Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Very Short Trip


We were in the middle of the intersection when the light changed.



"It's okay," I said in my most confident voice.  "They won't hit us."  I hoped that saying it would make it so.  She continued her slow and careful progress across the street, and I kept an eye on the drivers of the truck and two cars, hoping that we wouldn't need a second light cycle to get across the remaining two lanes of traffic.

Maybe parking across the street from the restaurant had been a bad idea.

We were out because I needed supplies.  Or maybe I really didn't, but I needed to get away from my studio so I invented an outing.  I hadn't seen my friend in a while so I called and invited her to go with me and get some lunch.  Always eager for a reason to get out of the house (and good food), she said she would be ready in an hour.

We became friends in college.  As working young women after college, we would regularly go shopping on the weekends and then have lunch.  If the shopping trip was stressful, we would just have dessert.  We had more than one "lunch" that consisted of soup or salad and a giant piece of chocolate cake.

Her energy was starting to flag by the time I parked at the restaurant, and we were both hungry, which leads to poor decision-making as evidenced by my parking across from the restaurant.  It doesn't sound like a big deal, but here's the thing about my friend: she has multiple sclerosis.  She has been using a walker for the past year.  The last time that we went out without the walker we both almost ended up on the ground and decided that we shouldn't do that again.  Imagine, if you will, two women on a rainy day, one trying to balance the other's lack of balance, as they try to step up onto a curb with piles of soggy leaves.  It looked quite perilous, and a truck driver stopped and got out to make sure we were okay, but we were laughing at the absolute ridiculousness of the situation.  It's like that with her.

So there we were in the middle of the street.  She kept walking and I apprehensively watched the slowly increasing number of cars that were waiting for us.  We made it to the other side just as the light changed again.  We were safe.  No one had honked at us.  No one had tried to intimidate us by nosing their car forward.

"Maybe that wasn't the best idea," we said simultaneously, looking back at the intersection and laughing at our folly.


Hanging out with some awesome bloggers at yeahwrite this week.


31 comments:

  1. "It's like that with her."

    It's always been like that with her. Her sense of humor is outrageously fun and uplifting.

    I can't tell you how jealous I've been for the past 20 years that you get to live close and take emotional care of her, but neither can I tell you how very glad I've been all these years you are with her. Thanks for the story.

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    1. Now you made me choke up. Thank you for that. She has so much humor and so much grace, it is easy and excellent to be her friend.

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  2. You speak with such love and respect for your friend that it filled my heart up.
    We all need friends like that. Friends like you who will love us and protect us, and friends like her who keep us laughing and optimistic.

    Great story!

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    1. That's exactly what she does! I so admire her grace in what is a very challenging situation.

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  3. A scary moment! Glad you guys got through that alright.

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    1. Yeah, because I really didn't want to have to explain to her husband or mine how we got hit crossing the street.

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  4. aww i love this; sounds like a fun, great friendship.

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    1. It truly is. Life would be less fun without her friendship.

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  5. Such a bittersweet story of friendship!

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  6. What a wonderful and gentle way to show your love for your friend -- who seems like an awesome person. You're lucky to have each other!

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    1. She's a wonderful person and I'm glad I get to be her friend.

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  7. What a beautiful friendship! From what you describe, I'm in awe of the way she deals with her disease.

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    1. She is my model for how to deal with adversity. I am so lucky to have her as my friend.

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  8. The picture you paint makes it so easy for your readers to be right next to the two of you fun hooligans, laughing and getting yourselves into trouble. We all need relationships like this in our lives; they fill up the cup. Thanks for sharing this with us.

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    1. It's great to be able to still get in trouble with her. Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. Aww, sounds like you two take care of each other.

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  10. I love how you managed to present the situation as challenging without evoking pity. My overwhelming emotion is jealousy of your friendship, as opposed to feeling sorry for your friend. I'm glad the cars waited patiently!

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  11. A beautiful snap shot of a friendship. I really enjoyed this.

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  12. This made me tear up...that a treasure a long time friendship is.

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    1. That is truly the beauty of it. We've known each other so long that this is just another dimension to the friendship.

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  13. This touched my heart so much. My mom had MS.

    Your story was great - amusing and heartwarming.

    It is so wonderful that your friend has such a sense of humor. That alone will do wonders for her.

    My comment doesn't do your post justice.

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    1. Thank you, Michelle. I'm sorry your mother had this awful disease. I've watched my friend handle this for 20 years, and her sense of humor has gotten her through some very difficult times.

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  14. You captured the essence of friendship beautifully. You are lucky to have each other!

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  15. Hey Jackie,

    Michele just sent me this and I'm glad she did. We've had a similar situation, but we're still alive (you have to say that part in Michele-voice). Now that I've moved to Falls Church, we'll all have to get together soon for lunch, and we'll have to make sure to park on the same side of the street as the restaurant!!!

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  16. Oh, I didn't realize I didn't put a name - that last comment is from Arlene

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    1. I thought it was you, Arlene! She told me you had moved to Falls Church so we should absolutely come out there. Would love to see you.

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