Friday, August 14, 2009

Sheona

When I hit my late 20s about 10 years ago, I figured I was pretty much "full up" as far as friends were concerned.

I was lucky enough to be surrounded by a ton of interesting people who I had known since practically forever and with whom I barely had time to keep up friendships. I was busy, really busy, and I just didn't have the time nor the inclination to invest in a brand new friendship.

And then I met her.



It was at a keg party of all places. An affair to which Rob - my then newish boyfriend - dragged me. We were surprised to arrive and find a house overflowing with hundreds of debacherous teenagers and when he got lost in the crowd I gravitated towards a woman closer to my own age who seemed similarly bemused at the attention we attracted from boys a decade our junior.

Sheona was a colleague of Rob's - a set script supervisor - and after a few drinks we let our inner cougars roar and formed a bond that I have come to cherish as one of the most important in my life.

Here's the thing about friends you meet later in life: they love you for the person you are, not the person you were. There is no comforting common history and no sense of obligation. There is simply chemistry and a sense that no matter how busy you are, you must fit this person into your life because they were sent to make your life better...to make you better.

And so Sheona was. And has.

Sheona has inspired me to dream and to dream big. She is a mother. She is a partner. She is a maker of beautiful, important films that celebrate life and loss. When I spend time with her I come away invigorated, renewed, filled with the sense of my own strength and possibility.

Sheona helped me through endless rewrites of my film script and sat proudly through its premiere. She celebrated with me when I married, mourned when I learned I might never have a child and celebrated again when Graham made his debut.

Her daughter's birthday party was the first one Graham ever attended and when I read the eulogy at my mother-in-law's wake it was her face in the crowd that steadied me and gave me the strength to continue.

Sheona moved 3,000 miles away from me last week and I don't know what I'm going to do without her.

She has been my rock these past several months. I have literally cried on her shoulder and she has fortified me with her wise words and the gentle, pragmatic way she has of looking at the world.

She and her actor partner are off for greener pastures on another coast and as much as I know we will always be friends, I am still bereft over the distance that geography will inevitably create between us.

Godspeed Sheona.

Thank you for being my friend and for making my life better. Thank you for teaching me that one's life can never be too full to accommodate a kindred spirit.

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20 comments:

Vered - Blogger for Hire said...

HUGS.

I moved 7,000 miles away from two very close friends. We have kept in touch for ten years, but of course, it's not the same as living in the same city.

flutter said...

oh but to be so blessed as to have one friend like that in life

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Your last sentence was going to be my comment.

Thank goodness for free long-distance, IMing and cheap airfares.

Annie @ PhD in Parenting said...

What a sweet post! I too thought I was pretty full up with friends and then I met Sam, a new and dear friend in Toronto, who I was lucky enough to have lunch with in Toronto before flying down to BlogHer.

Toronto and Ottawa are not that far away, but it feels like it sometimes when I just want to hang out with her and can't...

CaraBee said...

Moving away from friends or having friends move away is so hard. I've had it both ways and things are never really the same after. Which isn't to say that friendships can't survive distance, they CAN, it just takes a little more effort. Best of luck to Sheona!

Tara R. said...

I'm sorry your friend is moving away, but I'm sure you two will find a way to stay connected.

Teena in Toronto said...

What a nice tribute! Isn't it great that we never stop having friends.

secret agent mama said...

I have learned that distance makes two best friends even closer! It's crazy.

Good luck to your Sheona and to you too as you miss her.

Jennifer said...

Beautiful. Late(r) life friends are a true gift.

Karen MEG said...

Oh that is a long way...but I'm sure you'll stay connected, nowadays with all the technology it should be easier than just a few short years ago. Still, not the same as being right in the same city. but with a friendship as yours, I'm sure you'll continue to make each others' lives better.

I never had tons of friends growing up, but as you've described here, it's nice when you can make friends later in life. I feel almost as if I have closer friends now, than I ever did before. I wonder if there's something about the shared experience of being a mother. Weird, huh?

kbreints said...

oh goodness... I am sorry that she has moved... but so happy that she came into your life at the right time!

Jaina said...

It's always so sad when good friends move away. I'm sorry about that. But just think, now you have a great excuse for a visit! ;)

CC said...

I really need a Sheona. But right here.

Hugs on her move. :(

Elaine A. said...

Sorry your friends is moving, I can relate lately for sure! Of course you'll always be friends and it will be so sweet when you are able to reunite!

Chantal said...

Hugs to you. I am still adjusting to my best friend moving away and that was years ago. Thank goodness for e-mail, Skype and semi-regular visits.

Oz said...

What you wrote about friends you meet as an adult is so true.

sho said...

Thank you Kelly, what a beautiful post you wrote...I feel touched and honoured and am similarly blessed to have you in my life. Vancouver is not far and the geography will be only a small impediment to a growing friendship. Life is long and who knows where it will lead us...but just know we have a huge yard, live a block from the beach and have a guest bedroom and an extra kid bed - your family will fit perfectly and the door is always open! Love you. Sheona

Zip n Tizzy said...

She sounds like someone who will be a friend forever.
How wonderful you found one another.

mep said...

What an absolutely beautiful tribute.

"Here's the thing about friends you meet later in life: they love you for the person you are, not the person you were. There is no comforting common history and no sense of obligation. There is simply chemistry and a sense that no matter how busy you are, you must fit this person into your life because they were sent to make your life better...to make you better."

Wow.

Although I have friends from all stages of my life and am still particularly close to some of my grade school and high school friends (none of whom live near me), I so hope to find the kind of friendship you described above to sustain and encourage me during this stage of my life and beyond.

JvO said...

The paragraph that mep just quoted has really struck a chord with me - particularly in the last few months, I've been getting very close to some new friends, and have been coming to the conclusion that some of the older friends who are around are there more because of obligation and common history - but I didn't come to that conclusion until I read this post. Well written, thank you for that.