Today is Christmas and I am in Puerto Vallarta. Twenty-one years ago, in this very spot, I was planning how to be a married lady. I was really only a girl but I was damn sure going to be a captivating wife. I was on my honeymoon. Today as I stated earlier is Christmas, why did I come to the same God damn place that I did as my honeymoon? To wallow? To cry? To relive? To pretend IT never happened? To spread ashes? Yes to the latter but otherwise, I don’t really know. While I prepare myself for all of these emotions, only one comes to my heart. Gratitude. I find myself so full of gratitude. Yes for my kids, that goes without saying. My mother? Uh Ok, her too. But my heart is full for my friends, these two in particular.
When I first meet someone and assess if I want them to be my friend, the only question I have for myself is ..Will they help me bury the body? These two chicks have. Literally.
I have so many wonderful friends, probably more than I deserve. Wait, scratch that, I’m fucking awesome and I deserve every, single, damn friend I have. There is the pastor’s wife and mom N. and of course Pipes, who knows the perfect thing to say at any and every occasion, and well, everybody on Facebook and my boyfriend. Yep I said it and I have one. However I am especially filled with love for two women I have known since I was a child (when I call someone woman, you know I am serious as a heart attack.) One has been my ride or die bitch since we were eleven but the other has come as quite a lovely, sweet surprise.
My sweet surprise…I am walking down the aisle of the church, I have just said goodbye to my husband for the last time, my kids are trailing behind me. I can’t really distinguish faces in the pews of the church, I know people are there, I know I know these people but I can’t make sense of anything except gut wrenching pain. I am about to walk through the doors of the church and something told me to look up. That’s when I see her. Demetria. I spot her and I start to cry, the ugly, face crumble, cry. She is standing in the narthex of the church and she is as tall and striking as ever. It feels as if my body runs to her knowing she is my safe place.
At this point I don’t know anything about her life or past struggles except for what she posts on Facebook, which is just the normal mundane shit. I have seen her a few times over the years at reunions and at the occasional ladies’ lunch. I am not really shocked that she is at my husband’s funeral because many people came to support me and say goodbye to Peter. The shock is that nineteen months later, she is still around, not only around but truly present. After Peter died so many people promised to be there. The string of people that said they were dedicated to my needs after Peter died was immeasurably. As the death gets further from people’s minds, so do I. People say to themselves, well it’s been six months since Peter died, surely she is better now. This is not to indict anyone, this is just to say people forget the sting of death as time passes.
As more and more people fell away, she remained. Not only remained but occupied a place in my heart that cannot be explained (although I am trying). She invited me to dinners and Bunco nights and long lunches. She texted me every few days to say “Hello friend” or to ask me “How are you?” In spending time with her I learn that her life has had obstacles and sadness as well, which she has handled with quiet dignity. She is a true silver lining in this dark cloud of widowhood. I am so proud to call this caring, daring, genuine woman (there’s that word again) my dear friend.
My ride or die bitch…While I was hugging the tall glass of water named Demetria and weeping in her arms, my ride or die bitch was putting out fires. Emotional fires. She was protecting me from emotionally dangerous people, in that church, that day and everyday since. The phrase “ Do you want me to punch them in the face, cause I will!” has been uttered more than a few times from her lips.
She was and is my bodyguard and I suppose I am hers as well. In high school Overstreet and I were two sides of a coin. High school classmates called her the pretty one and me the funny one. Gorgeous she is, physically, but her inner beauty outshines her outer beauty, which is pretty fucking hard, cause she is hot as hell. The reality is people rarely see her as the witty bitch she is because when we are together I can never shut up.
When Peter was dying, she cried harder than I cried, made me laugh like no other and kicked ass when needed. When I could not dress myself she literally dressed me, not the Kim Kardashian “literally”. Nope. She clothed my naked body when tears were streaming down my face and I was paralyzed with grief.
We speak in deep codes which I often forget until someone says or posts “what are you guys talking about?” She is my sister, my confidante, my lover (OK not really lover but I have been trying to get her to sex me up forever, which would be amazing for hot tub time machine.) My personal comedian, my truth teller and every other complimentary word in the dictionary. Tears fill my eyes when I think about how grateful I am to even know Overstreet, let alone call her my best friend. As I look upon 2015, these two women (that fucking word again) have given me the hope, wisdom and courage to try to figure this widow shit out. I also know that when I stumble and fall, these two bitches will be by my side. OK the smaltz police can come and take me away now.
DONE! Cue *We are a part of the rhythm nation*