emotional commonalities, review past experiences, bicker a teeny bit, and affirm the love we have for each other, that like “crazy” glue, has held us together and will undoubtedly keep us close for the rest of our lives.