Wednesday, July 15, 2009

for christine

If you went to my facebook page, you would read that I have 654 friends.

This is not true, not even close.

I think it's not quite right that we employ the same word to describe someone who, after leaving me a comment, I have to click on their profile to try to remember just how it is that I even know them, and a person who has been a part of my life so long that it is just our parents' now who can even recall a time when we weren't friends.

Cause it's when we could still go outside shirtless, just one of the boys.

Even though we weren't actually one of the boys.

And I am hoping that it's just our parents' who can remember that, though I am pretty sure there may be some photographic documentation stashed away somewhere.

But see, it's my friend Christine's birthday today. And when describing our relationship, the word friend falls a little flat. But what are you going to do? I was born an American, with the English language as my only tool to articulate my heart, so there you go.

And yes, I could learn other languages, but does calling her mi amiga strike that much closer to the heart of what I mean? Probably only for all the many Spanish speaking people who read this blog, would be my guess.

I remember we were hanging out with some friends at a diner years ago, when I said, Christine is just like my Old Faithful or something awkward and unpoetic like that. Another friend quipped, Yeah, it's every girl's dream to be compared to a geyser! and everybody laughed.

But the truth is, she is.

Not anything like a geyser, as she is the picture of beauty and grace and never spontaneously spurts water if she can help it, but she is faithful. Always.

Like the time we were both at the Chautauqua Institute studying ballet and it must have been at least 105 degrees and well, I don't do well in the heat seeing as I was born without sweat glands, and unfortunately the cafeteria decided to serve some sort of unidentifiable gruel and mash combination that, combined with the aforementioned heat, made for a lethal combination, that, were I to be stupid enough to consume it, would kill me, I am pretty sure. Assessing the situation and understanding my pickiness when it came to anything gruel or mash-like, Christine came running to the rescue.


As in she ran from our cafeteria all the way to the sub shop which was in town at least a mile away in order to procure a decent lunch for me, i.e. a sandwich that was neither mashed nor laden with gruel, and then ran back, sandwich in hand, and made sure I ate it--all in the 105 degree weather, mind you.


I have never forgotten that, nor will I.

And then there was the time when I was two years younger than her (which still happens to be the case, amazingly enough) and she never once made me feel young or immature or silly for it. Not when I was five and she was seven or when I was ten and she was twelve or when I was only fourteen and she was super cool and basically grown-up driving around in her parents' car at sixteen, offering me rides all the time, happy to have me in the passenger's seat beside her.

And I could mention the long talks in which we never had an agenda because words between us come freely, easily, and without judgement; the mounds of Snyder's Old Tyme pretzels we've consumed between the two of us, singlehandedly keeping that company in business, no need to thank us personally, Synder's, the pleasure was all ours; the prayers and exchanges of our own growing views of who God is, always good, always here, though life might look less bright at the moment; our respective marriages to men about whom we had already logged many many hours dreaming of, talking of, discussing and projecting their height, the color of their eyes, and how happy they will make us feel...But all of those memories stand in support of simply who she is.

The kind, humorous, brave, talented, giving, and godly person whom I am grateful to call my friend.

To know her is to love her, and there is not a day that goes by that I am not so glad that I get to experience both knowing and loving her.

Happy birthday, Christine...You deserve the best!


kathiek said...

What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful person!

Mama Bear said...

You are both blessed to have had such a strong and faithful friendship through your childhood to adolescence to adulthood. Happy Birthday Christine, for 3 days I was older than you and not a year has gone by that I haven't thought of you on the 15th of July! Oh and I think I have some of that photographic evidence of the shirtless years!

Mama Bear said...

That was Jamie by the way, I can't seem to leave comments without it using my blog nickname...sorry.

jessica said...

Thanks, Jamie--and I knew it was you;-) If you don't want to use your blog name, you can always go down to name/URL and type those in manually.

The three of us had some great times/memories too, I have to say!!!!

James Ricardo The Actor said...

What an amazing friend, you have Jess. Happy Birthday Christine and I don't know you. Thanks for making my friends life so amazing!

Michele said...

What a wonderful friend! That means both of you! :)

Jessica said...

JR--you are so sweet!


christine said...

Thank you so much Jess for such a gracious post about me! You have always been so good at expressing your feelings in a very eloquent way. I always look forward to the occasions that I get a card from you, like my birthday, and this year I got even more than a card...I got a tribute on your blog.

I told this to someone just recently when describing our are always so encouraging to me in a way that I know you believe I could do anything I want to do and that I'm deserving of everything. It's been empowering in the past and continues to be so now.

I love that the story of me running to get you a sandwich lives on and is brought up on a rather consistent basis. Man, I'm so glad that I did that : ) The story of our friendship just wouldn't be the same without it!

I love you very much and appreciate all of your kind words...both the ones in this post as well as the infinite ones you've said over the course of our friendship. I don't take them for granted just as I don't take our friendship for granted.

Jessica Latshaw said...

Christine--I love you, too! YOUR COMMENT could have been a blog post, it was that lovely-thank you so much and I look forward to many more years of creating great memories with you;-)

Lynn said...

Any Mom is grateful for the good friends that care for their children. Thank you, Christine, for caring for Jessica, for helping to make her life special, for being there for her, and for loving her! And happy birthday! You are very special!

Jessica Latshaw said...

here here, mom!

Mandy and Jack said...
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Mandy and Jack said...