Thursday, January 17, 2008

There was a definite process by which one made people into friends, and it involved talking to them and listening to them for hours at a time.

(Rebecca West)

My Grandmother
(photo was taken while she was in her 50's,
when she first
learned to scuba dive
and is used today in honor of Ryan - he knows why.

Yesterday in my post I mentioned my grandmother's friend, Mrs. Holland. I didn't say much more about her, thinking at the time that the name alone would say it all. But although Mrs. Holland was a fixture in my life growing up, she's probably not as well known to the world in general.

My grandmother and Mrs. Holland met when my mother was just a girl, at a school function. (I don't know this for a fact, but it's what I remember being told by my grandmother.) They were the only two mothers in the PTA that didn't think their entire life should be centered around husband and children. In fact, they dared to believe that they were people in their own right. So their friendship grew as they met to discuss books and politics, or to do things together that they enjoyed, without children or spouses.

Their friendship continued through the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. And although they continued to support each other as strong women (and strong-minded women), their friendship continued to grow to encompass their families as well.

I'd like to have a friendship like that. In truth, I do have some pretty wonderful friends. Ronnie springs to mind -- she and I have been friends since first grade. We don't call each other often enough, and our lives tend to join at sporadic intervals. But she springs to my mind at oddball moments, and I know that given a chance we would still be giggling over situations that if I were alone would make me cry.

And there are others who could easily become my Mrs. Holland, if we only had the time to discuss books and politics, and to do things together that we enjoy without children or spouses. So if anyone would like to get together soon, just call me Ms. H!

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