Friday, September 2, 2011
Luck. I have not felt all that lucky over the past few weeks, but I know on a whole, that my life is overwhelmingly rich and blessed with good luck. One of the ways I'm lucky is amazing, for-a-lifetime friends. Twelve years ago I tried to pay it forward with a new student at Texas Tech University, as I had been a fish out of water just a year before and knew just how hard it would be. I probably went a bit overboard in the don't-worry phone call to that new student. Really. I talked her ear off and I think she listened out of politeness. Somehow, what I said left an impression. When I met that girl in person just a few days later, I thought she was far too chic and beautiful to be my friend. I still sometimes think that, but I no longer doubt that friendship. I could list a thousand memories between Stephanie and me--all of them life-shaping and significant. Designated driving, broken hearts, cross-country trips, adopting animals, getting married, first jobs, poverty, delivery room moments, vacations, sick kiddos, baptisms. . . the list could go on and on--you name it and we've shared it. We called each other Laverne and Shirley for a long time because of the snafus we frequently found ourselves in. It took a long time for me to trust that this friendship was solid. I remember so clearly during a phone conversation in the summer of 2000 (on the weekend, of course, because that's when we had free cell phone minutes) that Steph called me out for the first time on my stuff. As I was exiting the conversation she said, "How is it when we talk, I've told you everything about me and I leave not knowing anything new about you?" That stopped me in my tracks. No one else had noticed. Or if they had noticed, it hadn't been brought to my attention. What had started as bonding over beers was turning into a real forever friendship. I would go so far as to say it was a lifeline. The truly amazing thing is that this is not the only friendship of this nature for which I have been lucky to enjoy. Tonight, this long-time friend, my life-line, came to my rescue again. The stress of the recent days finally caught up with me and I cracked under the pressure on the phone with Steph. Instead of an "I'm so sorry approach" she said I'm going to call you later so that I can come and see you later. I pushed the offer away. No need. I'll be fine. A couple hours later, the text came through, "putting the kids to bed then I'm coming to kidnap you." Again, I said that I would be fine. Her response? "I know that. Ice cream or drinks?" That's how I know that sometimes my friend knows what I need more than I do. That I know it's not always about asking, but taking the help that is offered at just the right time. That friendship is equal parts giving and also being open to accept the return of that friendship. Why is that so hard? I would do anything for her. . . How is it so difficult to believe she wouldn't do the same? I suppose somewhere deep down she's still that same chic, beautiful grad student and I wonder how we ended up in this for-a-lifetime friendship. I'm not sure of how it happened, but I feel incredibly lucky that it did.