On Love + Friendship

I spent the better part of my evening in the hospital.

T’s grandmother – who we have always called ‘nanno’ – went in this morning and we’re not sure what will happen over the course of the next 24 hours.

We went into the ICU area to see nanno…

From there, we headed to the seating area.

As we were walking in, all of us were quiet and…crying.

I’m not one for sadness and I am relatively uncomfortable in a space where that emotion overflows and so it was no surprise to anyone that a certain magazine caught my eye.

I was the last one to walk into the room and so grabbed the magazine and brought it in with me. As Natasha and Cleo seated themselves quietly, I asked “What do you think an inappropriate name for a magazine might be?”

My question was met with silence and curiosity until I turned the magazine around and showed them The Beaver.

Not surprisingly, The Beaver is a Canadian magazine.

It worked. The Girls laughed and the tension slipped away like a satin sheet. Tash wanted conversation that had nothing to do with nanno and so we spent the rest of the evening chatting about what ails our hearts and spirits and laughing at our choices and circumstances, men and boyfriends.

Cleo did her thing by playing the psychologist while Natasha & I kept things light by finding the humor in it all.

There was a moment while Cleo was leaned forward and speaking rationally with Tah – because I most certainly don’t have the capacity for rationality – and I thought:

These are the women who have been with me through thick and thin. These are the women who sat with me when mama was ill and also in the hospital years ago. These are the women, adult, no longer girls, who I went through high school with, who I have spent countless hours on the phone with, with whom I have seen endless reels of film, shared drinking boxes, watched get married, and whose hearts I picked up after they were shattered.

These are the women who my own children will call when they can’t deal with me or talk to me, because these are my sisters, born of different mothers and fathers. But sisters no less.

This is the first time we’ve all faced death together. The first time we’ve all sat around with coffee and tea in the hospital lounge, while someone we loved was laying in a bed a few feet away, waiting. This is it. This is where it begins…

She did this too, nanno. She once sat with her best friends and waited while someone they loved was falling. None of them were there tonight, they left a long time ago, but I bet they would have also found The Beaver an inappropriate name for a magazine.