I'm sitting on our (new) couches feeling just about as content as it gets. Ellie is softly petting Sydney, who just made a nest for herself on the beanbag, Michele is reading the latest Kristen Heitzmann book, "Echoes", I just finished the third novel in Lori Wick's "Kensington Chronicles" (her old stuff, which in my opinion is definitely her best stuff), and John is lounging on the couch next to me watching "GameDay".
Whether or not it is because we are twins, or simply best friends, or just family - there is and has always been a feeling of "all is right in the world" when Michele and I have the opportunity to spend time and be together. I'm actually not describing it accurately - I'm not referring to a false optimism about life, but rather a feeling of contentment. Perhaps then the flipside could be considered, most every experience in my life is made that much better if Michele is in my company - and therefore, without her around, there is a bit of a feeling of loss that she can't be going through it with me.
I suppose this is a dangerous thing to address as I've struggled with being judged over this very issue all my life. Michele and I have always been close. We've always desired the same pursuits and activities - even things that I did that she didn't or vice versa - were not intended to be done alone - it's just one of us made the cut and the other didn't (i.e. her going further in high school volleyball or softball, my being on the high school dance team). At one point in our lives, Michele actually pondered Mormonism - once again, something I too dealt with, but just not to the same extent.
During our senior year in high school, either as a result of succumbing to the social pressure we felt from every angle to be "individuals", or perhaps our need to test our relationship ourselves, Michele and I pursued friendships with two individuals that we began referring to as our "best friends". She spent time hanging out with Dana, and her friend, Shari, and I spent great amounts of time with my friend, Jaime (wow, a whole post could be written regarding the lessons learned and pain involved in that friendship.....). Despite the fact that we had had 95% of our classes together and were co-valedictorians, Michele and I chose to march with those two ladies rather than ourselves at graduation. It was a mutually understood decision for us both - just the way we wanted it to be. And, as I look back now, a decision that reflected exactly how disorienting and manipulative your high school years can be. Those friendships that were so important at the time have yielded exactly zero conversations for either one of us in the last 15 years. Yes, valuable relationships to be sure......
The weekend that Michele met Michael, I met a guy named Dave - and we both fell for these men instantaneously and completely. What a beautiful gift God gave us that weekend (on so many levels - it was truly a re-dedication weekend for both of us in terms of our Christian walk) to discover that God would give us men so unique to the very small differences between us that we would not overlap in our desires for the same guy. Obviously, Michele married Michael and I did not marry Dave, but to realize, on that weekend, that God would solve such a potential problem for us was a beautiful thing indeed.
Obviously, our husbands have had to do a lot of adjusting in our dependency on each other and the depth of our friendship. We've all had to compromise, for sure, but I think it is now safe to say - 15 years into Michele's marriage, nearly 12 into ours, that the husbands have had little to complain about for quite some time, and do indeed see our relationship as a very big positive in all of our relationships.
When I began writing this post, I had no intention of spewing forth details about Michele and I's friendship, but that is where my typing has gone, so there you go. Michele is here this weekend - we've had a marvelous time doing pretty much nothing together which is sometimes all that we ever hope to do together. To say life is good right now seems like such an understatement - at this moment, all is well in the world.......... sigh.............