Irene

The other day my girlfriend Irene, whom I’ve known since I was 7, posted on FB that she had just left her daughter at college. Her daughter Caroline apparently figured out how to grow up in record time as it seems but a few years ago that she was born.
Irene’s life and mine have been curiously and wondrously intertwined. We first met because our Dads had careers in the same city overseas. We had our first sleepovers at eachother’s homes. Her dog Sally birthed our doggies Rex and King. (My Dad named them. Clearly he did not want to play favorites.)
Years later as a young working woman she and her husband Jamie lived in the same city as my parents, in yet another part of the world…so again their lives overlapped which was a great gift to my then empty nest parents. Later still, she and Jamie moved to the metropolis I was living in and just happened to fall in love with the church I frequented. Once again we were in not quite daily routine together but certainly in the rhythm of one another’s lives, deeply so as we were each negotiating the primal longings for the journey of Motherhood, struggling with fertility issues. We’d swap medical info, doctor’s solutions and inspirations. I’d miscarry. She’d miscarry. We’d bolster one another and each of us, try again.
Somewhere on this journey I was seated next to her husband over dinner. Sure I was banging on about being fearful my husband and I would never be able to have a baby and he said with absolute, calm reassurance that I would and that his wife would too. His confidence was startling, as if he’d hit reset on the “hope” button. He had not a shred of doubt and had plenty of patience to go with it. He just knew.
Sure enough in the fullness of time, in my case after 6 miscarriages, we each had our babies and if you can believe it only a month apart. Irene and Jamie went on to have a second child and it was that stunning daughter Caroline who they just dropped off at college.
Reading Irene’s post, was a moment of time travel. In a kind of time warp sandwich (between the post of Irene’s leggy beauty of an 18 year old Freshman and memory of Jamie’s reassurance over dinner) out of chronological order my mind’s eye was flooded with images… My pal swimming at 7 in the pool, her playing w her dogs, saw her at my parent’s overseas dinner table, felt her heartbreak when she again had lost a pregnancy, saw the long awaited for baby girl through various stages of growing up. Knowing that this happy ending story is now a part of her’s and Jamie’s life tapestry its hard to express the depth of joy I have for Irene. What a meaningful privilege it is to be witness to the fabric of another person’s life in all its chapters. I hope you have that experience too and many times over.
Life has patina at this stage. Layers of knowing, depth of perspective…a view. Sometimes that view is very beautiful. Happy college, Caroline!

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