Updated: Jul 28
I’m going to miss her.
Have you ever heard the saying “all good things must come to an end?”
This week, I feel the weight of this saying. I keep reminding myself it’s not ending, it will just be different. Five hours away is doable. A quick half-day drive is worth it to keep a good thing going.
It’s kind of odd how our story began. I put my foot in my mouth, which is nothing unusual for me. But that is how I found out about her loss. And my chewing a toe became the beginning of a good friendship.
Actually a really great one.
With kids buzzing around in the gym, I sat there with fake tattoos in hand. It was fall -- pumpkins, sugared-up kids, and a bit of crisp to the air. I continued to hold the wet napkin on the preschoolers’ hands and count to ten.
I replayed the catastrophe. The one where I asked a little girl about her new baby sister more than once. She just stared at me until another mom whispered to me about the loss of her sister. I quickly changed the subject as the tattoo dried on her little hand.
Had I known? Of course, I never would have asked.
Thinking of the little girl’s mom, I wondered if she could use a friend. I barely knew her and I figured she probably had many friends. She seemed like a magnetic person – friendly, positive and likeable.
Looking down at my growing belly, I figured it was probably best if I left her alone.
I would see her in the school hallway at pickup time. Again, I’d think about becoming friends. No, I’d convince myself. I asked other moms in her class how she was doing. And checked with the teachers if they knew of anything the family needed.
I never approached her, because I figured the last thing she needed was a pregnant woman bugging her. But I couldn’t stop thinking about everything.
Talking to God one day, I told Him if you want us to be friends – you will have to make it happen. I’m going to stay within my confines unless you, Lord want it to happen.
Having experienced hard things myself, I realized so many don’t know how to do hard. Friends and family members who you’ve known for a lifetime tip-toe around you, afraid to say or do the wrong thing. Hard things make people uncomfortable.
I get it. Happy is fun! Sad is not.
The glass is half-full is a better way of thinking. I get it. But sometimes the cup is just empty. Our first instinct being to fill it backup for our loved one. But I think God lets us go thirsty for a minute so we can look to Him for the water He gives freely.
I’m not afraid of the hard things anymore. I think I lived this façade where all hurt, pain – the tough stuff needed to be turned into positive, good things. But that’s not my job. That’s His. And I’ve learned the hard way, it happens in His time – never ours.
So, I held back. But I promised, I would sit in the dark with her if we became friends. It was no longer scary to me. I found comfort in Him -- no matter which side of the black, white and gray spectrum I landed on.
I’ve found bright colors contrast beautifully against black, especially silver and gold. It’s like those treasures in the dark the Bible talks about. At times I saw more brilliant colors in the dark than elsewhere. I met real people stripped of artificial pretense, because there is no energy left for fake.
It’s simply real people struggling in real situations – seeking the light with what little energy they do have.
My friend, she is full of energy. She is someone who is just as real in the light as in the dark.
I’m a lucky girl.
Obviously, you know the ending. The happy one.
We became good friends.
Actually really great friends.
It wasn’t long after I prayed, we ran into each other at the grocery store. We exchanged numbers. And I waited some more, which is a testament for me as I’m not the patient kind. She called me.
We had a playdate with the kids and wore out the bench for three hours the first time we met.
She’s sat with me more times than I can count – in the gray and the black.
Thankfully, we’ve laughed and celebrated way more times.
I’ve put my foot in my mouth more times than comprehensible. And somehow she still likes me.
She’s a big ball of faith. The way she lives and how she loves others with ease always amazes me. I’m not sure she has a mean bone in her body. She’s an extremely patient mom and wife. She’s a good daughter and friend.
And I love how she loves the little things the most.
Who wouldn’t want to have her as a friend? She’s a pretty magnetic, positive and likeable person.
She’s also one of the biggest cheerleaders in my life.
The kind of person who encouraged to me to share my stories – even when it just didn't make sense. She’s the kind of friend who took a Saturday and read every one of my writings after I finally decided to share them.
And then she texted me, you can tell how much you love it. Writing.
I do my friend. I love it. Writing. That’s why I wrote this one for you.