Monday, August 25, 2008

Meet the Out-of-Towners

I met JOYCE in Corpus Christi, more than three decades ago. And I'm a pretty high maintenance pal, so this says a lot about her patience and forgiveness. Through my travelin' years we were sometimes out of touch for a year or more, but when we reconnected, it always felt like we could pick up right where we left off. Joyce is a practicing Buddhist (as opposed to people who just like the way it sounds), and although it required some bypass work a few years ago, she has the biggest heart of anyone I know. She also "gets" me, the way very few people ever have, and when I call her, even if I start in tears, I always, always end up laughing.

A few years ago, Joyce found a man smart enough to realize what a treasure she is. I was delighted to attend their wedding, and to be reminded that "it's never too late" to find love and let it in to your life. Joyce has been surrogate mom, big sister and BFF, and I think I'm so fortunate to have hung on to her all these years - more than half my life!

SUSAN was one of the first people I met when I moved here. I was drawn to her, the way everyone is when they meet her. She is smart, caring, so very funny, and doesn't take herself seriously. I think I was struck by her disposition more than anything else: it seemed to me that she got up every day expecting to have fun, to have a great day, and most of the time, she did just that. I don't think I had ever met anyone before who seemed to make a choice to enjoy life. Could I do that? What a revelation! It was even more remarkable to me when I got to know her better and learned that she had some major physical challenges in her childhood.

She married a professional Foodie, and he shlepped her, and then their two sons, all over the country: St. Louis, Houston, Chicago, Alabama, New York, Florida. They ended up divorcing. Susan was done moving, so she stayed in Florida and her sons got to experience putting down roots. We should have lost touch; we were definitely on diverging paths. I don't think we've seen each other in... 12-14 years? more? But I just can't let go; I'm not willing to let her drift away. So we talk occasionally, email frequently, and she is still sunny and funny and remarkable.

I'm sorry my family and my locals, the Hoodies and Foodies, have never had the opportunity to meet them. I know you would love them, too.


Michelle said...

I love friends like this, and I love that you are featuring them. After hearing so much about them, it would be very cool to meet them. Oh well. Pictures and accolades will have to do for the time being!

Anonymous said...

Well, guess what. I wanted Nancy to be my friend because she was just so hilariously sarcastic (oh! that mouth!!), had(?) an adventurous streak a mile wide, was so strong and independent and talented and smart and creative and an awesome writer and a true-blue forever friend. Remember when you asked me to double date because your date had convinced his pilot friend to fly the two of you from Indy to Chicago for DINNER!! And the pilot needed a date; good old reliable Susan. It actually was a lot of fun and I even got to steer/drive/whatever the plane on the way back. Just one of our printable memories!!!

La Cootina said...

That was the best first date EVER! Poor sap, how could he not know it was all downhill from there?

Anonymous said...

Hey, I don't have to listen to this crap! Seriously, folks, it has been MY pleasure to have known Nancita lo these many years....oh, the tales I could tell! I've always admired Nancita's "sense of adventure" and her gift of wisdom and comedy. She should have written for Letterman, Stewart, SNL or Colbert years ago. One funny gal!