1. You never got to hear it. You would have loved it. She is so talented. And even though she gives her Girl Scout leader credit for starting her off on her career by giving her the lead in Cinderella in the 3rd grade (She was Prince Charming [not Cinderella], and she tells a wonderful story about being permanently emotionally scarred by having to wear tights with her tunic in public), I suspect having you for a music teacher for those first 6 years gave her the love of music that led to the singing in the basement into a broom handle that lead to years of standing-room-only community theater performances and a blossoming career as a cabaret performer. But that's just my opinion. I only listened to Act I so far;
|At Sandy's parents' house circa 1981. |
Notice the Diet Pepsi can prominent in my hand.
It's not that I regret my life. I don't. I have a wonderful husband who loves me unconditionally, even though that doesn't always include picking up after himself, putting his breakfast dishes in the dishwasher or completing a project in under a decade. I still love him and have never known anyone who loved me for me the way he does. I have two beautiful daughters. They exasperate me and drive me to lose my mind from time to time. But then I think about what life would be like without them, and I forget what it was they did that made me so mad in the first place. I have two parents who did the best they could to raise me right, and Daddy and I are closer than ever now. And I have a wonderful church family who have been so supportive over the last 11 years. They have prayed me through pregnancies and miscarriages, illnesses and loss. I know it was my adventurous spirit along with the consequences of choices (both good and bad) that led me to where I am today. But I still miss my best friend.
|At my parents' house, July 2009.|
Notice the Diet Coke bottle sitting prominently on the table.
See? People really can change!
God's timing is infinitely wonderful, though, because had I not contacted her when I did and had lunch with her last summer when I was home, she and I wouldn't be friends now, and she wouldn't have been there for me when you passed away. Mom, you would have been so tickled. I know it blew me away. She came for the visitation and stayed for nearly the whole thing sitting with Wayne over to the side and just being supportive, even AFTER the power went out at the funeral home during a thunderstorm and it got unbearably hot and humid in there with the doors open. Then she went with Wayne and I to eat at West Point Lounge afterward and regaled him with stories of our misspent youths. (He told me later that meeting her and spending time with her gave him a much greater insight into me and what I was like before I met him, and he was so grateful for that.) She even came to the funeral the next day, sitting unobtrusively toward the back. And then she invited me over to her house one last time before I left. Dad was gracious enough to watch the girls while I went and had some girlfriend time over at Sandy's the night before the girls and I headed back home. We sat on the couch with our feet up just the way I imagined we would have for the last 25 years had we not been so stupid and pigheaded. And maybe I'm too full of myself (which I have been known to be in my 48 years here on earth) but I let myself believe that it was because even though we hadn't been together for those 25 years, she still loved me as much as I loved her.
Isn't it funny how we can love someone so much and yet be so green with envy. Listening to her CD I felt myself being so jealous of her. I was jealous of her talent, but mostly of her confidence, her ability to put together a wonderfully entertaining evening, to surround herself with talented musicians, and to get up there and "WOW 'EM." I wanted to be her, to be up there on that stage still wowing them. But I didn't stick with the voice lessons like she did, and I ruined my voice with cigarettes for 20 years, and mostly I just never had the confidence that she has. She was always prettier, and smarter, and funnier, and skinnier... why do I suddenly feel 18 all over again? Is that a zit I feel forming on my forehead?? But I bet if I could ask her, she would probably say the same things about me and the things I have accomplished of which she was jealous. That's just how teenage girls are.
So I snap back to reality. Sandy lives in Michigan, and I live in Texas. We will never be those "best friends" I always imagined we would be when we were 19 and wondering what our lives would be like when we grew up. We are who we are, we are where we are, and it is what it is. She's not a part of my life here in Texas, and I will never be a part of her life there in Michigan (although as long as Dad stays in Jackson, I will have a reason to go up there and see her). But she is a remarkably talented woman, and I am so lucky to call her my friend, however we define that word from here forward.
I love you, Mom, and I miss you so much.