Monday, May 04, 2009

Being There

Last Tuesday I found out that my life long best friend's grandfather passed away. My first instinct and response was to reach for the phone. Without thinking, I flipped open my cell, scrolled to the J's automatically hitting the down button to her number and pressing the send call button. While the phone rang visions of the two of us with her grandfather flashed before me -- us at the lake, spending time talking to other fishermen at the dam, vacations to Middle Bass, Sunday family dinners, sharing wine and dessert. Her grandfather may not have been my biological grandfather, but in every other way he was. I have over two decades of memories proving such. When her voice mail picked up I cried into the phone, telling her how sorry I was and that I was here when she needed me. It didn't matter that I haven't spoken to her in almost five months. It didn't matter that we had only exchanged a few text message here or there, like when her uncle had surgery. It didn't matter that the last time I had spoken to her we didn't end on great terms. All that mattered was that I knew her heart was breaking and I needed to be there for her, we needed to be there for each other.

When I walked into the funeral home for the viewing, she was the first person I saw. There were no words that needed to be spoken, we simply walked toward each other and embraced. Crying both for grandpap and our friendship. During the course of the evening we briefly caught up on life over the past five months -- just skimming the surface. The next day during the funeral service the minister recited a verse that took us back to our childhood and teenage years. Through our tears we exchanged a look and a smile, a private joke between the two of us. When she stood up to read a poem about a grandfather and all he wished to pass on to his grandchildren, I lost it. How she made it through I don't know. For two days it was as if we had easily slipped back into our effortless friendship. The awkwardness, trying to figure out what to say, how to act -- all of that was gone. At the end of the second day as I was walking out the door we hugged, both of us whispering "I miss you." She grasped my hand and said "Thank you. For everything." Another hug and we went our separate ways again.

I don't know where this leaves our friendship. Our lives are so intertwined we will always be a part of each others families. Things will probably never get back to where they were and that's ok. None of it really matters. All that really matters, in the end, is that when the really tough stuff happens we'll be there for each other. That is the one thing, the only thing that has never changed.

20 comments:

ed said...
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Andy said...

In what world would your blog suck? This had me in tears within the few first lines.

A few months back, my BFF lost her grandpa. I think it was really nice for her to see the rest of the group (her 4 BFF) in church, for her and her family.

Katie said...

This took me back to last fall when I lost my Grandma. My best friend flew in from out of state, and just by her presence helped me heal and handle the time.

Your presence probably means more to her than you'll ever know. Even if it doesn't answer any of the questions between you.

Rachie said...

Just started reading your blog today and I've come to love it! I'll definitely be back.

Fritz said...

i think that is the perfect description of true friendship! well said mandy!

Kylie said...

True friendship knows no boundaries. I believe that's what you have with her. Just like you said, no matter what you'll be a part of each others lives. It was so nice of you to put any awkward feelings aside and be there for her. I'm sure she appreciated it greatly.

Ray said...

you painted a beautiful picture with this post...that is a sign of such a meaningful friendship

SoMi's Nilsa said...

Sometimes through loss, we also find opportunity. Thank goodness your friendship has this opportunity to rekindle, in whatever form it takes.

kimmers said...

I think it's the greatest thing in the world to have friends who are there for you when it counts whether you talk once a day or once a year. Thanks for sharing this.

I just found you from Walking Through the Rain... and if you do decide to organize a book swap, I want in! :)

Kyla Roma said...

I just heard from a friend whose father passed away and who I've been out of touch with for a number of years, she said that she needed someone who would really listen & I was the first person who came to mind.

I literally burst into tears lol

Being there for people when they really need you is hugely rewarding, especially because so many people back away.

Little Fish said...

It's amazing how we can think that people have gone from our lives, but then when something major happens they're right there. Have you ever heard of a "karass"? It's a term that Kurt Vonnegut made up in Cat's Cradle. The gist of it is that certain people are just connected for some unknown reason: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=karass

Stay strong! Hugs!

nory said...

The last paragrahp is so true. Some friends will not be as close to as they once were but we will always be there for each other in some way.

looking4#3 said...

So beautifully written. It literally brought me to tears.
When true friendship happens, no words are needed. You knew she needed you, and you were there!!!
When my sister was killed, my BFF was at my house at 5am. I didn't ask her to come, she just knew.

Ashley said...

I've found that friendships as an adult are a lot different. You don't usually see each other every day and you're often growing in different directions, but I have a few friends who will always be there for me and it doesn't matter if we have different interests or if we haven't spoken for a while. Those friendships are for life, even if they change. I'm sorry for your loss, Mandy.

Amandaaa said...

i'm sorry about your friends grandfather. so rough.

friendships, like this, are important. because even though you are both caught up doing your own things...you both have each other for when you need it the most.

xxxx

LiLu said...

Oh my goodness... hon, I'm so glad I read this at home and not at work! I'm so glad your friend had you to be there for her... those friends are truly some of the most precious- when you can go years without speaking, and everything is just as though no time passed at all. My heart goes out to your friend and her family.

Auburn Kat said...

You summed it up perfectly. I have friendships like that too. Hopefully you two will be able to continue to stay friends in the good times as well as the bad.

Bayjb said...

That was a really lovely post and really painted a picture of what was going on. I think it's really great that you were there for her and despite the time apart you could be there for one another. That's so kind of you.

Tamstyles said...

I have two books that I want to publish so badddd. I saw your comment and sooo agreed...its funny because a celebrity can write a book about tying shoes and it be published and a best seller..

Frank said...

This was so sadly beautiful.