“Sophia, I want to explain something to you. Sometimes it is lonely and even a little sad for your Poppy and me without your Memi and Uncle Max. So together we reminisce and tell stories and sometimes we even laugh. He is a lifelong friend to me, Sophia and that’s what he will always be, just like Thomas is for you.” Teapots, Buttons, Memi and Me
The kite tails of my childhood were simply made of strips of cloth tied to a main length of twine. The strips of varying shape and color were carefully tied about four inches apart. The strips tied closest to the kite never met the ones at the very end.
I close my eyes and see it now. But now it’s the long kite tail of my collective friendships that flows and swirls and dips in every which way spanning over years and zip codes.
Such joy in meeting someone who immediately feels akin to your heart and spirit and mind. Such a blessing right from the very beginning, an exact moment that we know some indescribable thread is beginning to connect us, that feeling that you want to stay connected to this person.
And just at that point, right then, if we had the foresight to offer the highest level of gratitude for the timing of the shared crossroad. To try our best to nurture the friendship with care and trust.
Because we have no estimation or confirmation, no guarantee, even of how long any person who enters our life will remain. A conversation. A summer. A weekend. A month or for every day and year of the rest of your life. Might we honor that friendship more genuinely, more sincerely. And maybe, above all, may we offer the grace required to heal a lost friendship that somehow divinely made its way back to you.
To accept that no one is ours forever takes courage. If we dare to even take a peek or glimpse ahead – it will confirm that someday, this time, this place, this us will come to an end. That it’ll no longer be what it is, what it was, what you hoped it to be, it will no longer be that which fills your soul and heart and mind.
The relationship will ebb and flow. It’ll change towards an eventual place and purpose, as we each move forward. And sometimes that move forward finds us doing so side by side. Other times it finds us at a crossroad letting our hands detach saying arrivederci – until we meet again. And if time and place allows, and we do meet again by chance, we open our hearts and accept the gift. Alas, sometimes it’s a final, unexplained goodbye that we must try to accept.
In the writing of Teapots Buttons Memi and Me, the theme of friendship is woven throughout. The friendships between Sophia and Thomas, Tessie and John attempt to confirm that every person who enters is meant to just then. To offer a hand. To receive your strength. The time together is the blessing. And it fills a space with hope.
May any cultural rules placed on our friendships be put to rest. Simply put. A girl can be a friend to a boy. And a boy can be a friend to a girl. In childhood and in adulthood.
My 40th high school reunion was in mid-October. Weeks later I still try to figure out why this particular reunion left me, truthfully, so homesick. I left home a long, long time ago. After reconnecting to my friends from my growing up years, I found it nearly impossible to stop thinking about my connection to my earliest friendships from the past.
Friendships that were bonded by truly being together. Representing a simpler time. With no electronics. Nothing virtual. Just deep-rooted connectivity of sitting side-by-side together day after day, year after year from kindergarten through 12 grade!
On this day of gratitude – I see in my mind’s eye that homemade kite tail – of the years and joys and heartaches. Of the growing and caring and accepting. And I give thanks to the boys and girls, men and women who collectively became my tribe.
Each piece of cloth on the kite tail is a story, one for each friend who mattered then and matters even more now. You all know who you are, and I hope that you know your place on the swirling and flowing kite tail. Blessings and love to all….