If you went to my facebook page, you would read that I have 654 friends.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
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!