Since I started blogging I’ve noticed I’ve been doing quite a bit of name-dropping. I can’t help it. I write what I know, which basically consists of a lot of random experiences and my thoughts behind them; in short…my life. Some people are a bigger part of it than others. Pandora Patty is one of them. Like life and death important to me. I have no doubt without her I wouldn’t still be here today. I give credit where credit is due. This one’s for her.
I lost my best friend 29 months ago. I can’t just say 2 ½ years, because that sounds so slight, and this loss was so great. Not just a best friend, but also a friend who’d been my confidant, advisor, mother, sister, therapist, etc., for almost 30 years. She was the keeper of my secrets and the breath of life when I felt I couldn’t go on. She was in the words of many great poets, ‘my everything’. She was someone, unfortunately, who didn’t value her life as much as I did. She took it at age 43.
You can’t begin to know what that does to a loved one unless you’ve personally gone through it yourself. I’ve tried to describe it in an attempt to purge myself of the pain, but mere words will never be enough. It’s a painful, deep wound that never completely heals, and festers up at the most inopportune times. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve broken down in public, ultimately embarrassing myself, over something as nondescript as a song playing in a store, because it reminded me of her. It’s the kind of thing that only the unconditional love of others can get you through. For me, it was Patty’s love.
Pandora Patty and I forged a friendship over drinks some 8-plus years ago. I don’t think we realized then that this friendship was going to be the one thing that would get us through some of the most daunting times in our adult life, but it has. I do think we had an inkling that it was going to be unshakeable though, because the bond was almost immediate. Ironically, it was her ex-husband that introduced us, as he was one of my customers at the bar where I worked. I say ironic, because this man now single-handedly blames me for being the cause of his marriage ending. As if I have that much power over anyone or anything. If I had, my own life would be much different; trust me! If I did anything at all it was just that I noticed how beautiful, intelligent, and amazing she was, and told her so. I appreciated her, I listened to her, and I validated her feelings. She alone did the rest. In return, she did the same for me.
I believe it was fortunate for both of us that we met when we did. It gave us a chance to get close, trust one another, before the shit in our lives really hit the fan. All the pain after that we both had to endure was made easier, I believe, because the other was already there. I know it was for me. I really needed her friendship to lean on when I lost the other. I’ll never say that she replaced my lifelong friend—my Beth was/is irreplaceable—but the same kind of love, trust, and loyalty, that I feared the like could never be found in another, was waiting for me in this friendship when I was ready for it and needed it. I’m so blessed by this and eternally grateful that I’ve found this kind of friendship in not one, but two women, when most people search a lifetime and can’t find it at all. Yes, very blessed.
Our lives have definitely taken some major detours since our friendship began. I relocated to the sticks and married. She fled South and got divorced. Weekends that were once filled with Bloody Marys in the morning and out of town rides on the scoots with our significant others, have now been replaced with chatter and laughter over long distance, phone calls, while partaking of cocktails in the comfort of our own homes. Sacrifices had to be made for the good of change. One of them was the two of us being in close proximity to the other. We’ve learned to accept and make the best of it. This too, has been proof of its endurance. I love her more today than I ever have, and it’s been 17 months since we’ve laid eyes on the other.
I wanted to share this with all of you. Although many of you will never have the privilege of putting a face to the name Pandora Patty, I wanted you to know a little about her. Knowing a little about her enables you to understand that much more about me. Things that many of us take for granted in another: She’ll get angry for me when I can’t. She’ll work diligently at making me see the positive side of things when I feel defeated. She’ll finish my sentences when I have a brain-fart. She’ll make me laugh out loud intensely when I’m sad. She’ll sacrifice hours out of her already-busy schedule to sit on the phone with me and get me through an emotional crisis. She’ll tell me how valuable I am when I begin to doubt my own worth. More importantly, when I feel that nothing will ever change for the better, she’ll remind me that anything and everything is possible just by looking at her life now and how she’s reinvented herself.
If I don’t say it enough, I’d like to take the opportunity now to tell her how much her friendship means to me, and that my life is more productive and a better place to live because she’s in it. You, my amazing, wonderful friend, are a KEEPER! That makes me one lucky Bitch 🙂