Because it seems like the days just run into each other these days, it took me until yesterday to realize that yes, it’s been 40 years since my college graduation this past May. Wow. And whoa.
And with that thought in mind, I realized that I and my three dearest college friends (all of us have stayed in touch with all of us) have never been together in the same room since. Pairs of us, sure, but never all four. So, while the same room hasn’t happened yet (and doesn’t appear like it will anytime soon), the same Zoom seemed completely doable. And necessary. And, as sometimes happens in life (although not often enough, in my opinion), a moment’s spontaneity actually worked out. I called, they came, and two hours of face-to-face finally came true.
And there we were:
My kind friend from New York. The warmest, most welcoming, most generous woman I know, as well as one of the best moms I’ve ever met. She never rattles, she makes yummy brownies, and she’s got a heart big enough to wrap around everyone she loves. She’s super smart, an amazing multi-tasker, and tough as nails when she needs to be. You don’t want to negotiate against her.
My wonderful friend from Chicago. When you look up “joyful” in the dictionary, her picture should be next to it. Here’s a woman who is really intelligent and strong, with a huge range of interests — the greatest probably being other people. A mediator by nature — and by profession, at times — she lives and loves with her whole being. She is a constant cheerleader for her friends, her associates, and for anyone who needs it. And she loves dogs.
My dear friend from DC. I’ve known her the longest and have always been in awe of what a brilliant mind she has (she always raises my conversation game). Incredibly loyal and loving, with an unerring sense of perception, she seems to remember everything I’ve ever confided to her — in a good way. Her seemingly quiet-at-first nature belies her strong voice in standing up for what she believes in. In truth, she’s a marshmallow inside. With a fabulous laugh.
And me, well, you know me.
Our two-hour reunion reminded us all, I think, of the young women we used to be and just how far we have all come since. There wasn’t as much “remember when” to our talk as there was talk of the now. Of plans for the future. Of what we still all want to do. With touches of funny stories and moments of touching poignancy sprinkled in.
We’ve come a long way in time from that Boston campus to the world that awaited. The years have been kind and challenging to us all for different reasons. I’m so proud of how we’re all still standing; still powering forward; still using so much of what made us who we were back then to grow into who we are right now. Those roots we planted 40 years ago are in full blossom today.
So, to my dear friends (and I hope you’re reading this) — know that you all have a piece of my heart. Here’s to you, to us, and to staying connected.
©2020 Claudia Grossman