Yesterday I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with one of my dearest friends. She’s in town with her husband – making the rounds and honoring us with her company. We met at a friend’s house and luxuriated poolside with good food, beer, and sunshine. There were no bugs.
When the visit was over and I drove home, I felt energized. It’s funny how being near certain people can do that. She’s one of those people. For as long as I can remember, she’s been there for me, a support. In fact, in my long, long, long, long, loooooooong life, there are probably just five friends on the “My Greatest Supporters List” and she’s one of them.
I feel blessed in my friendships – all of them. My friends have stood by me the last ten years of my life when things felt like they couldn’t possibly get worse, and then they did. My friendships extend from 5th grade all the way to new ones from Twitter. These are people who when I’m snuggled up in bed listening to Chris Moyles at 1 in the morning, will text me just to say “hi.” It’s a warm feeling to know that somewhere out in the world, someone thought about you long enough to drop you a line, isn’t it? God bless technology because I’m not lucky enough to have all my friends close by. They’re spread across the globe. But they’re just a phone call, text, or Direct Message away, and they’re there for me.
However, what makes this friendship so much more special is that shortly after the last time I saw her in 2008, she was diagnosed with T-Cell Lymphoma. I won’t go into the details, we all know the horrors of cancer. While she battled so stoically, and with such grace and beauty, my friend remained concerned about my life. About how I was dealing with loss, and pain, and feelings of inadequacy, etc. While she fought cancer, she also fought my many neuroses. While all I wanted to talk about was how she was getting on and what her treatments were like, she wanted to know about my latest traumas and tribulations – who said what, and how did I react? She’s come through the other side with all the wisdom, elegance, and humor that I would expect of her.
When we met I was in my early ’20s, and she was my boss, and mentor. Even then she would pull me up by the shoulders, give me a shake, and tell me I could do better for myself. She’s a true friend who feels honest joy when I’m happy, and pure sadness when I’m at my lowest. She knows my deepest, darkest secrets and yet still thinks I’m special, and wants to stay friends. A hug from her can rejuvenate me as if I’ve just come from a spa.
Last night, as I was drifting off to sleep, I wondered if I’d ever given a fraction of the love and support to my friends that they have showered upon me. I feel entirely unworthy of their unflagging loyalty and devotion!
As you can tell, I don’t understand why my supporters tolerate me. I say this often, I’m going to become a nun and change my name appropriately enough to Sister Eeyore O’Shea. It’s suitably gloomy. I’ll be the morose nun in the corner who’s hidden desserts and books up her habit to keep herself occupied. Knowing my friends, they’re just so perfectly crazy in their love for me, they’d be right there saying things like, “Wow, you make a fabulous nun!” or “We want to join your convent.” I’m one lucky Eeyore.