Holy Heaven, my friends.
I could so get used to this life.
I’m writing tonight from gorgeous St. Pete Beach in Florida.
I’m here with my sister, my first true friend. Born only 20 months after me, Liz was something of a twin to me when we were little. As the big sister, I protected her from scary invisible monsters and bossy neighbor kids.
As the little sister, she gave me a sense of power by obeying my every command.
Then we both grew up, and began to lead our different, separate lives. Time passed and we had different paths to follow. We were no longer in touch every day, and no longer held key roles in each others’ lives.
Nevertheless, she has always been there for me, my husband, my children. I hope I’ve done the same for her.
The years have rolled on. We aren’t those two cute almost twin girls with our matching outfits and matching ponytails. We are no longer those two young women in our new marriages.
Now we’re two aging ladies who have been through joys and struggles. We’re gray. We’re not as svelte as we used to be. We’re quirky.
Now we’re just two old nuts.
Liz lost her husband not long ago. He was the absolute love of her life, her other half. He was her partner in everything.
For 23 years, the two of them spent winter vacations on St. Pete Beach, always staying at the same resort motel. They made dozens of friends and thousands of memories. This place became a cherished second home for both of them.
I’m here because Liz needed to come back to this place. She wanted to make some new memories and to regain a little of the happiness she knew here. She needed a side kick, as it were, and I’m lucky enough to be in that role.
So here we are. Swimming in the salty waves of the Gulf of Mexico. Collecting shells, watching the sunsets, drinking wine.
There are some happy ghosts here for Liz, to be sure. But I think that there are also some new laughs.
In the end, we are just two old nuts strolling along the tide line with our very first friend.