So, I commented on a post over at Girl's Gone Child the other day, a post that called for most-memorable-meeting-of-a-friend stories. I told the story (which is the first comment over there; feel free to go read) of how I became friends with Crystal, the friend who introduced me to my now-husband and the friend whose hand I held through her divorce a few years ago and whose current relationship I watched blossom from one date to a second and much-happier and more peaceful marriage and whose baby shower I'm hosting next month and who said to me at dinner the other night—as I was on the verge of tears about our infertility problems—"I am going to tell your kid one day how much you went through to have them; how much you love them." And then she bought me dinner.
I won the contest, which is totally cool because—like everyone who wins something says—I USUALLY NEVER WIN ANYTHING!
I haven't shared this before, but about a year ago my friendship with Crystal was at its lowest point, and I really did worry that the scars from the situation would forever haunt us. It scared me, a lot, and I spent a lot of time crying. I loved her, and I didn't want to lose her. It's not that I ever thought I'd actually "lose" her, but I didn't want to lose the friendship as it was—deep and real and fun. We've slowly made our way back, and I hope she agrees with me when I say, I've never felt more supported or cared for by her than now.
The last line of my comment over on GGC says, "We are so close. She is family. And it all started because she looked past the stupid, ridiculous, insecure woman I was and saw me for who I am. And vice versa."
I don't think we can help hurting the people we love sometimes; it feels almost inevitably human of us to do so. I also don't think we can really help acting like an ass or saying stupid things or occasionally breaking our word or just generally sucking at friendship and life, but if we do it right—if we choose just so—we may find someone who isn't immune to things, no, but who looks past them anyway. Who believes we are worth fighting for and forgiving.
Crystal said once, ages ago, that she knew if she ever needed anything, if she needed a ride at 2am or someone to break the kneecaps of some idiot who had hurt her, I would be there. And it's true. It's at the core of all good friendships: the comfortable knowledge that if we really needed something—a hand, a shoulder, a loan, a safe place to fall—all we'd have to do is ask.
But the best of friends—the kind of friend who sends you a small angel to keep in your pocket because she knows not being pregnant is breaking you in half and you could use all the help, figurative or otherwise, you can get—are there for you without ever needing to be asked.
They are there for you before you even realized you needed them to be.
(Arkansas stories! Tomorrow!)