When I moved to Cleveland from Maryland I carried with me a lot of sadness for everyone I was leaving behind. My friends, my family. My support system, my sources of happiness. Like a lego moving from one piece of construction to another, we left behind all of the brilliantly colored blocks that held us up and surrounded us. But we snapped onto new blocks that, over time, would increase in number so that we would be surrounded once more.
I suffered from postpartum depression when Ev was born. That’s not entirely unreasonable when you up and move to a new state 4 weeks before your baby is born. A few months after his birth we moved into our house, where I sat alone with a new born in silence for most of the day. It wasn’t until someone randomly told me about the Heights Parents Center (now known as Family Connections) that I eventually found my green lego base. There the colorful pieces that are my friends started clicking in around me, sheltering me when I was struggling, and piecing together the interesting shape of our friendship.
I have met lots of people through HPC, have made a circle of friends that is still developing and sometimes still surprises me all of these years later. But it is the core group that I find myself seeking out and holding closest. They feel like very old friends instead of people I’ve known for about 5.5 years now. I have at one time or another pictured our kids as best friends into adulthood even though we all live in different neighborhoods with kids at different school systems. I have long wanted to get the kids together for group photos so that over the years we can see how they’ve changed.
The other night I was looking at these photos I finally took of them and kind of chuckled to myself. We are so different, my friends and I. I pointed to each of the kids as I spoke with Chris and said “There’s the Jewish one. The Protestant one. The Catholic one. And.. the.. uh… Undeclared one.” Christopher and I are not particularly religious, is the joke. Somehow I have surrounded myself with people who are. They are my family here.
We are from different backgrounds, along different paths and with different futures ahead. Right now, despite being the Undeclared, non-religious one in the group, I find myself sending requests and pleas into the universe as one of these littles undergoes the final tests and the torture that is waiting to find out if there is anything the doctors can do to save her sweet life. Please, please, please… save her life.