Monday, November 01, 2010

A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed (In Deed)

I have a friend who probably doesn’t know how special she is to me. (She will now!) Sometime over the last decade, she has grown from a friend of a friend into someone I care for and cherish. The past year especially brought out the care-giver side of me, which I (sarcastically, of course) consider a rare event for a Taurus such as myself. The exact timing of events may be blurred in my mind, but what it boils down to is a first child and the loss of a mother.

Imagine if you will your first pregnancy coinciding with the discovery of cancer eating away at your mother, who is still a spry 52. Toss in some feelings of uncertainty about treatments and seemingly positive results, and then experience the birth of your child. Oh, and add a few states in between your home and your mothers so visiting is not very accessible. Now, absorb the knowledge that the treatments will not work and your mother will soon be gone from your life. She will only briefly know your first born child. Put all of that weight on your shoulders, and then release it with her death. Only, you now have to add on the weight of her absence and all of the responsibilities that come with the loss of a close family member.

Deb on the ferris wheel, April 2009.

I guess this is my long way of saying I wanted to help. If it were only her nervousness at her first pregnancy, I was ready to be there at every turn. (I am a single mom going on 13 years now, though she does have a partner. I just felt connected to everything happening then.) Adding in everything else? I wanted to be there at every turn. (All contingent on her preferences, of course. We all saw Phoebe try to prove there is no such thing as a selfless good deed and fail, right? Like most people, I, too, get a good feeling when helping a friend. Instant karmic vibes perhaps.)

Capuring "Pre-Boba" moments, September 2009.

In the past year and a half or so, I traveled to Los Angeles to visit with her half a dozen times. (I also live many states away.) It had been at least six months since my last visit, a record, when I asked about visiting over the long Halloween weekend. Her birthday also happens to fall on 10/30, so it would be a doubly good weekend to visit. Not to mention, she shares her birthday with her mother, and this would be the first without her. All signs pointed to “Go” until one Jon Stewart made an announcement and she found a cheap (and direct, no less) flight to D.C.

Trio, March 2010.

“I am in the middle. I can go east just as easily as west.”

The trip was still on!

Of course, there need not be turmoil in her life for the friendship to grow stronger. I will always admire her wit, eloquence, free-spirit, and love of others. (In fact, her eloquence usually makes me feel like a monkey pounding a keyboard, but I endeavor on, as the saying goes.) Certainly, these are her qualities that cemented our friendship prior to any strife and made it that much easier to extend a hand when life was a little less friendly.

As quickly as this year has gone by, October seemed to take forever to arrive and dwindle away. Finally, finally, the weekend of sanity arrived. (To be continued …)

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