The castaways on Gilligan’s Island set off for a 3-hour cruise, were beset by a terrible storm and ended up shipwrecked on an uncharted desert island with “no phone, no lights, no motorcars, not a single luxury.” Except, of course, for an expansive set of luggage for the Howells (who packs that much for a 3-hour excursion?).
That show was really dumb. Why didn’t they know a storm was coming? Even in the 1960s weather forecasting was better than that. Why was Ginger wearing an evening gown in the middle of the day? If the Professor could make a radio battery out of coconuts, why couldn’t they fix the hull of the SS Minnow? Just why wasn’t that island on the charts, and how far could they have gotten in that tiny boat?
That’s not the point…
I feel as if I’m stranded on my own little deserted island with my husband and my cats. I go to work, I come home. Rinse and repeat. I had a few friends but they have retreated. I know that grief and the loss of parents is a scary road; people who haven’t traveled that way are rarely willing or equipped to go down that path. They don’t know what to do or say, or they don’t want to think about the possibility that they, too, could lose their parents.
I’m not a social butterfly or joiner. I’ve never had more than a few, select close friends at any one time, but this is the first time I’ve ever found myself so utterly friendless at a time when I needed someone the most. Yes, I have “friends”, but one lives in Alabama and has many, many more friends and places to be and go, and there’s only so much leave and money to go around. She can’t be *here*. Like my family, she is *elsewhere*, even though she probably understands this grief better than anyone else I know.
Another friend lives very close, but her life is in a tumultuous transition; she needs more support than I can give and I feel terrible about that. How can she buoy me up when she, herself is so fragile?
I had a good friend, like a chosen sister, who became lost to me through the business of her life with children and church, jobs and the 45 minutes separating our homes. Small misunderstandings have been allowed to widen gaps that should not stay open so long. I haven’t seen her since Mama died–maybe not even since before Daddy died. I can’t remember.
The others–do they count? Acquaintances through work whom I’ve tried to cultivate into friends don’t return the effort to stay in touch or reciprocate my invitations for lunch. My ex-husband told me once “there’s just something about you, Angela, that pisses some people off.” I guess he was right.
If this island I am stuck on were more like Gilligan’s I’d find some coconuts and whip up a ham radio, or make myself a miracle, but coconut palms don’t grow this far north.