I NEED YOU

My husband has a small, close circle of friends who are dear to him. My husband is not an easy read and his fierce love of those who make it past his prickly exterior are in for life. I find male relationships fascinating; there is not talk of feelings, dissection of what conversations might mean, or endless discussions on how to ensure you do not raise serial killers, YET the relationships are rooted deep into the earth even without many words.

My husband has 2 friends from kindergarten who are his dearest friends 35 years later. They have their own language. It is loud, bawdy and complete gibberish but you cannot help but to smile when you hear the three of them together in “Nina”speak. These 3 friends are rarely in the same city together, but the bond of friendship is always there. Bits of business are intertwined. Somehow, anniversary vacations and honeymoon destinations overlap. One friend’s wife planned a romantic anniversary vacation near where we live. Her husband said to her, “Thank you for bringing me to see my best friend.” She was so tickled by the friendship, she did not bring up the fact that it was supposed to be THEIR time together. My husband tagged along the entire time of the trip, in the back seat of the rented convertible, both friends as happy as can be.

One component of the friendship has been the love of one another’s mother. All three mothers are vastly different, but each one brought something special into each boy’s heart. All three men grew up to love strong women, and to value that relationship above everything else. I am certain few who knew this band of miscreants in school would have expected or believed this to be a truth, but I believe their love of their mothers and who they were/are, led them to the family men they are today. As time marches on, losses start to become reality for these friends, and the beauty of the friendship shines brighter as the circle becomes tighter.

 

Jo Annette, My Grandmother

pikes peak

I took the train from Scottsbluff, NE to Denver, CO in the summer to see my grandparents.  They lived in Colorado Springs, which continues to be a magical place in my mind.  Sometimes my cousin Kerry Jean met me there.  Sometimes I was by myself.  It was something that I greatly looked forward to doing.  My grandmother, Jo Annette, was a great grandma to a young girl.  She was the first beauty queen I personally knew.  She showed me the picture of herself in her OSU yearbook and she was a stunner.  I remember hoping I looked like that picture when I grew up.  Grandma put me in a light blue room that had big windows and was filled with antiques that I was allowed to touch.  She had jewelry boxes in every bedroom filled with costume jewelry.  Kerry Jean and I used to quiver with excitement waiting to get our hands in those boxes.  I always felt very grown up because Grandma would take us to fancy lunches or teas downtown and we went to all of her favorite antique stores and did lots of shopping in general.  She never talked down to us.  It was perfectly normal to do all of these things just like we were adults.  If shopping is a genetic trait, it certainly came from her side.  Grandma and Grandpa took us high into the mountains to a town called Cripple Creek.  It’s an old mining town and we would pan for gold, certain our financial fortunes were about to change.

cripple creek

These are only a small taste of what Grandma and Grandpa planned for my visits.   It was an important part of my childhood.

Time and aging were not kind to my grandma.  A lot of sadness is attached to her later years, and frustration too.  Even in things you wish did not happen or happened differently, there is an opportunity to learn from them and, hopefully, allow you to pursue your own life differently going forward.  Grandma died in her sleep on Wednesday, and what is interesting, is that all I think about in regards to her now, is how much fun she was when I was little.  One last gift, perhaps.

I’ll have another post again next Wednesday.