Missing our people

February 16, 2023


“Girlfriend!” she yelled across the Piggly Wiggly parking lot. “Where ‘ya been?” 

“Well, Lord Almighty! It can’t be you,” her friend hollered back. The trunks of their cars stood wide open with groceries still in the buggies while they embraced and talked at the same time.

I didn’t know them, but was warmed by their love for one another. 

Springtime reunions are happening all over town. 

When the camellias fade and the daffodils bloom, we burst out of our cuddly blanket-wrapped, chili-eating hibernation where we had retreated when the temperatures dipped below 60 degrees.

Illnesses aside, people are traveling, moving, and sometimes crisscrossing each other, until suddenly . . . there they are again. I ran into Shae and told her, “I’ve been missing you!” “Maybe it’s because I moved away for five years and am just now back again.” “Five years? How can that be?” Obviously, we weren’t that close, or I would have known she was in Charlotte this entire time, but we liked each other enough that I truly did think of her from time to time and wonder where she was. If we attend different churches and our children are enrolled in different schools, we sometimes lose people we love, even in a small town. 

Southerners like to keep tabs on “their people,” but it’s hard to keep up with each other when we’re zooming all over the country — and even the world. 

One couple took four months and sailed around the tip of Florida while working from their boat and another spent the holidays with family in Atlanta before flying to Greece. Two friends lost their husbands and needed to sit home and process everything for a while. We miss them all. 

I looked up, and there was another friend who has been occupied for months preparing for her daddy’s estate sale. “He bought the house in Point Clear so long ago, it still had a privy when we moved in.” I was warmed that friends in Alabama still use ladylike language without explanation.

And then, at the bank, someone called my name, and said, “There you are! I’ve been missing you!” Although I’ve been right here the entire time, it was good to be missed by my people. 

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Discover more from Leslie Anne Tarabella

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading