Sunday, March 12, 2006

letter to an estranged friend

Sunday, March 12, 2006
that's what i think happened to us, tho ... on deeper reflection, perhaps we never really stood together at all. we have nothing in common. we stand on opposite sides of the street, and we're headed in opposite directions, in life. if not for nursing school, you and i never would have liked each other in any other circumstance.

reflecting back, i am not really sure what made me like you in the first place. i find you quite superficial, shallow and egocentric. we had the profession of nursing, a favourite past-time, and age in common - not exactly grounds for a really deep friendship. and yet, we ran deep for a while. of course, it didn't last.

you think the hardest thing about motherhood is pregnancy, labour and delivery, and view motherhood as a passage-of-right for all women (ie no woman is complete without it). you assume with so much complacence, you will get a child tht is perfect - free from disabling flaws at birth - and that it will be so easy ... that love is enough. somehow superior, you will not meet any of those obstacles and challenges that many parents face.

you measure success and happiness in terms of quantity, stuff, amounts, accumulation of wealth. and ... i do not. and i never have. and i never will. and i, i measure these things in terms of quality. and the ripple effect my existence has made. my remaining son = my ripple. i see myself as successful because he has made it to adulthood in one piece. in one piece, in so many ways that his parents did not. his spirit made in intact. that, i think, makes me successful. even tho my net worth may say otherwise. he who dies with the most toys, still dies. i use this as my mantra.

the greatest worries of your existence, paying off your line of credit and whether or not your dad will pay you back the $50,000 he owes you. and you tell me that you think your sister, recently diagnowsed with MS, has an attitude problem. you just don't understand this -- she should just get a grip and think about how you feel. (oh yeah - it's all about you, isn't it?)

when you tell me these things, i hold my tongue about my own life. i do not tell you, tho i long to, about the long, sleepless nites i spent longing for my son, and others i have lost too soon, the horrors of violent, anguish-filled deaths that i see every time i close my eyes (the sound, smell and sight of a patients bleeding to death thru either or both gastrointestinal orifaces), and the nagging sense of self-doubt that wraps it arms around me, continuously, like a tight corset. i do not tell you that, the more time i spend with you, the deeper my lonliness becomes. i see now, so clearly ... about us. destined for failure, from the start. a solid friendship needs a more stable foundation. and substance -- friendships need substance. and ours had very little.