Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Soul Sisters

I’ve been more in touch with my own anxiety and sadness. I’ve allowed myself not to hide it under a pile of achieving busy-ness. I’m allowing myself to cry when I feel sad…..and then I feel better….more balanced, whole…That’s part of me, too. 

Lately I have had the feeling that something is missing from my life. I have a wonderful caring husband whom I love with all my heart and two very special boys, but I lack "Soul Sisters".  Since I began blogging, I found all of you and cherish the friendships that we have built. You all mean the world to me, but what I am talking about are those friendships that we make during childhood that remain with us forever, those friends who attend our wedding, those friends with whom we shared experiences of motherhood, those friends who, although they may move away never lose contact, those lifelong friendships that carry so much meaning. I cannot really say that I am unhappy.  Perhaps what is really bothering me is curiousity.  What happened to all of my classmates? Are they remembering me as I remember them?

"Soul Sisters", with the author's wonderful tales of lifelong friendships, made me so aware of that part of my life that I gave up so many years ago. It was me who 'chose' to part ways in my early twenties, and I never cared about looking back...until now. I was young, and very, very impulsive in my youth.  I tended to dive right into things without forethought and was sure that I knew what was best for me. And that meant cutting ties with everything to do with my past....and that included all my friends. One of those silly little mistakes we make in our youth that one day we live to regret.

I can recall a night some 40 odd years ago.  It was about two weeks before I packed up and moved to the city. I received a telephone call from an old friend who I had grown up with. My fondest memories were of picking tomatoes from her father's garden and making tomato sandwiches, gobbed with mayo. Oh, how we loved those lunches. Well, that night I had been surprised to hear her voice on the phone because it had been quite a few years.  We'd lost contact when my mom pulled me out of the school and sent me elsewhere, thinking a geographical change was all her 'wild child' needed. It never occurred to her that maybe the fixing had to come she and my dad.

She asked me how I was doing, and then said something I never forgot. "I envy you because you are such a free spirit.  I'm young, yet saddled to a marriage I don't really want." Mary Ann had done exactly as we women from our small town were supposed to do back then. We were supposed to get married right out of high school and raise our husband's children.  Women were not expected to do any more than that.  Mary Ann was the last person from my past who I spoke to. 

Names have been popping up in my memories, and I spent some time this past weekend Googling them, but found nothing. There was Elaine whose mom was generous enough to take me in when our house burned.  Elaine and her sister even loaned me clothes to wear to school.  Then, there was Carol and her brother who were the ones who finally clued me in that Santa did not exist.  Oh, I was mad at them for days. And, of course, there was Kathleen, my very first friend when I was 5 years old.  I still hear her voice outside my window, "Little girl.  Little girl.  Can you come out to play?"  That was a friendship that could have been lifelong had her parents not moved her away...or perhaps I would turned away from her as well. 

This past weekend I  joined the Dover High School Alumni Group and left a message, hoping that someone will open it and respond, but so many years have passed that I wonder if they remember me as I remember them. If there is no response then so be it, but at least I can say that I tried. And, it someone 'should' respond, I will be singing from the rooftops that someone did remember me, remembered that I was there. One of the best closing lines ever from a  film comes from  "Gangs of New York"...

In the end, they put candles on the bodies so's their friends, if they had any, could know them in the dark. The city did this free of charge. Shang, Jimmy Spoils, Hell-cat, McGloin, and more. Friend or foe, didn't make no difference now. It was four days and nights before the worst of the mob was finally put down. We never knew how many New Yorkers died that week before the city was finally delivered. My father told me we was all born of blood and tribulation, and so then too was our great city. But for those of us what lived and died in them furious days, it was like everything we knew was mildly swept away. And no matter what they did to build this city up again... for the rest of time... it would be like no one even knew we was ever here.

I don't want that to be me. Thanks for letting me share today.


  1. Have you tried Facebook? My Mom was able to find he father who was in his 70's (he passed a few months later)and she hadn't seen him since she was 14 years old. And we found one of his sisters that she could barely remember from her childhood.

    It's definitely worth a try!

  2. It's especially hard to google women because of unknown name changes due to marriage. I hope you find some of your old pals!

  3. At least you have taken that first step and reached out. I hope you are rewarded for your effort. X.

  4. I wish you well, with your quest to find childhood friends.

    I must be totally odd, because I have no wish to do so. -grin- I live not far from all I knew, in school and college. And I just don't want to take up again... -chuckle-

    But who knows? Perhaps my newly found Wild Woman, will prompt me differently, some time. :-)

  5. This post made me sad because I too have lost some of my dear friends by not being more proactive to keep them in my life. I think it's really brave and wonderful to take the steps to see if you can connect with some soul sisters. I know myself and many others will be cheering you on.

  6. Sounds to me my friend that you need a few grand babies. If you still don't have any of your own, go borrow one. I am not so sure that there really are life time friendships any more. It truly seems like with all of these gadgets, that are suppose to make our lives so much easier, we are loosing human communication, the real deal of talking face to face. I watch people text constantly and never talk on a phone. People don't even wave to one another any more because they have their face into some kind of gadget. When I was in Anchorage, I spent time at the elders center or home. They were so much fun and could they ever talk. I sure hope that this feeling passes for you, you are very special to so many.....


  7. I recommend Facebook too, and when you register, be sure to include the last name your childhood friends knew you by, whether in parentheses or as your 'middle' name. You also might try LinkedIn. I am in touch with only a very few friends from high school, through FB mostly, and a few from college. I moved a lot as a young child, though, and honestly don't remember many friends from earlier than fifth grade when my folks settled into the house that carried them well into retirement. I too have Googled and searched for some friends from the past, wondering what happened to them. Like Paul Harvey, I want to know 'the rest of the story.' Good luck to you!

  8. People find me through Facebook, so it's not hard to do. When I try to find other women, I am most often stymied by the name change/married name thing; I haven't changed my own name so I am easier to find. Just remember that whatever you put on FB is out there for anyone to learn, so be judicious. And also, it's like email and everything else: don't write anything down that you wouldn't want to hear read aloud in a court of law. But you knew that already. Good luck!

  9. I have been thinking about this same thing the past few days. I miss the days of Lucy/Ethel and Mary/Rhoda friendships. We all connect electronically for the most part now. When I read of you and your friend eating the tomatoes, I remembered that it was hot toast and gobs of butter for my friend and I in my mom's kitchen. I guess I wasn't dieting yet. I miss the giggling- over- everything friendships. I miss the giggling and following and spying on the boys friendships. (I guess that would be considered stalking now, and all of us are married and so old we could be prosecuted for following and spying (stalking) anyone, because now it would be kind of creepy)So we could just stick to stalking bargains at the thrift stores. Everyone is very busy now. It really isn't the same. I wish you luck searching on Facebook for your friends, I am sure that they will remember you if you find them. Maybe they will want to strike up that same type of friendship that you had in the past.

  10. This post struck a chord with me, I too am at the stage that somthing is missing in my life, is it an age thing? I am in my early sixties, looking after aged parents, no grandbabies yet (nor likely me thinks)as someone above said we are all busy but when I ask people what they have been doing they say "nothing really"! I have one contact with a friend from when we both had our babies forty years ago, but the contact now is only by phone or email, I also joined a school friends site a few years ago and made contact with a girl whom I knew when we were eleven after catching up on what we had been doing we had nothing more talk about and have not kept in touch since, good luck with your facebook searching.