Funny how we don't see things coming in our future until we're in the middle of them. Death, yes. That's a given, even when it takes us by surprise. But what about the other endings or beginnings?
Like with life-long friendships. Who'da thunk it? That having Barack Hussein Obama run for president would become, in my life, the slow, quiet death of my 32 year friendship. I didn't see THAT coming!
Now when I think about my childhood friend, Daisy, I can at last accept how different we'd always been. From age 10, on the outside we looked the same: each of us a childhood home, a set of parents, a set of siblings, rasised under similar love, discipline, and values. But on the inside .... ? We were different.
Yet, she was so beautiful, I thought, giving her up was never an option. And so smart! In seventh grade, I marveled at how Daisy's brain seemed to grab hold of facts and figures, while I seemed to always struggle at making things stick in my noggin. We were both mischeivous, giggling at private jokes with no end, creating clubs noone else could join, donning the girlscout uniform only to ditch meetings, disappear into new neighborhoods and explore. Yet, her good grades held steady. My girl hero.
Add to that, all her boy fans. Whereever we went she was ogled and called to. I wanted to be like Daisy. She wanted to be like me? (so she said) We each thought the other's life was better.
In later life our differences started to dog us. What used to be little annoyances had become our glaring traits. So what! I told myself through the years. Family members are different and those relationships endure.
I would hold on to Daisy for life! I would love her now matter what! And even when our paths took us to different places - bad marriages, birth of children, death of loved ones, better marriages - we have both held on to our friendship. Until now ....
Who'da thunk it? Of all the crap that might have ended us, we never thought it would be politics. Daisy never even cared enough to vote! She pu-shawed and chuckled at me indulgently through all the presidential elections. But then, along came a man selling snake-oil.
Huh. By the time I realized something major was happening to our friendship, it was already at its end. Like in a marriage where one spouse has mentally checked out years sooner, Daisy was gone before she asked me for a divorce. Not specifically asked, but she hinted. During an annual birthday call recently, one of us got mean and spiteful, and that was the end. Stupid, catty girl-speak that sounded like it was about aging and weight-gain, when it was really a political cat-fight.
Daisy has never liked white people. There. I said it. And you know what? I still say, So what! Who among us hasn't a family member or friend self-tainted with a little bigotry. Even in our own selves. We're humans! We don't have to love or even like everybody!
Ah, but when we visit our preferences on others, that can become awkward. I guess in my naivete I never saw an end for Daisy and I. The black/white issue has bitten again. This is American life and it will happen again and again.
(To be continued ....)
That's my truth and I'm sticking with it.