22 December 2012

day 9: missing persons

maria and the hungarian we love
my friend maria. she's pretty much why i got out of bed most mornings. we would meet up at the gym to have our arses kicked by a hungarian. we were the ones in the corner dancing instead of sprinting. we were the ones cutting up instead of doing crunches. she was basically the best thing that ever happened to me besides meeting my husband.

for my birthday one year some of my girlfriends met up at the skating rink to relive our youth. dressed in our 80's garb, we donned our rented skates and whirled the night away. maria showed up with her OWN skates and proceeded to school all of us on limbo and skating backwards with the ease of a professional. side note: the culture at the roller skating rink is alive and well and thriving i might add. it was a little shocking to see the older fellows who were still cruising for hook ups-30 years later.

maria is my friend who can turn on her southern middle tennessee dialect whilst quoting g.k. chesterton. she's a pint sized wonder and always surprises me. at first blush you see a petite brown eyed beauty. but this woman is tough as nails and smart as a whip. she's just mighty reticent. 

there are many things that define us, but those things do not make up the entirety of who we are. a year ago, my friend experienced the most unspeakable horror. she buried her first born child. i remember her saying to me, "i am still a mother to four". that resonated so strongly with me as i began to envision all of the friends she would meet in the future who would never know her oldest son gus. they would shake hands, scan her 3 beautiful children and assume this was her family never knowing that for 15 years there was one more who headed the bunch. and he was a lively soul, full of dry wit and honesty that made you blush. 

i see her 3 and ache for the fourth. but knowing her story made me wonder, how many of us are walking around with huge parts of us missing? how often when we meet new people, are only getting a fraction of the whole? how many of us have buried babies or otherwise silent members of our families?
sitting around the table at the puncochar's. pretty much my favorite place.
my friend maria is like a lighthouse to those who know her. she shines brightest in the darkest night and keeps those of us on rough waters safe as we make our way back to shore.


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