I feel ill today. I woke up with a horrible sore throat and a white spot on my tonsils. Just one spot. On my left tonsil. (Ever notice that tonsil kinda rhymes with nostril? No? Hmmm.) Of course – instead of scheduling a doctor appointment or even googling the symptom — I asked my magic 8 ball: Twitter. What do I have? Strep throat. Of course.
Well — I don’t currently have health insurance. Seem unfathomable that someone with all my health issues doesn’t have health insurance but my Cobra was crazy expensive and my application for new insurance (which I know will be denied) is in the works, etc. and long story. Anyway — I hope I get that figured out soon but currently don’t have health insurance. I’m searching for some sort of affordable minute clinic or something similar…right now. Okay…no…now.
But first — a recycled blog post. I totally forgot that I wrote this two years ago for her birthday on my old blog — way before she was on Twitter as @antigen10. At the risk of severely embarassing my best friend, she’s going to have to take one for the team so that I have a blog post today. If you don’t follow her, you should. Her best friend spot is already taken, but maybe you can be one of her “other” friends and she’ll be as good to you as she has been to me.
Here’s the original post from two years ago, her birthday was last week:
We were 11 years old, in the 6th grade. A bully got in another girl’s face in the stinky middle school locker room. And without even thinking about it, six of us rushed to her rescue. What could the bully say? She was used to people being scared of her. Fifteen years old in the 6th grade (ok, maybe not), she smoked, used foul language, and I had heard that she had gone all the way on the regular. Years later she was still living in the same trailer park she grew up in, with five children, fathered by her uncles I’m sure.
The girl that was getting bullied later grew up to be a school psychologist. As for the group of girls that came to the rescue: One became an Air Force pilot. Another a teacher. I don’t know about one of them. And another one and I had a fall out a few years ago…I haven’t heard from her since, but rumor has it she is fighting a brain tumor. I am the fifth. And the sixth is a college professor, who has stayed close by my side through the years. If we could choose our sisters, she would be one of mine.
Through high school, she never failed me. Through college, we exchanged late night phone calls, sometimes with our head in cold ceramic toilets, swearing never to drink that much again. Once, we lied to our parents and took a trip to Los Angeles, pretending to shop for grad schools. When our plane prepared for landing at LAX and I took in the wide expanse of quadrants and lights that made the city, I was certain that my parents could not possibly love me. There is no way they would have permitted me to go to a city like this wide if they did. The truth is the only reason they let me go is because they trusted me in her “care.” We spent the week shopping and eating, riding on roller coasters, and drinking on rooftops.
We shared our deepest heartbreaks, hers a boyfriend from college who was the first to smash her spirit; mine my first divorce. I picked her future husband up on the side of the road, and when he professed to me his love for her, I called and told her he was the one. She has seen me through two weddings. At my first she offered to drive the getaway car. At my second she wiped my tears and said “This is you”. I held her baby the day after he was born and promised him that I would always be there for him, the way she has for me. Very few opinions matter to me as much as hers.
A few weeks ago, my 13 year old niece attended a retreat at the Church. One of the topics that they discussed was how God presents himself to you in other people. The kindness and grace that she has shown me through the years is a great example of how He comes to us in everyday life. Without her, I would have never made it through my toughest times. We have been friends for 23 years.
Happy Birthday friend…