Wednesday, April 1, 2009

To know and be known

My dear Delaney has a best friend, Lauren. They are six and seven years old and love one another in a pure way that only little girls can. Lauren left yesterday for an early spring break and Delaney is lost. It truly is as if part of her is missing. I love to watch the two of them and know in my heart that friendships can really begin this early and last a lifetime. I know this because I have one that has.

I met my Angie when I was 5 and she was 8. I remember the first time I saw her. She had beautiful long dark hair, big expressive eyes and she was gorgeous. Although we knew one another from our small church and school she was older than I was so any attention from her was very special to me. In my early teen years we became inseparable and for some reason any social barriers from the age difference melted away. We were alike in so many ways. We shared a love of words and ideas that most others would laugh at. We were dramatic and silly and very serious too. We were old souls and felt things deeply. We shared a history that could not easily be explained to new friends and certainly not understood. We were knit together by formative years of joy and pain and a rare love.

There were many years of time apart. After attending the same college I took a path of sin and selfishness, and we fell out of touch. It was only a year and a half ago when I learned of Angie's breast cancer diagnosis that I was drawn to reconnect with her. I had just gone through a long and painful hospitalization, and I knew I needed to find her and love her.

The first time we emailed and then talked on the phone it was as if not a day had passed. Although so much life had happened in between, including marriage and children, our hearts remained the same, and we still owned the pieces we had kept so carefully all those years. Angie speaks of our friendship as knowing and being known. Yes, that's it. It's a rare and precious gift.

I finally took a trip last weekend to Virginia to be with my Angie. Although I spend my days breathing her life in thought and prayer, there is no substitute for friendship in the flesh. I have wanted to put into words the details of our time together and the emotions behind it. For some reason I cannot. The journey we have taken together since our reconnection is littered with Angie's fight against cancer and all the evil it brings with it. I can tell you the dark and ugly shadows of her struggle have only emphasized the light of our great God's love, the author of our friendship. When I hold her hand I can feel how fragile life is and how achingly beautiful each moment we are given HAS to be. Reluctantly, I hold it loosely, knowing she belongs to God and He has each day of her life written in His book, but I beg Him for more time to know and be known by this dear one and please, a place right next to her when we get to Heaven!


Angie said...

Oh, friend. I have read this over and over and over... and I cry more each time. It is good, oh so good to know and be known by you.

La Familia Garcia said...

wow, what a blessing. Even what you cannot put in to words.

Natalie said...

Angie has told me so much about you and how much she treasures your friendship but it is good to hear your own heart. Your friendship is a true picture of Christ's love for all of his children. Thank you for loving Angie so well. So glad you were able to visit with her last weekend.

Julie Pizzino said...

C.S. Lewis says that friendship is:
"What? You, too? I thought I was the only one." You and Angie have that in large measure, heaping over. Thanks for the beauty of your friendship and your sharing it with us.