Sunday, February 18, 2007

Foul-Weather Friends

An interesting aspect of Jackie's and my friendship is that we have been there for each other during more bad times than good. We're always there for each other emotionally with support, jokes, and understanding; however, physically we seen to be present for the sad times. Perhaps it has to do with how we met since I was lurking at play auditions to find people to compete on the speech and drama team (NFL). I'd never seen Jackie before and recognized her talent. She didn't get a part, so I caught up with her outside the theater and said I knew she probably didn't want to think about it then but that if she were interested in the forensics team, to come by my room and let me know. She answered that I was right and that she was not interested in thinking about it then. I wasn't sure I'd hear from her, but she did come by my room and became an outstanding competitor and leader on the team. We were just getting organized then and had to learn by doing. Jackie, Tina, and a few others hung in there and were like sponges soaking up what they needed to know. They got tired of hearing the phrase "learning experience." Those two excelled and went on to the state eventually, with Tina's winning first place in poetry interpretation her senior year with "Tommy" by Rudyard Kipling. But I digress. Jackie started out in dramatic interpretation with a gut-wrenching piece about a Black mother (cannot remember the title - help with this, Jackie) and then was Antigone her senior year, winning second place in the district tournament.

Our friendships were forged during these years since I was learning along with them. I said soemthing to Tina about how I was so young then but didn't know it. Tina said, "Oh, we knew it." That's funny but quite true, I'm sure.

Jackie used to baby-sit with Brian for me, so they got close, too. Years later I was there at the funerals for her mother and grandmother, but not for her wedding. I did make it to her daughter's naming ceremony but not for her Bas Mitzvah - not good for a godmother. It was excruciating for those closest to her when she got her MBA and such a celebration when she finished it. I was worried when she went back to school for her teaching degree, but fortunately that was pain-free. She was here sitting out on the patio with Paige, Gena, and me drinking wine the night before the phone call when I got my lymphoma diagnosis. Gena and I went to a movie (I'd refer you to the Mission Impossible curse posts on my other blog but they didn't make the transition of the new version, so I'll just say that MI2 was released when my lymphoma changed to a more aggressive kind. Fortunately, nothing bad happened when MI3 came out because I didn't see it unless we count Tom Cruise getting more publicity.) the next day, but Jackie was around for me to call. There are many more examples of our foul-weather friendship, but you get the idea.