Memory is a funny thing.
Last night I decided to try to catch up on my backlog of DVR's. I'm at capacity which I guess means I don't watch nearly as much television as I should. There was one particular episode which sat at the bottom of my long list of programs. It was the series finale to an old show I used to watch but there it had remained for the past few months. I eyed it. It eyed me. I pressed "play."
I watched, stoic, and as the credits began to roll tears welled in my eyes. "It wasn't that good of a show," my husband remarked, "the past few years they've been going downhill." He was right, but that wasn't the point.
For me, the show represented a time when me, my sister Laura, and my best friend Madelyn would gather every Friday night in my apartment in Brooklyn. Over copious amounts of wine and take out we would catch-up, swap dating horror stories, laugh, then eventually get around to watching this show. It was like our weekly ritual. I'd like to think that as those moments were happening I treasured them, but I can't say for sure I did.
Two years ago we moved from Brooklyn to Northern Virginia. A few months later my friend Madelyn died in a fluke accident. And a few months after that my sister, Laura, began her work in South Sudan. The chapter of our Friday nights together had firmly closed.
Today I am firmly planted in Northern Virginia. I like our new life here - something to be said for open space! - and we are slowly growing our community. I talk to my sister whenever the internet is functioning in Juba - WhatsApp has been a blessing - and I peruse the international section of the Times like a hawk for signs of trouble from the rebel groups. Then there's Madelyn. Not a day goes by that I don't remember my dear friend. She was light, and laughter, and love. She embodied the spirit of adventure and was enchanted by life.
It was just a silly television show. My husband was right, the last few years the writing had not been good. It was time to erase it from our DVR. But it is a season of friendship I will always treasure.