A tearful and joy-filled day of remembering someone who loved life. Loved cooking. Loved people. Loved his family.
And loved my sisterfriend.
As I sat there watching the slide show of pictures of him throughout his life, including the wedding pictures–the wedding I had the joy of being a part of, in the same building where I sat today with the tears flowing–
I found myself face to face with my 22-year-old self.
I saw her and my sisterfriend, sitting side by side in the little office with the cinderblock and wood top desk. I saw them working together to get the job done, but also they laughed. And they listened to music.
And they talked.
And in those moments between payroll and accounts payable and making signs and calculating timecards,
a friendship was born.
As I looked at my much younger self, I wanted to whisper–
That one sitting right there? The one you just met and are getting to know? The one who is funny and vivacious and kind and smart and is putting up with you right now at this very minute?
She is your sisterfriend. She is going to continue putting up with you.
One day, you will be able to say, “I’ve known her for over half my life.”
One day, you will hug each other and hold on tight and whether the tears are yours or hers, whether it’s her sadness or yours, it won’t matter.
Because you will share the journey.
You will be there to laugh over the crazy things people do, the choices they make.
You will be there to stand up for each other, to say, “hey, this girl right here–you’d better treat her right. Or else.”
You will be there to stand off to the side and bring comfort merely because you are there.
There will be periods of time, years maybe even, when you won’t hear from each other,
but when it all boils down to it,
when things get hard or wonderful or life finds you in need,
that one, she will be there for you. Just as you better be for her.
Life doesn’t always deal you a friend like that one.
The one with the bat.
The one with the smile and laugh. The one with the stories.
The one who will carry your stories with her to the grave.
The one who will let you into her family, who will share love with you just as she does.
Hey! You! The 22-year-old me who thinks she’s got it all together, who thinks life is rolling along pretty well–engaged, new job, college degree…..
Yeah, you do have it pretty good
but not because of any of those things.
It’s because of that girl right there.
And all of the women like her.
Who stand strong and love their friends fiercely.
Yes, girl, you have it good. Now reach over and hug that girl next to you. Both so young, both have so much wonderful adventures and heartache in front of you. And it will be okay. Not because it won’t hurt, not because you will get over it, but because you have a friend to share the journey with.
And to sit in the dark with you when the lights go out.
Because, my sweet self, they will go out.
No, don’t worry about a flashlight. That’s only temporary.
Grab your sisterfriends. That’s what light eternal is made of.
Wishing you all a friend who will spend the next twenty-four plus years putting up with you. (And a small warning, once you offer to use your bat “as necessary,” there are some folks who are hard to get rid of after that.)
Love to all. Especially my sisterfriends.