Last night I was offered hugs, kind words, and gifts I did not feel I deserved. It has been since October that I have locked myself away in my home, devoted 100% of my time and life with a sickly husband, terrifying and stressful toddler scenarios, and my blog. I have not been to group events due to my ever growing depression; in fact once I learned I was moving I removed myself from most of the groups online all together. Better to just rip the bandaid I suppose. But last night reminded me there is no ripping the bandaid from a group of ladies as amazing as this.
It all started on a Facebook group; there was an announcement that one of the mom’s was trying to put together a monthly Bunco night. In Houston I had looked at several different Bunco groups, all of which I was offered to sign up for the waiting list for the waiting list. I was unsure what Bunco was but I had heard amazing things, and obviously it was fantastic if there was a waiting list that existed for a waiting list. I was one of the first to sign up, delighted I was in on the beginning of the opportunity. (Infinite thanks Sammy for putting it out there!)
Bunco, though a tad bit overwhelming in the first two minutes, reminded me of speed dating for friends. It’s fast moving and you are shuffling your seats and partners consistently, something that became increasingly more difficult as my pregnant bulge grew. My first partner in fact shared my due date, where we ended up only days apart in the same hospital. With two other babies in the group born within only weeks before and after. I had made friends for Baby K before I even had met her.
In this group I made my best friends. With these friends I leapt the (difficult for me) hurdle of transitioning into my thirties. With this group I held cook outs in the backyards, had birthday parties, events for my kiddos, and found a community of woman who all offered a range of amazing talents and experiences. In this group I developed deep friendships, some deeper than others. In this group I found my best friend, who travels with me, and pushes me out of my box. She inspired me to take on a 28 story waterslide, paddle my first kayak (despite my extreme fear of water) where we nearly witnessed our husbands succumb to the crystal blue waters of the Pacific as a booze cruise was rapidly approaching. It startled Larissa, though I felt it a suitable punishment for splashing us with their paddles and consistently trying to push over our boat. We explored countries I had only ever dreamed of, and took on the great feat of Disney World as a group and still came home as friends. Mr. R is my muse, and she is my push to live life beyond the imaginary borders I had entrapped myself in. Together they made my thirtieth year the most exciting one yet.
As a group our children were supposed to grow up together. We were supposed to grow old together. Yes some of us would come and go, but it wasn’t supposed to be me. We were supposed to watch their tiny lives play out together, like little soap operas, so dramatic and important to them. To us of course something to laugh about over sangrias and the alluring excitement ignited in every clattering crash of the die. Luke was supposed to break Keely’s heart by holding Mags hand across the play ground. Aislyn, Joey, and Owen were supposed to hit honor roll together. Hayden and Keely were supposed be one of those cool relaxed couples who just hang out “going steady” for years. Nora was supposed to be one of Keely’s besties and Ronin was going to be Aislyn’s first true case of puppy love. Sam and Keely would exchange the best friend bracelets with the little hearts, because Olinka always thinks of those types of things. Sydney and Aislyn were going to be in their mind equestrian riders. Ella Rose and Evelyn would be the spunky kids on campus, the girls everyone envied and dreamed they could be. And then the obvious that B and Abbey stay forever friends through the new exciting equivalent of pin pals that technology has created for us. Our kids were supposed to play community sports together, go to camps together, and then graduate together.
Then when they went off to college in their directions leaving us to our own devices we would continue to be the ever-changing group we had always been. I saw trips to wineries and little small towns filled with cozy shops. I saw Tuesday evening book clubs and Thursday morning Coffee indulgences. And of course Bunco. We were a sisterhood that would last the ages. These were my hopes, these were my fantasies and wonders while I enjoyed the amazing view from my backyard last spring. I’m sorry to leave my friends, I am sorrier than you can imagine or ever believe. I love all of you so incredibly much!