Life has felt all churned up lately and I haven’t blogged all summer and every time I think about sitting down to work on something new my mind circles a seemingly random, humble subject: my bathroom towels. The good towels. As in don’t use those towels to wipe the floor or dry off the dog and don’t take them camping.
Except they’re not so good anymore, these towels. They’re tattered, tired, fuzz-less towels that—get this—will be twenty years old come next Wednesday. They were a wedding gift back in the day when every wedding showcased maroon, forest green, and/or navy. (Can I get an amen from the mid-nineties brides?) Anyway, I’ve bought other towels over the years but for some reason my brain can’t let go of the notion that these maroon ones are the good ones even though they’re shredding and need to be relegated to the basement or the dog crate.
That’s what happens to things over time. They fall into ruin. Disrepair. De-volve. Houses. Gardens. People. Relationships. No newsflash here… left on their own, things fall apart.
After twenty years of living with these towels, and my husband, I hardly feel like a marriage expert. Neither does he. But we do know this: If ignored, marriage goes south. With attention and care, marriage endures. Even flourishes. It can, even after twenty years, take you by surprise… in good ways. Of course it takes work. Or prayer. Both, really.
This past week, we, our family, watched our dear, dear friends drive off in their U-Haul to some (practically) foreign land. I could go on and on about the significance of this friendship but I’ll summarize it like this: our friendship is older than my good towels and just as comfortingly familiar.
And this sweet friendship, although filled with laughter and trips and great talks and memories, required work, communication, careful times of unraveling hurt feelings and working through misunderstandings. Long-lasting friendships aren’t easy-peasy, but they are worth it.
Things fall apart but they can be mended. The old and broken-down will one day be made new. Goodbyes are unavoidable but they’re not eternal, and missing your friends so much it aches is a gift, proof of the love that held you together.
Enough platitudes. This post is probably more therapy than anything, which is probably where all writing starts, so thank you, Dear Reader, for sticking with me this far.
Guess I’ve got some towels to pitch. Old towels can be tossed and replaced. Old friends, never.