Friends

Turns out in life you make friends in some pretty strange places.

This revelation comes by way of  sad occasion, but maybe not.  Tonight hubs and I attended a funeral for a friend who recently lost the battle to cancer, but won a better place, free from pain and illness. In truth, our friendship is more with the husband she left behind, fostered over many years of Sunday morning bagels.  Apparently a cream cheese schemer can really bright folks together.

Funerals are, of course, a natural time for reflection, and this one really got me thinking.  We got to know our friends over shared breakfasts, but it turned out his name was familiar to us well before we ever met him over bagels.  He had something of a legend status in the local  reenacting community, a member of the unit I first joined but not really active any longer at that point, so I knew the name but not the face.  After several instances of walking into our breakfast stop with hubs in Civil War themed t-shirts, our very outgoing friend broke the ice. And we started to chat a little in line.  And then he’d pull a chair over and join us for a few minutes. And a few minutes turned into an hour or more many many times. And while he was pulling a chair over, his wife was chatting away with another bunch of regulars.  And through the weeks and years, we’ve gotten to know more of that group, too.  All of us pulling tables together from time to time or staying in separate groups as the mood hit, watching other folks come and go, seeing kids grow from tiny little infants into teenagers… even though we hardly know any of these people outside of an hour every Sunday, somehow we’re our own little community.  And walking into the funeral home, seeing smiling faces laughing and telling stories, knowing each other all because of breakfast, well, it made this girl think. Especially when walking through the line of family doing the “meet and greet” and explaining ourselves as S’s bagel shop friends and getting a response of “Oh. More bagel people. Wow, I really need to come for bagels”!

Then lets add in the other group of friends at the funeral- the reenacting community our friend has been more fringe than active member of for many years, yet folks we see on a regular basis in other arenas. Some I met 18 years ago when I joined the hobby but hasn’t seen since, others I see regularly, even one who was my “movie husband” for a day a couple of years ago- nothing quite like introducing your husband to your other husband, right? The funny thing about reenacting friends is they’re awfully hard to recognize in funeral attire, but even when the clothes are different, the people are the same and just as much a part of my family of friends.

My conclusion on the night, it’s odd, this friendship business.  The things that bring you together and turn into ties you can’t imagine severing.  As a dedicated introvert, I never think of myself as having a large circle of friends and then a night like tonight happens and I realize just how bug my “family” really is.  Its a heartwarming thing to see that family come out to support one of it’s own through difficult times ad makes me glad to know them all.

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