Monday, June 29, 2009

Grab a Kleenex

For us this is an especially touching story; this was the moment, at least for me, that I knew this friendship was going to be life-long. So, grab the tissue; you might need it for this one. If you are feeling "PMS-y" or extra hormonal today, you might read this one another day....

Why is it that even though we know our girlfriends will always provide that shoulder to cry and lean on, sometimes we--for whatever reason--don't chose to take advantage of it? For some girls maybe it's denial that they are in a situation they're in. One of those "this can't really be happening to me" times." For others it might be embarrassment. Maybe you might be fearful that if you tell her about whatever it is that has happened, you will have to face the reality of the situation. For me it was all of the above. But we all know that once we do finally get it off of our chests, our girlfriends seem to make it all better, or, at least, help get us started on the healing process.

The lowest point in my life to this point has been getting divorced at 23. Thelma and I married, within a year of each other, to two men who were good friends --her in May of '97 and me in December of that same year. My ex and I actually introduced Thelma and her hubby and were there when they got engaged. We were all bridesmaids and groomsmen in each other's weddings. Just the type of "couple" friends who thought we'd always be inseperable. Even when he and I had to move to another state, we all remained close. Thelma and her husband's home got destoried by a tornado in May of '99; even though we lived 3 hours away at that point, we were there the next day doing what we could to help. I have no doubt they would have done the same for us.

Then on Valentine's Day of 2000, my now Ex hit me with the news--he'd had an affair. Great timing, huh? As if having the affair wasn't bad enough, why did he have to tell me on V-Day? (Don't feel too sorry for me; I've had plenty of great Valentines days since to make up for it.) For some reason--I still don't really know why--Thelma was the last person I wanted to tell. I think it was the fear of disappointing her mixed in with a lot of embarrassment. Not to mention the I-Can't-Believe-This-Is-Happening-To-Me phase I was going through. It was kind of like having an out-of-body experience for a few weeks. In the back of my head I think I really thought my ex and I would work it all out and then maybe I could get by without having to tell anyone except my immediate family. Long story short, in the end, he didn't want to work it out, and we filed for divorce.

I'm not exactly sure at this point how long it was between the time he broke the news of the affair to me and the time I finally told Thelma. I do remember avoiding her calls for at least a couple of weeks. Finally one day she called my house and I wasn't home. For some reason my dad was there and he answered. He is the one who broke the news to her. I felt terrible that she found out that way--still do. But every cloud has a silver lining, right? Even with my fears, embarrassment, and anxiety, the experience brought us girlfriends closer together. I owe God, my incredibly supportive family, and Thelma for picking me up and carrying me through. I wouldn't be where I am today--happily married, great career, and two wonderful boys--without all of their love.

All of us girlfriends have had those sisters who we can rely on to be there for us through anything. (Even when we are boneheaded enough to hide something from her.) Share your story with us and then pick up the phone, shoot an email, or drive on over to tell her thanks and that you love her.

1 comment:

  1. This is such a sweet story. I'm sorry Louise went through this, but what a great reminder that we call them our girlfriends for a reason.