To say that my girlfriend's father-in-law passed away would state the fact. But, that just wouldn't give you the whole picture. This blog is all about life around here, so if you've got a minute sit down and let me take you to Small Town, Southeast United States. I spent the first part of my life swearing I wanted nothing of Small Town (I am originally from a different Small Town) Southeast. I've spent this hey-nobody-told-me-it-was-going-to-be-this-hard middle part thanking God everyday that I am exactly where I am. Funny how life works out that way. So, yes, a friend's father-in-law died. But it was another friend's (her husband's) father. He had been sick a long time with lung disease. He was a fine person. I wish I had known him better. The whole family have attended the church that we do way longer than we've been around here. A lot of people that My Baby's Daddy & I consider to be our closest friends here grew up together.
I'm going to violate my own rule of always using aliases, because the name here just fits. I want you to hear it with your eyes. The daughter-in-law is my friend Lesley. She has a sexy, gravely voice with a drawl like thick molasses. When she calls you on the phone, she says, "Hey sugar it's Leeeezzlee." She is a sweet and sensitive person, who is the most free-crier I have ever seen. She cries at commercials...not just the sappy ones either. I mean, if it hits her just right, the Domino's delivery ad can have her going at it. She has such a tender heart, and big smile. We didn't know each other well on the occasion of our first girl's beach trip, when she bravely volunteered to room (and share a bed!) with me--and I was 6 months pregnant! It worked out so well, we vowed to be each other's standing roommate. Good sleep, no drama--that's us.
I was ready for Lesley to be crying when I got to the visitation last night. Like I said, she cries when she changes the toilet paper roll. I knew another friend would cry, because it was her first funeral experience since she lost her own father this summer. I didn't feel very emotional, because I know what it's like when a person & their family have been fighting something so long. It is so sad, but I knew where he was & that he was ready to be there. So when did I start crying? As soon as I got to the front of the room (after waiting in line more than 30 minutes to see the family), and there were all of Lesley's mother-in-law's best friends up there with her. It was just freaking like Steel Magnolias. And they are. They have now buried 3 husbands, and there is only one left. They call themselves the Golden Girls, and they have all been friends since they were my age. It was overwhelming. One of them even said to a few of us, "Y'all are the next group of Golden Girls."
And it has started. We've had our babies together. We've lost a good friend who just went bat-shit crazy & left her husband for selfish pursuits. We've watched parents grow older, grow more frail, suffer, and a few leave this world. A friend of ours was pregnant at the same time as me, and lost her premature son in his first day of life. And she was so loving and sweet and excited for me when I had a little boy just a couple of months later. We've been co-dependent, independent, bitchy, and funny. We've laughed, cried, and yelled at each other. We've hurt feelings and had our feelings hurt. But, in the end, we're there. You hold on and dry each other's tears and do your best to make it one day to the next.
You know what? I'm not even a little bit good at all of this. I want to be the good time girl. It just seems that life in your thirties is the best and worst of it. My precious babies are growing up so fast. My husband works so hard that I'm lucky if we spend a good 15 minutes a day together. My dad is sick. Sometimes I'm so overwhelmed that I don't know how I'm going to figure out what to do next.
So, today I did what any good Small Town Southern girl is trained to do. I got in the kitchen and made dinner to take over to the family. And yes, I was barefoot.