It’s friday again and like last week, my thoughts are with a friend.
This time, a life long friend. One I feel like I’ve known since the day I was born when actually I think it was 9th grade. Or was it 8th? Maybe 7th?
Over the many years, there were times we got busy and didn’t keep in touch as well but I’ve always known she was there. That the world is a better place because she is in it.
She’s someone I aspire to be. Her honesty and compassion and genuine goodness inspire me to try to be more. In every way, just more. Her strength in the face of difficult times is nothing sort of amazing.
Today marks a huge loss for her. A life changing heartbreaking loss that will never make sense.
It is not my story to tell so I won’t but I still want to let her know that she and her family are on my mind today. That I haven’t forgotten.
When I was first diagnosed, I emailed her and shared the news. I think it was a couple of days before I heard back and when I did, she called. She said it was news she had to first absorb and that it was too big to reply via email. At least I think that’s how it went in my drug addled haze. It might have been the next day or 10 minutes later and she may have emailed to tell me she’d call. Like I said, drug addled haze.
Anyway, there was something about the way she handled it that sticks with me. Something about her strength when I was struggling that made a difference. I remember her voice being strong and concerned but I didn’t feel like I had reassure her or make her feel better about my diagnosis like I did so many others.
Maybe she remembers it differently or will tell me I have all the details wrong but the feeling of being grateful for her friendship remains. In any version of events, that part doesn’t change.
Then she sent a real life snail mail card. In the years since, she’s sent cards since just to tell me she’s thinking about me or to wish me luck with surgery. Every time I see her handwriting and return address in among the bills and junk mail, I smile. I’ve kept them all.
Each year when we’ve gone to Portland, the highlight of my trip has been the time I spend with her hanging out over a glass of wine and talking. When she came to visit last summer, SG took the girls and sort of disappeared because he knew the value of uninterrupted time with her.
I told you all that about me, in a post about her, because I want you to know her. To know the kind of person she is and how she responds to the struggles of others. How easy she makes it seem to be there in the way you need her to be. How effortless she makes it look.
She’s a friend who goes above and beyond for the people she cares about. When she asks you how you are, you get the sense that she actually wants to hear the answer. How impressive is that?
In the last year, in the face of her sadness, I’ve wished I knew how to help. How to make it easier for her as she has for me. Her loss is so much greater than what I’ve faced and I’ve wished that I could give her the support and comfort she needs. But in the end, I don’t quite know how to be the person she is.
As I write this the tears come easier than the words. I wish that I could be more eloquent. That I could better convey how lucky I am to call her my friend and how much my heart breaks for her.
Today, maybe all I can do is give her is this space – dedicated to her and her family and her beautiful baby girl.
I love you G!