It had been three years. Three years that felt like three minutes once she walked in the door. Our lives have changed dramatically and the challenges we face have grown exponentially in the years since we were last together.
Yet the beauty of our friendship has continued to shine through the years and the distance. Our lives have changed, but the real things haven’t changed a bit.
The last time we were together, a month prior to my surgery in 2008, we drank red wine on my deck in the heat of a summer night and talked for hours. We laughed and cried and we trusted in the power of compassion and friendship as we faced the twists of fate each of our own life journeys had handed us.
Three years later, we’ve emerged as individuals whose lives have been transformed by circumstances out of our control and have both become advocates for causes close to our hearts.
We’ve been riding on similar emotional roller coasters in recent years. We’ve both faced the demons of loss, grief, anger, frustration and fear and we’ve celebrated in the joys of love, gratitude and the blessings bestowed to us and the perspective given each of us.
With arms stretched out on Friday night, I embraced a little girl. A gift from god for my friend and I hugged her. A little head rested on my shoulder and a little voice rang out,
I love you.
I fought back the tears.
Harper soon nestled into Teresa’s outstretched arms as she looked to me in the dimly lit nursery and we both had tears in our eyes.
Neither of us needed to speak in the moment of the gifts we had been blessed with.
So very much has changed and so much has blessed our lives.
I will never know what it is like to walk in her shoes just as she would say the same of mine. Neither of us can understand the others journey entirely. However the beauty of friendship is not about the distance, the path taken or the shoes you wear. The beauty of friendship and what matters most are the real, tried and true friends. The friends who follow you through good and bad, lend support, a shoulder to cry upon, a hand to hold in laughter and walk along with you by your side on life’s journey.
You may or may not know my friend. I’m willing to bet you think you know her because she lived an enormous life moment on TV and you’ve seen her face and read her story in magazines. I watched people point at her and her daughter this weekend, whisper “look” and take photos.
She rolled with it and took the high road. I cringed, wanted to have words and ask for respect. She is a better person than I.
Television, magazines or cell phone pictures could never capture the depth of her character, perseverance, gratitude, love, compassion, inspiration, hope, patience and friendship. Like I said. I’m willing to bet you really don’t know her. I count myself as one of the lucky ones who really does know Teresa, her husband and their daughter.
Three years and two dramatically altered lives we’ve shared via phone and email, it was as if time stood still. As if we’d seen one another yesterday, hanging out on the kitchen couch, eating Dibs ice cream, drinking red wine and spending hours laughing around a fire-pit. Nothing had changed except the location and the size of our families.
“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before
which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.”
John Quincy Adams
** I wrote in generalizations about Teresa and never mentioned her daughter’s name or where we lived. I did this on purpose out of respect for their privacy. The post is about the real story of friendship and perseverance not what people are looking for when they type their names in search engines.