Rosie and I held hands as walked from the house to her car. She opened the passenger door and helped me get. She hurried to her side of the car, slipped into the drivers seat and asked if I was ready. I took a deep breath and nodded. I reached for her hand and asked her the same question. She smiled weakly and said “No…I don’t think I ever would be.” I saw her trying to be strong for me…as only a best friend could be, but I know she was frightened. Not for what had happened or what was about to take place, but for what, in a blink of an eye, COULD happen to anyone…to her.
Our entire lives had been so parallel of each others. We married young, had our children around the same time, moved around California with our former spouses, and became stay at home mom’s. When we were teenagers, we would stay up late in to the night, eating ham sandwiches while planning out our adult lives. We would get married ( she wanted to marry Prince, I was going to be Mrs. Donny Osmond), buy houses next to each other, have coffee and gossip about the neighbors. We would go on family vacations, go to each others houses for BBQ’s , and watch our babies grow up as best friends! But, as it happens at times, life gets in the way, and we never became neighbors. But no matter where it took us, we never once lost touch of each other. Rosie and I could go months without speaking to one another but the moment we connected, it was as if time stood still. We watched each other share vows as we thought we had found what we thought would be our “forever” love then sadly watched those marriages fall apart. We encouraged each other to stay strong and held each other up when we could no longer carry the weight of the world. We shared in the joyous wonder of falling in love again and giggled at the thought of starting over. We cried when life seemed to cave in around us and we squealed with excitement when we shared the news of impending grand baby births! We have been each others secret keepers, gossip partners but most importantly, each others life line.
As we sat in the car that morning, I am certain that memories of how eerily our lives mirrored each other, and the harrowing thought of “This could be me” crossed her mind. Selfishly, I wondered why it was me….just as I’m sure she thought…’Thank you God, this isn’t me.’ I don’t blame her or anyone else that had those thoughts..How could I? I honestly would think the same thing.
I think about all those years ago, as we methodically planned our adult lives, and the lives of our future children. How naive and innocent we were. Never once did we incorporate any agonizing, gut wrenching, tortuous life events that could touch our lives, into the design of what we assumed would be our perfect lives.
I want to turn back time…I want to be a teenager again, eating ham sandwiches and planning out my perfect life.