Speaking to a friend the other day has given me the utmost joy and sadness. I hadn’t spoken to her in a while so I was thrilled to hear her enthusiastic, “Jenn!” She never says, “hello” or “hi” or “hey, it’s me.” Always “Jenn;” with an endearing excitement. This could stem from the fact that she never goes with the norm. We used to joke that she was born to go against the grain.To fight even when there was no need to – I guess that’s why she always ended up with the last slice of pizza. No one wanted to mess with her. Lets just say; being a nerd in school was easy for me since she was my friend. Not to mention the fact that the girl was the tallest in the school yard! Can you imagine it; me the runt and her the giant. LOL, No wonder we became friends – we balanced each other out!
We chatted about everything you could think of. Naturally, there was some complaining too. After all we are women and that’s what we do best. Lean on each other for support. As friends, we become each other’s best therapist. Can’t say that’s the smartest idea all the time since the two of us together can be big trouble. Beast mode will kick into gear if you mess with one of us. Oh, and don’t get me started on competition. You’d swear we were top notch athletes because neither one of us would quit. I think right now she out scores me – I blame it on them long damn legs! After all these years; it’s so comforting to know that we always have each other’s back. Brutal honesty has always been welcome; each other’s opinions hold the most merit… The laughs, let me just tell you she is so hilarious. We’ve had some times; I can assure you. Some that we even keep strictly as a need to know bases. You know …we all have those crazy memories that we are like, “what the hell was I thinking?”
I miss my friend. I miss her annoying high pitched laugh. I miss her sarcastic tone. She’s really the only one that can give me a run for my money when I’m on one of my rants. I guess that can happen after being friends since we were eight. The truth is, she is more like a sister. We’ve been through each other’s highs and lows. Always been each other’s center, so to speak.
When my mija passed; she called every day and stopped by all the time. Even when I acted like I was not in the house- she would bang and shout until I opened the door. Only to walk in with her pink, cherry smile and say, “So, what you up to?”; flopping on my couch. That’s dedication. Dealing with my vicious tongue so coolly. Man, I used to get annoyed with her thought provoking questions! At the time she was not married or had children of her own; making it easier for her to be the constant to me during my spiral of isolation. She never did quite let me stay in my cave of solitude. She always found a way to lure me out. Still does at times…Sometimes, I don’t even notice that i’m starting to withdraw. Isn’t that something? The more I think of her; the more amazingly proud I am to call her “friend” . Her very act of care; helped me get through some of the darkest moments in my life. Shielding my girls from my despair; checking my anger; teaching me to take down the veil of hate only to see just how blessed I was to have my Jamie, my Samie … life. She is so opinionated that even when I told her not read the bible to me or watch sermons on my TV; (yes, I will admit ; I can be a bit bitter- No worries ; God always finds a way to calm my storm to rest in his good name) during the rough times; she still finds a way to slip in his word here and there. I owe a lot to my friend… to my sister.
How often do we really take a moment to say thank you to our friends? Not for a meal served or for that shirt you borrowed, but a real genuine thank you for them being them. A thank you for their vary presence in your life. Better yet; are you a fair friend? Do you take and take or do you remember to give back?
I will admit there were many times I was selfish. Not selfish like I was not there for her but more in the fact that I never let her know I needed help. I went through years of masking my anger and pain with a perfect smile and a good old bottle of vodka. Clear was best as it meshed well with everything. I was what you would call, a functional alcoholic. I will never forget her look of profound hurt as she explained how she was so willing to give her all for me and all I did was push her away…Reminding us that she loved Elizabeth too and missed her everyday (she held the title of godmother as sacred – she loved mija as her own). One of the best moments in life is accepting the fact that you’re at a crossroads. Having the guidance of someone who truly cares as you walk that rough road; makes the journey so much more tolerable.
I have learned:
Friendship is a partnership – freely offered but if one is not holding their own part of the deal; the contract becomes void.
Friendship comes in different tiers – We have different levels of ourselves that we express to others. They may be friends but the rank on the totem pole is determined to how much you allow them to know the true you. The ball’s in your court. You’re the only one that can give that ranking based on how many layers of that onion you’re willing to peel back.
Real friendship is rare– when you find that one person you can connect with; everything is so much sweeter. Yes, it’s good to have a significant other, but a friend can be the best buffer before you put your foot in your mouth…Your backbone when you are too weak to make the right decisions…the spoken conscience… the loud mouth encourager or my favorite; the silent partner. You know the one that hangs out but there is no conversations. Sometimes silence can be a good thing. I encourage you to try it.