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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Complicated Relationships

I've told my sister to call me when her grandchildren are visiting, I mean when she is baby sitting which is almost every day considering she has 5. So she called me last Sunday to say the youngest who is 1 year and 6 months old was there. I told her I would go since I was going to her neighborhood to see our niece who was visiting from Chicago. As I was driving, I though to myself "I can't believe I'm driving with the sole purpose of seeing a toddler who won't know or won't care who I am when she grows up, after all I'm her grandmothers' sister." I didn't even see my own maternal and paternal grandmothers let alone know their sisters. It is so natural for me to love and care for anyone born to my nieces and nephews, that I never think about the relationship from their point of view. From where they stand, I'm and will be an old woman who they see at grandmas house all the time. They probably will wonder and doubt my love, it would be hard for them to believe that I love them so much and they mean so much to me. After all I've seen their moms and dads births, seen them grow from innocent babies to terrible toddlers to annoying children to horrid teens and to wonderful parents. I will love them all, the born and the yet unborn ones, I will enjoy them for as long as I can, I will hold and sing to them, take their pictures, go to their birthday parties and see them grow. When they grow up if I'm still around they can love me or live me. I will have had a life time of love and joy and they can't take that away from me then.          

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I have not had a best friend since tenth grade. I became friends with her in second grade in elementary school. I think what attracted me to her was because she was smaller than me and she looked like she needed protection. Not that I was much bigger or taller than her but because I was more assertive and self confident than she was. Basically we were inseparable. At school we sat by each other, in recess we played together, and after school we went to each other's house to do our homework. We did have other friends but they were all secondary. When we became teenagers, we shopped together, wore similar clothes and had the same hair cuts. We both liked to dance and our favorite group was the Beetles. She was always the sensible one and I was the hopeless romantic. Every summer I would fall in love with a new boy and she was the voice of reason and caution. We told each other everything, but now that I think about it maybe I told her everything and she kept secrets from me. She never fell in love or if she did she never told me about it. She was the kind of girl who could have guy friends and they felt comfortable around her. In junior high we had to choose a major, mine was Biology and she took Mathematics. I was helpless in Math, Algebra, Physics and Chemistry. She always tried to help me but I would get board and would make her stop. I would rather listen to music, talk about boys and daydream out loud. Amazingly we never had a quarrel. We did drift apart slowly when we both moved to a larger city. Even though we went to the same high school, we found other girls that were more like each of us. In reality we were total opposites and maybe in our new environment we had found our true soul mates. 
After graduating from high school I moved to the US and got married when I was 20 years old. She stayed behind got her Bachelor's and became an engineer. Much later she came to America but to a different state. She went for her Master's and eventually married and had kids in her thirties. She has a very important job in a large company. I do see her occasionally, I think we still care for each other very much but we almost have nothing in common. 
For thirty three years I have had lots of friends but no best friend. Each time I move or change jobs my friends change and despite promises of not losing touch we always do. I have seven sisters and I love them all dearly but none of them are my best friend. 
To me a best friend is someone who likes you just the way you are. A best friend laughs at your silly jokes and comments, she never tries to read between the lines. She respects your opinion and trusts your judgment. A best friend has enough courage to tell you the truth and you have sense enough not to get hurt. Best friends always make time for each other specially in time of stress and need. Life is hard without a best friend.