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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My College Roommate Comes Home

As I cast my mind back over each day, I look for the bright spots. This is a habit i
have practiced since I was ten years old. Today was easier than most. My friend Terry visited; she lives the width of a continent away. Terry was my college room mate; this is what I pretend, at least. It does not require a stretch of imagination to arrive there. I have known her since those days. Our lives, and the lives of our families, have been intertwined in deep and meaningful ways for thirty-three years.
Terry came to me by way of her sister with whom I had a longtime friendship. Rather than being the little sister tagging along, she was the big sister who made annual summer sojourns to spend time with “Mummy and Daddy.” I followed Terry’s life between sightings -- her parents’ -- who lived locally -- were liberal with their proud accounts of their eldest daughter. This was a routine we practiced for over twenty-five years. She rearranged her schedule to be one of the twenty-seven people who attended my wedding. Terry was an adjunct to my friendship with her sister.
She emerged as my friend in her own right after her sister and I became estranged. For
reasons complicated, and for the most part, inexplicable, her sister decided to disown me. This single act was what allowed Terry to claim me as a friend for herself. Much of what we are both navigating in life is shared, often at the same point in time. Our parents are aging and need of care, our children are graduating college and leaving home, our roles as women are changing. Terry is the kind of friend that wants to fix everything and make it right. She will go down with the ship to do so. We often find ourselves laughing through our tears -- think a rainbow against a bright blue sky.
This week, Terry has come East. Our moments together are stolen because she has family commitments to keep, but we are as happy as schoolgirls when we can steal some time together. She is a friend to treasure.

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