Tuesday, August 30, 2011

RemembeRED: When do you want me to come?

Sporting a white polo top, a short straight kelly green skirt, and white Keds, she hobbled up the small hill from the parking lot on crutches with the sun rising behind her.

That was twenty-four years ago that I met the little blonde who would become my best friend and one of my treasured Four Musketeers.  The memory wasn't stored intentionally, but back then I remembered just about every living photograph I saw.  Today, I'm glad the memory is so accessibly stored in my mind.

Looking in from the outside, we probably shouldn't be best friends.  She's blonde, I'm brunette.  She's sporty, I'm not.  She's a joiner, I'm not.  Even though she has two cats, she's a dog person.  Cats are my fur peeps.  They're great listeners, cute, don't stink, and a heck of lot cheaper than therapy.  She follows recipes, I always change things up.  She's fond of measuring, I'm not.  She rocks it in the math department, I party with words.  She checks in on Facebook, you'll more often hear me on Twitter.

And yet, twenty-four years later, whether via phone, Twitter, Facebook, an IM chat, or old school email, we never go long without hearing from the other.

A few years ago, I was more elated than usual to see her name in my email's inbox.

Exhaustion ran through every cell after having my second kidlet, particularly the days immediately following her dramatic entry.

And my husband's best friend was getting married in just a few short weeks, out of town.  He was the Best Man.  He had to be there.

Hesitation tried to hide in his eyes.  I still couldn't drive, I had a preschooler, newborn, was severely anemic, and exhausted.  It was his best friend, he needed to go.  I told him to go.

Attempting to not sound desperate, I sent out emails looking for help.  My inbox held my best friend's reply with only one question, "When do you want me to come?"

Friday, after work, she arrived.  Donning chocolate capris, cream top with coffee tinted trimming at her neck, she walked in my front door, promptly taking my daughter into her arms to meet her for the first time.

Sunshine filled the sky as she drove us out to Mom's the next morning, to drop my son off for an overnight there.  She again climbed behind the wheel to drive my newborn and I around to crafty destinations before we headed back home.

She easily transferred my slumbering daughter to her arms and sent me to my room to take a nap.

A nap?  The concept was foreign to me.  I took all of two twenty minute naps with my first baby in my arms, not because I was SuperMama, but simply because he woke up every other time I had tried.  A nap?  My baby girl was a few weeks old and I had yet to catch some shut eye during the sun's hours.  A nap?  Yes, I needed one.

Without a worry wandering in my head, I not only lay down, but quickly drifted into a dreamless solid sleep.  Waking in a dark room, my nap had lasted much longer than twenty minutes.  Climbing out of bed, I made my way out to check on my friend and my girl.

She was still contentedly in my best friend's arms, waiting quietly, patiently for me to feed her.

My friend's only question, "When do you want me to come?"  Seven simple words were like a choir singing out, filling a room with both joy and peace in the same breath.

This week, Write on Edge (formerly The Red Dress Club) prompted us to "write about a memory of yourself WITH someone else."

And just for the record, I love my husband's best friend & his wife. And yes, they both invited me to join my husband at their wedding, but it was in a very hot area, with little shade and we knew I wouldn't have lasted.  I'm glad Hubs could go, support his friend, and have a great time without worrying about me! :>


  1. A dear soul to treasure - to be SURE! What a stunning recollection, my friend! This adoring recount to THAT kind of kindness makes me treausre those souls in my journy, all the more! YOU are BEYOND crafty with words - THANKS for the GREAT share!

  2. A friend like that is a treasure! (Although I am surprised her cream shirt survived a day of snuggling a newborn. They must save their best spit and drool for their moms!)

    I loved reading this.

  3. There is quite simply nothing like a best friend.

  4. Well done! What a perfect moment to capture! Best friends really are worth their weight in gold, aren't they!!

    Let's see...for concrit, I will offer the following:

    I think your story started a few different times, finally picking up speed here: "Exhaustion ran through every cell after having my second kidlet, particularly the days immediately following her dramatic entry." My advice... just start there! I know this move, because I do it all the time. It takes three to four paragraphs to get into the story, and once I finally finish and go back and edit, I inevitable have to chop off the first few paragraphs!!

    I also highly enjoyed your use of parallelism in the third paragraph:"She's blonde, I'm brunette...She follows recipes, I always change things up...She rocks it in the math department, I party with words." Great images!


  5. What a wonderful friendship you have. That is beyond priceless.
    Your description of her and of your predicament were excellent. I could envision her and feel your weariness.

  6. Oh you have a fantastic BEST FRIEND Karen, hooray for the women in our lives who support us, let us nap and do it with a smile, a hug, a block of chocolate or bottle of wine.

    Your words and descriptions of her were spot on and I could see her, wanted to hug her for coming and giving you the things you needed!


  7. I actually teared up a little when I saw her "When do you want me to come" reply. Such a lovely story.

  8. Now that you've got me crying, just wanted to say I love you. And those seven words will always roll off my tongue!

  9. Wow, what a GOOD friend! She was definitely there at a time you really needed her and that just proves how wonderful your friendship is.

    Thanks for linking up at my place!!


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