I have a friend that came to me through Hubby. In many ways she is like a twin to me. Our likes and dislikes, the very near overlapping of our birthdays, our careers, our love of theatre and old things, our love for quiet artistic men (like my Hubby and hers), and our enjoyment of an occasional fruit juice and vodka concoction. Because of schedules and well, just life, we see each other rarely - a few times a year, maybe a little more. When we are together we laugh a lot. Because she is funny and quirky and sweet and smart and all those things that make a great friend. But my friend often suffers. My friend is often sad.
She has burdens that are both physical and emotional. She has scars. She has pain. She has troubles. She never lets it overcome her - at least not in my presence - but she suffers and we see it. And I struggle, because I like to solve problems and she has problems I cannot solve.
Last night we talked. We talked medicine and theory. We talked stress and economy. We talked of work and life. We talked of weather and food. We talked of houses and gardens and chores. We talked of travel and music. We talked about baby showers and bridal showers and family.
Her voice spoke lightly, but I heard the strain.
Tonight we are going, with our sweet artistic hubbies, to see a local photographer's slide show under the stars. We'll talk and laugh and enjoy the art together. We'll grab a bite and a drink at a nearby tavern afterwards. We'll part at the end and see each other again in a few weeks, or more likely months. And I won't really have been able to help her. And she won't really burden me with her troubles. But I'll feel her pain.
We'll part as always with a long, lingering embrace. And all I can hope is she'll feel my support.