We nestled in next to each other for one last time and, grinning from ear to ear, smiled at the camera. I let out a deep sigh that only comes from those rare occasions when we allow the world to stand perfectly still. It occurred to me that I might never want to be unstuck from that big giant glob of friendship. It didn’t seem natural to pull away. But, the camera flashed and the moment was over. Hesitantly, we pulled away, like that gooey cheese that we used to chomp on at 2 a.m. in college.
We gave out hugs and said our goodbyes slowly, and reluctantly. After just 10 hours of togetherness, it was time for us to set out on our separate paths.
Moments from our short-lived reunion come to me in waves, like flashes from a silent movie in a distant dream.
Here, our snow bunny Virginian skipped through the snow-filled parking lot outside Benihana, celebrating the beautiful whiteness she rarely sees, while the rest of us sigh, annoyed that the pesky flakes have started up again.
There, we’re encircling our beloved Long Islander and future mom — giggling about gender-neutral safari onesies we’ve brought for the unborn baby she’s allowed us to call D’Angelo.
Here, I’m taking a 2 a.m. virtual tour through a village in Guatemala and catching up with our world traveler.
There, I’m hugging my belly and throwing my head back in laughter, fully aware of the rolls under my chin and cackling all the more in spite of it. It’s all silly stuff that’s leaving me uncontrollably giggly, like “Janet” the waitress who took a photo of her finger instead of us and muttered, “Good enough,” before ushering us out. Or call-backs to old jokes we don’t remember making up. Or new stories we’re making up together, as we go.
Here, we’re sitting down to a nice family breakfast as the mom-to-be is buzzing about her kitchen, pouring us OJ and making scrambled eggs. There, we’re heading out the door.
I knew the weekend would be over much too soon. We all did. It always is. We also knew as we made our way back home to our respective grown-up lives to our grown-up jobs in grown-up places, that it would be awhile until we could latch onto that big giant glob of friendship again.
These fragments of memories were scribbled down after I’d boarded the Long Island Railroad for JFK Airport. They’re pieces of that weekend I didn’t want to forget, and I don’t think I will. But more important than the actual events that took place (which were pretty uneventful, considering that we’ve settled down significantly from our younger years) are those feelings of warmth and security and sheer pleasure in being surrounded by the closest of kin. These ladies are my soul mates, my sisters, my home.
Tears streamed down my face as I left Glen Cove — but not out of sadness. The residual joy I felt from sharing that weekend in Long Island with my eight closest gal pals continues to resonate with me. And I can turn to it whenever I feel empty or lost. I miss rolling out of bed and grabbing the girls for a trip to the d-hall (dining hall, cuz we thought we were cool in college). But I find greater solace 11 years later, in knowing how far we’ve come despite great distances, together. If there’s anything I have faith in, it’s in us. And I know that come hell or high water (or husband or baby) we’ll be there, in spirit if not in person. to see each other through.