Friday, January 27, 2006

A gift from a friend...

I'm on the phone, talking to a long-time friend. The winter sun bravely streams through the kitchen window, and slips across the tiles. For a moment, my mind flashes back to a time 12 years ago, when I was still pregnant, and waiting for Twinks to be born. I sat in this same spot that day, talking to this same friend, watching the spindly, anemic January sunbeams skitter across the floor.

I remember that the conversation was high-spirited that day. We were laughing over some of the rejected baby names that The Wrench and I had decided would probably scar our child for life. She was, as always, cheerful and supportive. She is one of those rare, wonderful people who truly *listens* to you. When you talk with her, she is focused on you, nothing else. She gives you this gift of pure attention; friendship at it's finest.

We're catching up - the last time we spoke was not long before Christmas when we invaded her office with armloads of Christmas cheer in the form of homemade baked goods. We disrupted her business for a good half-hour, laughter punctuating our conversation time and time again.

Today, we talk about our kids, and cats, and gerbils. We laugh (we laugh a lot during these calls) about local politics and national tv and terrible in-laws. We commiserate with each other about children that grow up too fast, and wonder where the years are slipping away to so quickly.

Somehow, she knew that today I needed this conversation. Today, I needed a little bit of Normal. I needed to sit in the gentle, yellow afternoon light and put aside the worries that are ever-present now. For twenty minutes, her friendship surrounded me like a warm blanket. It flowed around me, easing the ache in my heart, and soothing away my worries. For twenty minutes, she gave me this gift of her time, her friendship, and her unwavering attention. She was *there* for me, in every sense of the word.

I needed this afternoon chat today. I needed it like I need air to breathe. I didn't know it at the time, but I needed it. I needed the laughter. I needed this little piece of the regular world to cling to for the next week or so. I needed the break that the call afforded me.

Thank you, my friend.

Thank you for the gift you gave me today.

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