Thursday, January 28, 2010

Soul Sisters

My darling friend, Gayla, and I were catching up today. A post happy new years call. She is in Oklahoma, where they are expecting an ice storm. I am in Maine where the temps will reach the high 40s this afternoon. Laughing and huffing (one of us on the treadmill or outdoors walking) we zigzag across conversations with the glide of a figure skater. Picking up where we left off, even if months (or in one case years) since our prior conversation.

We met in the mid-nineties when our sons were 8, classmates and only children. Charlie and I had just relocated to the edge of the prairie. It was mid-year, just after the holidays. Third grade. Every afternoon I'd drive from Edmond to Nichols Hills to wait in the carpool line for my Charlie to stream out with his classmates. I usually parked. Wandered up to the lower school entrance where other mothers waited, milled about deep in gossip, plans for the weekend, whatever.

Most had known each other forever. Oklahoma-forever that is. Their grandparents migrating to Indian Territory in the late 1800s or turn of the 19th century. Homesteaders in the land rush. Or sons and daughters of wildcatters and oil barons. Each knew the words to their state song. I was the new girl. I only knew the chorus:. O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A OK! An easterner with a southern accent. A carpetbagger. The moms would look over at me, smile politely and then turned back to each other and their discussions. I smiled back.

One caught my eye. She and her sister were inseparable. Both with dark chestnut hair like mine. And as thick. I knew immediately that I wanted into their inner circle. Sisters thick as thieves. Bestest of friends. Animated and energetic. I missed that. Sisters. Mine were flung far and wide. One in Kentucky, the other in the Boston area. Gayla was right here. Everyday.

In late May, end of school year swim party, she came up to me and introduced herself. For real. Invited me to lunch. I was elated. I don't remember exactly, but soon we were deep in friendship. Sisters. Not by blood. Kindred spirits.

We now live 1000s of miles apart. I miss her, but know that even though birthdays are often missed and life events not always shared we always pick up exactly where we left off. For that I am grateful.

Cheers, sweet Gayla! Cosmopolitans clinking. Until Tomorrow.

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