Thursday, April 7, 2011

Oh dear. I am missing my friends.

Andrew, Sarah and Ryan.  Since Anita wouldn't want me to show the picture I have of HER in a bathing suit!  (Good one though, with Maria!)
A great positive of living as an English-speaker in Germany was that I was forced to meet and interact and even befriend people I never would have befriended in an English-speaking country.

I was thrown in with other moms raising their children bilingually that I would have politely waved at and moved past under other circumstances.

Take Anita, for instance.  Except for the fact that she was so nice and friendly right from the beginning - it's a South Africa thing! - she was WAY WAY too classy and lady-like for someone as crass and loud as me to approach.  She's like a sister now.

And Sue.  Also way too proper and well-dressed for a slob like me to approach.  She was the first person I phoned after my miscarriage and also the one who gave me pointers on how to make it LOOK easier - and classier - than it really is!  All in the attitude, ladies, all in the attitude! 

Lori and I were soul-mates from the start.  But if I had met her in highschool - where I was busy being super anti-establishment and she was a good girl - oh heck, Lori and I would have been friends anywhere, anytime! 

It was so nice to have someone exactly like me only a few blocks down the road for a while.  Also running down the road in shorts and a tank top after her two wild boys while the German moms strolled leisurely in pressed jeans.  Such a shame Kristy is a world away by now.

But I would have been scared to approach Babette too.  And Maria, wow Maria is just really WAY WAY to good a person and a mother for someone as conflicted and scatter-brained as I am.  I am so lucky she sees past that to the good intentions inside.

It hurts that it took AGES for me to connect to Liesel - because once we did she became another sister alongside Anita.

When I met Lynn, on the other hand, I knew she was a soul-mate from the start.  But I thought I had time to take it slow.  At least we had a few great months before I moved.

I am missing everyone - this is just the tip of the Mommy Group - because I am missing a close friend here.  It's been WAY TOO EASY to find friends here.  And not just Mommies, but husbands and families as well.  We click here.  And the rest takes care of itself.

The Raibles. (Two of the anyway, Philipp and Sophia.)  Family forever.

G. has been - IS, damn it, IS - one of my closest friends here since I met her at school in early February.  Lively and open, friendly and - hey, SOUTH AFRICAN - I KNEW IMMEDIATELY that this was someone I was going to be totally comfortable with.  Oh dear, this sounds like a love letter.  By week two our families had a barbeque together and since then we have met at least 2 or 3 other times to barbeque at the lake. 

Which is really quite a lot considering G. has been in the hospital the last two weeks suffering from a brain anuerysm.

All I want to do is rush to the hospital and sit by her side.  THIS IS G., for crying out loud, I HAVE TO BE THERE FOR HER.

Except that, for now, we'd only be in the way.  We are NEW friends.  Her husband HAS a support network and is dealing with enough coordinating relatives from New Zealand and South Africa.  "Helping" P. and G. means giving them their space and time to heal.  "Helping" in any other way would be for OUR benefit, not for theirs.

It sucks. 

I've been trying hard not to be overmelodramatic, because let's face it, life is WAY harder for them right now than for me, but ...well...G. probably doesn't even remember me.  And, while I realize this is the LEAST of her concerns - she is suffering from short-term memory loss and doesn't even remember that she HAS an aneurysm when she wakes up - I feel like I have already lost my best friend.

Andrew's first ever best friend, Joe. 

Her first time meeting me will not be the first time I met her.  Maybe we'll have another instant connection.  And all those long talks.  More likely, it will be awkward.  She'll be meeting a stranger.  I'll be meeting someone I already care about.  Maybe her situation - the complications, the long stay in the hospital, the months recovering with family here from South Africa - will make us meeting again an impossibility.  What am I going to do, walk up to her house while she is recovering and tell her she's my best friend?  Yeah, that'll be good. 

I'm terrified I will scare her off the minute I meet her again.  And that she won't take the chance to get to know me again.

Or can an instant connection happen twice?

I take comfort from Anita and Liesel who emailed me today.  And Sabina.  And Lindsey and Jim and Caroline and Claire.  All of who put up with long periods of internet silence - because it hurts guys, because it hurts - and then immediately jump straight back into my heart without a second thought about it.

I have to believe that true 'kindred spirits', to borrow from Anne of Green Gables, will connect no matter what, again and again and again.  There are friends who I cherish who were friends at a specific time and for a specific purpose.  But there are some who will remain friends forever, through time and space, even over oceans and continents.

Sarah holds court with Matthew, Hannan, Mia and Aidan.

Oh dear.  If I'm not going to rant and rave about the German education system, it appears I have to get 'kitschig' and sentimental.

Then again, if you're reading this, you're probably one of the ones who puts up with me for the goodness underneath.  Thanks for that.  I miss you.


  1. Pressed jeans??!! I really am un-classy.
    The lady in Dominica just made a comment the other day about me taking the clothes of the line and folding them right away. NO IRONING? no, no ironing. Theses are the shirts Kevin was wearing to the pig pen, I guess I just really didn't think they needed ironed. Maybe those pigs down have classier tastes than ours????
    Remember that they iron underwear in Haiti???? It's all about culture!!!!

  2. YOU and Kevin are definitely two of the ones who saw the goodness underneath! Thanks!

    I DO remember the ironing in Haiti - with charcoal-filled irons! They look SO GOOD!

    Glad to hear your pigs don't require ironed shirts - I'm still so impressed that you MAKE the clothes, wash them by hand, I believe and hang them on the line.

    By then.....there are more important things than ironing! YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION! THANKS!