I wasn’t looking for a new friend. I didn’t even want a new friend. Lord knows I didn’t need one more person in my life to disappoint. Their words say one thing but if you are paying attention, at all, you can see the disappointment conveyed with their eyes.
“Yes, I am in too much pain to go to the yard sales with you”. “No, my back can’t take 2 hours in a movie theater chair”. “I would love to come to your Christmas party but don’t you think your guests might be annoyed when I uproot them from the couch because my pain says it’s time to lay down”?
I could fill a very lengthy post with the “excuses” I have had to give over the years, but I don’t want to make you go stir crazy hoping for actual content to come along.
I was down to one friendship and that one was tenuous at best. She was past the point of being fed up with my “excuses”. We had been friends for a very long time. We had weathered many storms together. We were always there for each other, no matter what, day or night.
Then came Lori. She came before that other friendship died. We met five years ago. Our boys were in third grade and had become the best of friends. They wanted to spend every waking moment together. That meant sleep overs. That meant getting to know the parents. I wondered how often I would disappoint them. It was inevitable. The boys seemed to want to do their sleep overs here most of the time which meant Lori and J (soon to be ex) would bring Erric over to my house. We would sit around talking and cutting up. I liked Lori instantly. She
likes loves to laugh. I took an instant disliking to J. I even tried hard not to like Lori, only because I knew I would eventually see the disappointment in her eyes. If you don’t have any friends to lose, then it won’t hurt. Right?
We spent the next four years being in and out of touch. They moved a few times, got new phones and changed schools. It broke Josh’s heart every time we lost touch. It was something else to see Josh and Erric’s eyes dance with joy when we would bump into each other at the store after a long absence. I bumped into Lori at the store about a year and a half ago. No more “bumping into” since then. We have been inseparable since that day. Her little punch buggy was loaded down with belongings. She had finally realized she deserved better. She was moving into her own place. Of course Erric could spend the night with us while she was moving.
I wasted so many years being afraid to let her in. I will always regret that. I will never regret finally giving in to her sparking eyes and infectious laugh! We are not best friends. Not even close. We are sisters. We can sit for hours talking and joking about the dumbest things. Occasionally, we get serious and chat about important things. But shit, who has time for serious stuff when you can giggle like school girls all day? And guess what? I have NEVER seen disappointment in her eyes! When I hurt too much to sit up, we just each grab a couch, get cozy and go back to laughing.
Lori doesn’t let my pain interfere with our sisterhood. She works around it and fits me in. She often brings tears to my eyes and sometimes even makes me pee my pants. I am getting older, you know. Sometimes, the tears come because for the life of me I can’t figure out what I did to deserve this amazing woman being my friend – sister. I can only hope that I give to her spirit what she gives to mine. Her love is unconditional. Her spirit is bigger than life. When I am with her, I know I am home.
Lori, my beautiful sister, I love you more than life itself. Thank you for being such an incredible you and for being willing to put up with me. Most of all, thank you for eyes that have never conveyed disappointment and never will.
I hope everyone has a “Lori” in their lives. If not, I hope you find one soon!