As an only child, I have always been dependent on friends to create my extended family.  I don’t even have that many cousins as my mom (one of three) is the only one who had a kid.  My dad’s side of the family has cousins and though I was close with one growing up, we have drifted apart without the impetus of being dropped off at my paternal grandparents’ house to bond together.  Other than my grandfather’s funeral, I don’t think I’ve seen her since I was 16 (we both invited each other to our weddings, but couldn’t make it).

Anyway, I was checking my comments and the one post that will periodically, at least once a month, get a new comment is the one about finding friends after 30.  mr. jolt and I moved to a completely new world three years ago and it’s only in the past year that initial inklings of possible kindred spirits have come to light.

It’s hard in so many ways.  Many of my close friends from the big city are busy, as am I, with work, with family, with life, that we don’t take the time to reach out as often as we should.  And it saddens me.  I really need to get in the habit of setting aside time to call my closest buddies on a regular basis to see what’s going on with their lives.  Email just doesn’t cut it (at least not all the time – jokes are not the same in eland).  Fortunately, I do have a few friends that even if it’s been a year, we can be right where we were.

But.  There is no one currently who I feel like I could just out of the blue call and kvetch (although I’m working on that- learning to just call and kvetch anyway- what’s the worst they can do – say they’re too busy to talk?) since my best friend M died.

I have started and stopped dozens of posts about M.  Drafted for her birthday.  Drafted on the anniversary of her death. And sometimes it hurts.  It hurts the same way it hurt when I got the call from M’s sister that M had been in a car wreck, and they were worried about the oxygen to her brain before the EMTs got there.  It hurts the way it did when I called mr. jolt and he cried out when he heard me say the terrible news.   It hurts the way it did when the doctors said there was nothing they could do. 

The night before she died I was dealing with a client who had surrendered to the police, with my assistance, on fraud charges.  I spent the evening at the office, dutifully calling the client’s elderly father every 1/2 hour to reassure him that I had checked, and no, his son had not yet been processed, but as soon as I heard he had, I would go down to the courthouse and get him out. Which I eventually did.  I got home around midnight.

So I didn’t get her last phone call.  The one where she might have told me that she had finally fallen in love (he was a great guy – probably still is – I’ve heard he finally met someone a year or two ago) as her mother thought she had and I was hoping she had.  I didn’t get her last phone call where she would have told me the latest about her new puppy she’d gotten a few months prior and the small condo she had scrimped and saved to buy that she’d moved into earlier that year. 

The law just hasn’t seemed worth it after that, you know?  Some asinine client, he and his father, both neurotic beyond words, and demanding assholes to boot, and I miss the last conversation I could have had with M?

It was two months shy of her 29th birthday when M pulled out to make a left turn in front of an oncoming truck that she either didn’t see or misjudged.  It feels like betrayal to say she was a terrible driver, but it’s true.  And it’s just so fucking unfair.  Sorry 28, doesn’t cut it.  50 doesn’t cut it (my stepdad 6 months later – 1999 REALLY sucked, okay?).  Peaceful after 85 is the only acceptable way as far as I’m concerned.

I miss M.  I miss her because we would speak, not every night, but several times a week about anything, nothing, and everything.  Because I like to think that even with life changes we would have continued to find time to talk. A lot.  God, I hope we would have. 

And here mr. jolt and I are now, M’s home state.  Less than 2 hours from where she had moved to when she moved back to be closer to her parents and where she grew up. And she’s not here to talk to.

History is part of what makes friends.  History and shared perspective.  I moved a lot when I was very little, so I don’t have those “known since the sandbox” friends.  I have a few close friends from highschool that I’m not in touch with as often as I should be; a couple of friends from college (M was one; mr. jolt another); a friend from law school; and mostly, friends from our early 20s in the big city.  I feel like I’m just getting to the point here in middle nowhere that I have friends I can call up & bitch to (although I haven’t done it yet – hate to disturb). 

I just don’t know, having lost my biggest kvetcher/kvetchee – do people once they have kids (if they have kids) still just call up to talk?

I miss you M.  I always will.