I was awake for 15 minutes on Sunday before I realized the calendar has turned to February. Without thinking, I quickly said, “Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit” out loud. And my thoughts immediately went back to my dear, college friend Laura.
It’s funny how our quirks endear us to our friends. It’s fun to remember them. They bring a realization of personality and companionship.
My friend Laura was religious about saying, “Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit” on the first day of every month. In fact, she tried to make it the very first thing she’d say each month.
When I was with her, I’d say it too, although I was totally unconvinced of its power to endow the coming month with any additional luck or health. It was just a silly thing to do with Laura.
Even when we were separated–by multiple states, countries, or an ocean–the first of each month would bring Laura and her three rabbits to mind. I’d say it, as a toast of friendship to her. “Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, Laura.”
It’s become sort of a tradition for me. After 1996—after she died—it was a painful one. Not unlike volunteering to be hit with a brick wall. Fond thoughts of Laura were overwhelmed by the brutal realization that she wasn’t somewhere in South Carolina, pulling her blonde hair into a pony tail, getting ready for run.
But not saying it seemed like a betrayal.
Over the years, the tradition has gone from bitter to bitter-sweet. This Sunday, as I uttered the rabbits, I realized the 18th anniversary of her death had come and gone. Now I feel grateful for all the ways Laura enriched my life. I also feel grateful that she had her quirks. They give me something to hang my memories on and allow me to remember the easy friendship of youth.
Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit, Laura