96: Common Ground

96: Common Ground

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Just Us Girls

Common Ground

There is one friend in the life of each of us who seems not a separate person, however dear and beloved, but an expansion, an interpretation, of one’s self, the very meaning of one’s soul.

~Edith Wharton

I have a dear friend named Barbara. We share a lot. We have so much in common — our love of sewing, our large families, the common bond of single motherhood. Our birthdays are close and we even have the same favorite color — any shade of purple! Last year we gave each other the very same gift for Christmas. Sometimes being so much alike is alarming.

At lunch last Wednesday I said, “I have come to the conclusion that in this life, God wants me to learn one thing. And that is…”

“Patience.” Barb finished my sentence.

That is how it is with Barb and me. We finish each other’s sentences, laugh at the same jokes, and pick up the same items on any shopping excursion. On one occasion, she said, “It’s kinda scary to find a blond version of myself!”

There is one other thing that we have in common. We have the same ex-husband. I was married to him for fifteen years; she was married seventeen. So, with this in mind, our children remain step-brothers. Her daughter is a stepsister to my sons. And although I don’t know her children that well, I’ve followed every step of their growth through Barb and our weekly lunches.

Barb and I are sisters of the heart. And I must confess that she is the one that started it.

I was supposed to have my sons on Christmas morning in 1985. However, Barb called me about ten days prior. She explained that her family was going to have a big reunion on Christmas and she was wondering if I would allow the boys to go with them. The reunion was later in the day and wouldn’t interfere with our Christmas morning festivities. So the boys went.

When they returned home, my son, Curtis, gave me a wrapped gift from Barb. The card had a small note:

Thank you for sharing the boys with us.

Love, Barb

I can’t tell you what was in the package. But nearly thirty years later I can remember every word in that note. We both recognize that you can’t put “sharing” and “love” in the same note and not have common ground.

~Linda A. Lohman

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