Here’s hoping the ladies won’t mind some extra salty seasoning in the appetizers this weekend, as we gather to wish one of my favorite people in the world goodbye.
For years, my friend, Lori and her husband have had this crazy dream: Once their youngest child was out of high school they were up and moving to live full time in their cabin in Montana. No sooner was their daughter’s diploma in hand, when that moving van was pulling up to their front door.
I happen to belong to a magnificent group of ladies who like to gather be it for birthdays, showers, and, like now, goodbyes. Seems like every time we get together, I get a request to make a specific appetizer, my “Cowboy Caviar.”
It’s a crazy combination of black eyed peas, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, green onions and avocado. I can’t tell you exactly why this unexpected combination of flavors works, but it’s a hit every time.
In that way, I guess friendship is like cowboy caviar. Are your friends like this, too? Not a lot of people would put you together, but for some reason, together, you make a delicious combination.
Our Lori is so sweet, wise, and carries her love right at the surface. She’s always the first to cry for reasons happy and sometimes sad. She is part of our tight-knit group who have met up each weekend for a long run. Those miles have been like therapy sessions jogging our way through broken hearts, lost jobs, and challenging children. And they have been playtime. We wear fuzzy bunny ears on Easter weekend. Lori egged me on to wear a rhinestone tiara for the run on the day of my wedding. And she’s been known to carry a pom pom or two to celebrate birthdays and big accomplishments.
I know I should be happy for a such a good friend and wonderful person to have her dream come true. I am, but between you and me — a big part of me is faking it. Letting go is simply the ingredient I find hardest to toss in with those that I love.
It’s like sending a kid off to college, leaving the boyfriend you love but know you’ll never make each other happy long term. And now sending a beloved friend off on her dream come true. I grasp for a dash of the old Richard Bach saying, “If you love someone, set them free.”
I also know it has often been me that other friends have had to wish well as I’ve gone for my big dreams.
And so I will chop up the tomatoes, onions, corn and cilantro for this weekend’s party. You’ll know the truth — that I’ll be crying as I chop. The ladies might guess when they taste that extra salt.
I will gather myself up and walk into that Goodbye party with a smile on my face. It’s what Lori deserves.
The rest of that quote …
“If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they’re yours; if they don’t they never were.”
She’ll be back. For business trips. For visits, for occasional weekend runs.
If all else fails. Lori’s already invited us to a gathering at her cabin next September.
I’m so there. And yes, I’ll bring the Cowboy Caviar.