If you heard laughter ringing from the rafters tonight, it came from my cottage. Two old friends came for supper—all of us were doctors’ wives in the ‘70s, when our doctors were beginning their careers and dreaming of glory. Nancy’s ex was a pathologist and, I believe a classmate of my ex, Joel, or in the class behind. Joel and I moved to Texas in 1965; Nancy and Tom, in 1971. The third member of our group was Linda, whose husband, Lynn, was a surgeon in nearby Granbury and died way too young. We shared good times back in the glory days—dinners or parties every weekend, we ladies involved in the women’s groups; our kids growing up together. There’s a bond there that lasts over the years
And we could laugh about the negative times—Joel and I divorced in ’82; Nancy and Tom in ’84. Nancy and I went to dinner frequently until the dinners sort of tapered off. I think we got tired of talking about exes and their faults. Nancy, an administrative surgical nurse, moved around in several jobs and even to Austin once. I forget what year Lynn died but Linda’s uncertainty came out in the form of a bad relationship followed by marriage to a guy she met on the internet. I was horrified but he turned out to be a really good guy I was proud to call my friend. I grieved when he died unexpectedly a couple of years ago or more. So now we all three are widowed, and we can joke about the second-wife syndrome of doctors.
Linda and I had rehooked long ago but it was only in the last year or so that we found Nancy. Tonight was our second reunion of sorts. Linda brought a delicious salad and a skillet of sauerkraut and sausage, with chocolate bread for dessert—it tasted to me like pumpkin bread with chocolate chunks.
Yes, Nancy and I talked some about the faults of our exes but not excessively. I am always reminded of a young friend named Joel who listened to his mom and me talk about the original Joel and his late-in-life peccadillos and, yes, flaws. “If he was so awful, why am I named after him?” he asked. His mom looked at him and said, “Because we all loved him.” Best explanation I’ve heard.
It was good to bring the past alive for a bit tonight and to realize that we’ve all moved on and had full and rewarding lives since those days. We’ll do dinner again soon.
It had been an upsetting day, just because of the tension in all our lives right now, and this evening erased that. I’m going to bed a happy camper tonight.