“The most I can do for my friend is simply to be his friend. I have no wealth to bestow on him. If he knows that I am happy in loving him, he will want no other reward. Is not friendship divine in this?-Henry David Thoreau
I placed the photograph of the five of us in the picture frame. We looked fabulous! On it the sentiment reads:
Life is to be shared with our greatest friends
Who would have thought the photo I would add to it would be of the five us? My four best friends from high school. After 25 years, and a lifetime of changes, we were together again. To celebrate the first wedding for our friend A. We looked the same, but didn’t. We acted the same, but saner. We had become grown ups. Some of us parents. Some of us married. Well, A. was married. The rest of us had tried to maintain relationships, but most of us were single again.
It was the first time I’d been to a wedding reception without Roger Darling. It felt strange, but not. I felt freedom as I ran around the reception hall. Hugging everyone and chatting away. P. and I spoke inappropriately to each other and laughed about the fact that you could tell who the recovered alkies were during the wedding toast. Everyone else had champagne, we had sparkling cider colored purple.
T and I skittered around the kitchen wearing aprons. We talked non-stop as we sliced cakes and filled trays with delicious desserts for the guests. We did our best to keep the bride’s family out of the kitchen, so they could enjoy the evening. T and I had a blast, even when she cut her finger and was bleeding profusely all over the place. We patched her up and continued our kitchen duty. Who would have thought I’d be standing there with her? My T. The girl that called me Pookie Chow Chow when we were kids. Don’t ask me why, she just did.
Rhodes came all the way from West “By God” Virginia to photograph the festivities. We asked her to take the photo of us, P, A, L, T and me. Most of us had gone years without speaking. There were fights, misunderstandings, changes in personality and attitudes. There were hurt feelings too. I recall sending a Christmas card to one of my friends with pictures of my little son and daughter in it. It was returned to me unopened, stating that the address was unknown. It saddened me a little, but such is life. We move on. Grow. Change. Mature. Live. Break. Rebuild.
The frame that holds my treasured photo was meant to contain a picture from another time. My friend Linda and I never got to take that photo. A diagnosis of cancer and her swift retreat from my life made it impossible. She died not soon after, and I hid the frame in my closet. I figured I would get the chance to have another photo taken with the three remaining friends that were with me on the day I received the gift from Lin. But circumstances with all of them changed and our friendships scattered to the wind.
I’m of the belief that everything happens for a reason. Be it fate or God, or both. Linda gave me that frame to house a precious photo. Who knew it would be of the four friends I had in high school? They were my Breakfast Club. My Lloyd Dobler, from Say Anything. My Pretty in Pink. My Sixteen Candles. And they had all come home to my heart. Isn’t it funny, the ones you thought would always be with you fly away. And the ones you thought would never come back, do with such love you wonder how you ever lived a day without them.
The photo is my treasure and I look upon it every day. Life truly is to be shared with our greatest friends.