Jane Johnson Struck

Jane Johnson Struck
The percolations of a coffee-guzzling wife, mom, grandma, writer, and editor

Drink This In

"Coffee, according to the women of Denmark, is to the body what the Word of the Lord is to the soul."
Isak Dinesen
"Coffee makes us severe, and grave, and philosophical."
Jonathan Swift

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Your State or Mine

I miss my friend Sue, and she hasn't even moved away yet.

In a few weeks, Sue and her husband will transplant themselves to a new state for a new job and a new home. And while it's all terribly exciting, it's terribly wrenching as well. Sue and I have been friends for more than a decade, and through those years, we've talked through the tough issues of job and marriage and parenting. We've prayed for ill loved ones and struggling children. But oh, the laughter! That has always been the best part of our friendship. Sue and I certainly have gotten serious over the serious stuff, but we really know how to get silly over the silly stuff.

Thinking of Sue makes me smile about our Purple Boa tradition. Sue and I arrived at this little ritual about seven birthdays ago, when we were both skirting a dreaded milestone birthday and feeling drained emotionally and spiritually. We needed a splash of color in our lives, something that reminded us that age is just a number. So that first year, when Sue and I met up at a local restaurant to celebrate her birthday, I brought out this slinky feathery boa and insisted Sue wear it--despite strange stares from other patrons and questioning looks from waiters. Then on my birthday, I had to don the boa. This started a yearly exchange of flamboyant fun that persists to this day.

The good thing about the Purple Boa is that no matter how busy our lives became, Sue and I somehow made time to celebrate our birthdays (give or take a week or two or even three) with that vibrant reminder of the joy of friendship, the joy of life, and even the joy of the Lord in good times and bad.

Writing about this makes me miss Sue, and she hasn't even moved away yet. But that's because true friendships are often hard to come by, and celebrations don’t happen nearly often enough. Sue's leaving is showing me I mustn't take treasured friendships for granted, or allow busyness or benign neglect to atrophy them. I need to realize how much my friends mean to me before they leave, so I'll teasure them even more while they're still here.

I miss my friend Sue, and she hasn't even moved away yet. But when she does, I'm sure we'll stay connected through e-mail and Facebook. Yet "social networking" can never really replicate the closeness that comes from face time, or the giggles that come from a Purple Boa gathering.

So Sue, the Purple Boa is yours for the keeping--until my birthday. I'm counting on the fact that somehow, some way, and some time soon, we'll be able to celebrate together, your state or mine.

1 comment:

  1. The movers had told me to mark valuables in a special manner, and to take REALLY valuable things with us in the car. I vote for you and the boa coming in the car. Hugs, Sue