Sunday, July 15, 2007

Franci and Charlotte

When I was in high school, my best friend was Franci Green. We were opposite in nearly every way : she was the quiet to my loud, the shy to my outgoing, the meticulous to my freewheeling, the balance to my insanity. Franci and I took nearly every class together, sitting next to each other whenever possible. Our senior year we worked it out that we were together every period of the day, except 1. We could not be separated. I believe that I survived high school because she was by my side. I sang "Wind Beneath My Wings" at her graduation party and meant every single cheesy word of it. We cried piteously when it was time to embark on our separate journeys at colleges that were 1000 miles apart. Throughout college we'd see each other at holidays and write occasionally, but you all know how people can drift apart in those years. When we saw each other we were the same friends, but the time between visits became longer and longer. After college we lost each other. Both of us spent our mid-to-late-20s in bad situations that we now consider lost years (i like that she refers to it as the "black hole" of her life). There would be a random phone call or letter, but we were both too proud to admit that we needed help and probably too screwed up to help each other anyway. In 2000 i got an invitation to her bridal shower totally out of the blue. We had a wonderful time reconnecting at the shower, then at her bachelorette party (what i remember of it), at the rehearsal dinner and at the wedding, where i read poetry as she and Brian lit their Unity Candle. Then somehow we drifted again. In 2006 she called. She was 6 months pregnant and she wanted to see me. Dinner was lovely; i got to spend time with her and Brian (who i barely knew but seems like a really great guy), catch up with her mom, see her house and meet her 2 big dogs. In November I got an e-mail from Brian announcing the birth of their daughter Charlotte. Then somehow we drifted again. Friday i came home to find 2 messages on my voicemail from the lovely Franci asking me to dinner last night. Can you say completely unexpected? It was GREAT to see her and to meet baby Charlotte, who has awesome red hair with blue eyes: We talked about our lives and spent a lot of time catching up on news. We had to go over all the "new mommy" questions, but eventually we fell into the easy pattern of conversation between lifelong friends. Silences weren't awkward and at least once we were laughing so hard that she was crying. I am amazed that after all this time, love doesn't disappear. When I look at her, my eyes see the grown woman, but my heart sees the young girl who kept me alive.
It was so good to see my Franci. I think that maybe I didn't even realize how much i missed her until I saw her. In keeping with 2007 New Year's Resolution #1 (reconnect with friends and family) i am resolved to not let her disappear again.
I urge all of you to think of someone whom you miss and call or e-mail them right now!

1 comment:

alohaglide said...

Just out of curiousity, is this the same Franci Green who went to college in Chestertown, MD? Would be interesting to see what she was up to! Many thanks!