My best friend has taught me life is a fragile flower. It can quickly whither away. Her quiet strength has showed me that. The way that something so big, something that would tare another person inside, out, is taken almost calmly by her. I talked to her yesterday, and she was still in the hospital, her Kidneys failing, her body being ravaged by an invisible monster, she has already faced so much transplants, amputations, loves lost, and so much more.
I may wonder what makes her so strong, what makes her able to look at something so serious and say something like:
" I will get through but for the Grace of God."
I know her faith and she knows mine.
" I nearly died this time Michelle." She tells me. I am amazed at how calm she sounds. I try to imagine what I would feel if she had died. I think back to how we became friends, first through conversations on computer screens, telephone calls and eventually a trip to Georgia, one hot August, less than a year removed from the 9-11 attacks.
I often began to wonder if everyone was right, that we were crazy for taking a greyhound bus across country, another friend, her year and a half old son and I. A plane trip would have been better, but we were afraid to fly. Going on a greyhound was a learning experience, not one I want to repeat though. Each person on the bus had a story to tell, and I was ready to listen.
The college student from Russia, struggling with trying to understand America. The young girl leaving home for the first time trying to get to a college nearly half a continent away.
Each person had a story to tell and as a writer I took it all in, with notebook and pen ready.
Like I said the greyhound bus was an experience, but I soon grew tired of the experience.
As we grew closer and closer, I more and more wanted to get there. My friends baby was getting fussy, heck we were getting fussy ourselves. We wanted something other than fast food,and we wanted a long hot shower.
My mind goes back to the present and I find myself telling her " Iíve been praying."
A second later I add. " I wish I could do more."
" Your doing all you can."
Moments like this, can either make or break your faith, somehow I am able to talk, although itís mostly listening I let her doing the talking there are things she needs to say and things that are said without words.
"I canít walk on my own anymore." She says. I am amazed at how calm she sounds, although I know sheís been down this road before.
Nights earlier I had taken out the letters she had written me, and read them. It seemed she was doing most of the encouragement though when it comes down to it her life has been a lot harder than mine. I learn from her not to take things for granted.
As I write these words I remember the little things she has done for me. Nonna died in November, and she was sick even back then, but not in the hospital, she was there to comfort me even sending flowers to the memorial chapel, a beautiful gesture, beautiful flowers, this for the woman she never got to meet personally, but somehow talking to her on the phone made her like family, like another granddaughter, and she had certainly become a sister to me.
I am again taking back to our trip to Georgia and the time we finally got there, hot and sweaty, as we anxiously awaited for her to pull up. My other friend in her anxiousness actually went to the wrong people a couple of times.
I knew her story even more I met her in person. She was an amputee, partial foot and left leg above the knee. The left leg had been amputated only a year before. She had only recently relearned to walk. I found myself feeling stupid for whining about my own disabilities. They began to seem mild in comparison, but she had listened to vent so many times.
I had called her late one April night when my Aunt Linda had died. A women I was only beginning to get to know, despite the fact that she was one of my Motherís half sisters. I cried long and hard that night, and she listened comforting when I needed comforting just letting me cry when I needed to cry. A few weeks later I was to do the same, her Aunt gave succumbed to Cancer. It was my turn to listen and let her cry.
A soft sound, a sigh reminds me I am on the phone, and I am awaken again to the present. She softly tells me about P.T and Dialysis the Kidneys transplanted are trying to reject or fail.
I want to cry for her, I want to cry for her six year old son at home with Grandma, missing his Mama, I want to cry for her Mother, who has watched her daughter suffer so much and I want to cry for myself, half a country away, feeling helpless wondering how I could be going on with the rest of my life as she lay in a hospital bed, fighting for her life.
I do all I can I pray, pray long and hard. I feel I should do more, but I know that sheís right, that I am doing all I can, that does not ease the feeling of helplessness though.
I again remember back to that summer, the friendship, the sisterhood that blossomed, we quickly became stronger friends, and Sisters of the Heart. I remember the late night talks, the laughter, the frustration, even the tears. I remembered how my other friend acted and felt the
anger all over again. I also remembered the laughter, lots of laughter. We laughed hard as she tried to teach me to dance.
I also remembered how she inspired so many.Someone came over and asked her why she didnít feel sorry for herself, and she certainly didnít let what others thought get her down. She simply told them:
" Throwing a pity party isnít going to change anything."
I try to remember that every time I begin to feel sorry for myself. Every time I start to throw myself a pity party.
Yes my best friend taught me that Life is A Fragile Flower, but sheís also taught me not to focus so much on what others think, and to live life to itís fullest. And of course she has helped me to realize the power of faith.
Copyright Michelle R Kidwell