When We Are Old… For Commander Occhiverdi

She waltzed into my life at a wedding. I’d heard of her, but never known her. It was instant. In the kind of way that can never be reproduced. We forged our friendship laying by the pool, her hiding from the sun and studying for a Biology test she would get a 100 on and me trying to hoard vitamin D for the coming Berlin winter. They say that Vitamin D is a good thing to fight depression. You know what else is? A friend whom you’ve known for only one week that books a two week trip to visit you in said city, three short months later. So we celebrated our first New Year’s Eve together. As Berlin light up (as if it was “on fire”) we brought in a New Year and confirmed what we had suspected those three short months earlier. This was a friendship that would last a lifetime.

I moved to Boston under an Eyore style dark cloud, with fleeting hope for spring. In waltzed Occhi bringing, hope, courage, laughter and dancing. She met Boo. She loved him. Which gave me courage to be brave and hope for something good. Even while she was watching her own energy slip through her fingers. We talked, cried and made some brave decisions. She left, and I cried.

She came back though, with her parents and that time… Boo and I were engaged and Occhi brought with her fun, excitement, and a list of delicious restaurants. That’s the way she is. No matter what’s happening with your or with her she is a breath of fresh air. She brings sunshine, and laughter and love and warmth. Seriously. She’s honest and deep and real without being HEAVY. You know what I mean? There are some friends you have who are intense and wonderful, but it’s heavy, OCCHI is NEVER heavy!

She was a dream in my wedding. After our honeymoon and in the first days of her med school career, we met her for burgers and presents. We forsook a day of our trop for the sake of just getting to see her one more time. I cried again saying goodbye. By this point she was used to it.

She had a difficult fall. She lost Ted. She was sick forever. And still. 4.0. She met someone. He’s Darling. Seriously. He’s Darling. She knew that we couldn’t go anywhere, so she came to us, one more time. She brought the Darling with her. And for the second time we rang in the New Year together. She’s like my favorite Barefoot Dreams robe. She is the softest, snuggliest place. She is wonderful. I love her more than she could ever know. In a time of life when I am terrible at keeping up she has been patient and understanding and willing to participate in the best kind of friendship, one that is mutual. Sometimes and some years one friend has to give more, even when they feel like they don’t have it to give, and sometimes the other has to do the same. To be honest Occhi has given more than she’s gotten, but show doesn’t seem to mind…

So here’s to Occhi’s 28th. It was yesterday. She had school. And burgers. And we were far away from her. But she, and the life that she brings to our lives were on our minds all say. And today, the day after, I dedicate this post to her. I hope that when we are old (I am older than her) we travel on busses like these ladies, drinking, cheering and causing a ruckus.

Love you Occhi. The best is yet to come…

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