I first met G when our boys were in second grade. They played baseball on the same team and we would say hi and bye at the games but we didn’t really hang out, other then the small talk at the sporting events. Then when our boys were in middle school, I ran into her at an after school event. She was alone with her son, and my now ex-husband, and I were chaperoning our son to the dinner theater. The boys wanted to sit together so I invited her to sit with us. She didn’t seem exactly the same as she did back from second grade, but did any of us? It has been six years since I remember seeing her. She wore a hat, even inside, and although it was winter, something seemed off. Don’t get me wrong, she didn’t seem wrecked, or anything. She was wearing black heeled boots with black pants and a very stylish jacket. Once we were seated, my now ex, in all his political correctness, noticed she had something sticking out on her chest and asked her about it. I was embarrassed, but she took it in stride and explained that she had recently began chemotherapy and the line we could barely see was how she received her medication. I was mortified. But she didn’t seem phased. We had fun that night at the dinner theater, but it was a few months later when our boys become quite close and began hanging out nearly every weekend.
I’m embarrassed to say the next time I saw her was when she was picking her son up from my house and my dog ran out the door chasing a bicyclist and I had to stop our conversation and run after her. I don’t run, run, but I took off down the street chasing the dog with my Pajamas on and no bra. I imagine it was pretty glamorous. By the time I caught up with my dog, she had tripped up the cyclist and when I made it back to my house G and her son were gone.
A month or so later, she text me and asked me to dinner. I was shocked, honestly, as her son made it very clear he was not to give out phone numbers or really any information. But I accepted, not sure exactly what I was walking into.
The night we went to dinner was a Friday. Apparently, G had made it a point to organize a Friday evening dinner with family, and a few close friends and they met every Friday night at a local restaurant. It was really casual and fun. Looking back, I know that she must have done this as a distraction to her trauma past, but at the time it just seemed like her and a couple of girlfriends had made a weekly date to get together. Every Friday, at 530, they would meet: her, and two girlfriends, and their husbands, and children.
Dinner was fun that night, and honestly, I think we have been inseparable ever since. Well… we were. I always admired her sense of humor, and, at times, brash honesty. She made sure she saved a seat for me next to her, and at one point, during dinner, she leaned over and said, “if we’re going to be friends, you need to know that I say fuck a lot.” And I laughed and told her that I did too.
So many memories we shared together on those Friday nights. Looking back, I don’t think anything was off limits for discussion. G was the social organizer of our group then. She organized lunches, dinners, and even girls nights out that were complete with piano bars and limousines. Family trips with all of our families for the weekends. She supported me when my ex and I split and I was with her through surgeries, scans, biopsies, chemos, and hospital stays. I was the one who held her when she cried about her therapeutic break-up, after some strong encouragement from friends, and I was with her when she found the strength to read the notes her therapist wrote about her. I was the one she would call (well, text) when she was lost and I can’t tell you how many dreams, and visions, and tears we shared.
She was the first person I text in the mornings and the last person I text at night. She was my person. And I was hers. And I’d give anything to have one more cheap glass of wine with her at the corner cafe.