Sunday, March 15, 2009

BFF

Melissa has been one of my BFFs (best friends forever) since we were fourteen. I fell in love with her immediately for her fierce attitude, her courage, her ability to say things I hardly dared to think. And okay, for her curly red hair too. Her mom moved her and her siblings back to Scranton when we were sixteen, and I was devastated. I couldn't imagine life without her, I didn't want to. I thought we'd never see her again, that it would never be the same. I was partly right, it was never the same. We had to write letters and talk on the phone and travel a few hours to see each other. It wasn't always easy to be long distance friends. It took work. Luckily for me, she is a dedicated letter writer and communicator, because I have been known to slack on both of those fronts. But over the more than ten years that we lived in different cities, we remained close friends.

And then a few years ago, she moved back to Philly! We've grown closer than ever since she's returned, and now it's funny to remember how scared I was that I would lose her friendship, because she is part of the small handful of people that I see and talk to most.

She's on the brain because she gave birth to a gorgeous baby boy this week, which got me to thinking about life. (Dangerous, I know.) If Melissa hadn't moved to Scranton, she wouldn't have met her husband. If she hadn't met her husband, not only would I not know The Dicker, one of my favorite people in the world, but also we wouldn't have Alexander. And it's clear as day to me that the world needs Alexander, that he's part of the plan.

So it's true that things were never the same, but they actually got better. This helps me in two ways:

1) When things are uncertain, I tend to assume the worst. But in this scenario, not only did I keep my friend, but added two more amazing people to my world (and a really sweet dog.)

2) When things are painful, I always want an explanation. You know, like "why would God do this to me?" kind of thing. And though an explanation while the pain is happening would be nice, today when I finally understood the much greater good that came out of my friend moving away, it helped me to believe that there actually is a plan, even when I don't understand it.

So I'm grateful this morning, not just for Baby Alexander and his parents, but for friendship--real, true, deep friendship. I'm grateful for acceptance. For having people in my life with whom I can be totally honest, totally myself. For people with whom I laugh early and often. For the support and nourishment I get from my friends. And for this new tiny bit of insight into the Universe that just may allow me to have a little more faith.

11 comments:

Greg said...

The concept that there is a "higher plan" is tough for me to get a handle on. I'd come up with a different answer depending on when you ask me.

One thing I do believe is that you have to make the best of whatever situation you find yourself in. I'm not sure if this means you have to find meaning in bad things, or if you just have to accept some things and move on in the best way you can.

We've all had plenty of things that seem sucky, but without them we wouldn't be where we are today.

Mr. Ackerman said...

A key ingredient to your philosophy is the fact that over time you have developed perspective. Perspective comes with experience and age. It is a great gift - as along as we don't fall into the short term memory trap. For example, sometimes when I am sick, I can't remember what it was like to feel healthy and I begin to think I'll never be anything but sick. Or even more importantly, I haven't been in the water since October and after almost five months I am worried I've lost all my surfing skills. But in my mind, I can close my eyes and remember the warm feel of the sun, and the hot summer wind, the refreshing waters of late July, the undulating waves as I rise and fall preparing to paddle. The exhausting burst of energy I expend trying to catch the next wave and then the exhilarating thrill when the wave picks up the board, I rise to my feet and drop down into the face - taking off, standing tall, screaming with excitement! The power of the mind - in my head, I'm already there.

sulu-design said...

I can't get all deep and philosophical like Greg and Carl... I'm still in freak-out mode knowing that Melissa had a baby!!! That's so awesome - please pass on my congratulations and best wishes to her.

Nell said...

Here, here, Jewel. I too am grateful for this amazing new little life and my cherished friendships as well - which of course includes you. We are a lucky bunch to have each other!

kara said...

"Without the valley, the peaks wouldn't seem half as high"

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