Thursday, 10 April 2008

Being a Friend

....Announcing the Birth of BabyD

Oh, how lovely. A friend had just delivered a bouncing baby boy. Something to celebrate.

And, yet, I felt sad.

You see, though my friend and I are close friends, I had had no idea that she had even been pregnant. For more than nine months, there was no email, no call, not a peep from her. In fact, just earlier in the month I sent an inquiring card to see why there’s been no response to my emails in past months. Maybe we’re no longer close friends?

You know, with the increasing time pressures of work and family, our social circles thin out a bit. So I grasp onto what friends I have--even if it is via email, over distance, over time.

First, comes self-examination. Am I being needy? Could it be the whole "living in Ireland without my girlfiends" issue? (Has the makings of a song title, eh?) I speak and email with most of my distant friends more often than when I lived in America. It's sad that it takes distance to make us appreciate the obvious, but I’m darn glad it does.

Last night in my quilt group, while working over a little somethin' for the new arrival, the ladies and I contemplated relationships.

Wondering if some friendships waver into the blue yonder, and if so, when do you let go? And surely if there's been a few bumps in the relationship (who hasn't had a few bumps?), you're wondering all the more if the friendship has set sail in different directions not to cross paths again? Do you steer onward? Do you seek out repair for that friendship?

In our group, everyone shares projects; each doing a quilt for a friend, a sibling, new baby, or for a special purpose. We don't know one another outside of the community hall, but once inside we come together like a huddle of ol' grannies. It’s an equal split of 30-40s gals and 60s gals; usually the elder mentoring the younger. But once in awhile, it's reverse, and we teach an old dog a new trick!

During last night's show and tell, I sought advice for my problem embroidering the name on this quilt. As with all quilts, there is a story and I shared mine. In the interesting feedback was a mixture of reactions. Is the friendship finished? Is your friend telling you something by not telling? Is the quilt a bit too much? Do some friendships exist even though unattended?

Despite even the nurturing cynics (for lack of a better description), I began stitching D on the quilt. The day I received word of BabyD, the quilt was born in my mind and heart. So amid all the philosophy to and fro, I knew the quilt belonged to him long ago. I happily finished stitching his name. The girls in the circle knew I was following my gut despite a seemingly ghostly friendship.

Years earlier I had made quilts for both of Baby D’s brothers and so it was only fair this quilt was for him. I pleaded. To which the mother hen of the group crowed, "you better hope she doesn't have lots more babies!"

Bring 'em on, I say.


With this morning came answers. My friend emailed me an apologetic update.

Beyond my own selfish examination, I had also worried there might be troublesome details on her side that prevented her time for me. But worry not. Baby D allowed her a wonderful pregnancy and all is well in her home.

So it was just the sands of time playing on us as they do. Life is just one big distraction.
Oh, yes it is.

Do me a favour? Remember that friend you’ve not written or called in a long while?
Do. Email her. Call her.
You’ll be glad you did.


Megan (FriedOkra) said...

I have two very close friends I haven't told I'm pregnant yet. It preys on me every day, yet I never get around to it. I'll do it this week, thanks to you. Really... seriously... thank you. I'm sorry you were hurt (and I don't blame you for feeling hurt, I would too!) but thanks for turning it into an important "GET OFF YOUR BUM" message for me, and perhaps others. Hugs - M

Anonymous said...

Aww- i am glad you put his name on the quilt even before your friend caught up with you. You did it for him, and, like you have said, he deserves one just like his brothers!