3 little Miracles

3 little Miracles

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

FRIEND of my heart my life

When I was 7 years old our family was preparing to move into a home my parents had dreamed of for many years, one they had built according to their needs and provided plenty of space outside to run for us kids. During the summer months the house was still under construction and on this particular day while my parents worked in the house on Meadow Brook Rd., my parents sent me and my three siblings out into the neighborhood so we wouldn't be under foot and said "go make friends". Little did I know those three words would forever impact my life with the friendship I made at the brown house on the corner.

So off we set to explore our new world and to see if we could make new friends. At the end of the street up on a hill sat a large brown ranch house, in front was a small fenced in garden and a mother and 2 boys were working on weeding the flower beds. April, my older sister, suggested that we go up and introduce ourselves since the boys looked about my age. I didn't want to go up the drive because I didn't want to make friends with boys, I wanted girl friends ;-)

But on that day, I met a friend that God wanted me to have, one that would be a part of me for the rest of my life. My sister and I walked up to the fenced in flower garden at the front of the house and introduced ourselves to the mom . . . . . . . . much to my surprise she said "these are my daughters". Standing behind her were two children whom I thought were boys because of their very short brown curls and the fact that they both were wearing overalls with no shirts. I was so shocked, but once I truly looked at their faces I realized that they were both beautiful girls and I was already a little jealous of their small frames and cute features.

Very quickly the girl my age and I became the closest of friends and we were seldom seen apart from one another in the neighborhood. Her sister was 2 years younger and she too became my friend and would often hangout with us, but my new FRIEND and I seemed to have a special bond. There are so many moments on Meadow Brook with her that I am still trying to hard to bring forth in my mind but after 33 years it is sometimes hard to remember the details, especially with the things that happened in the after years clouding my minds view of the past. It may seem odd that I am writing about a childhood friendship (and not sharing her name, but some things have happened in her life that belong to her alone and so for her privacy I will not share her name), but she has always been a part of me no matter where I lived or how many years separated us. Over the past 33 years we have lost touch often and with great sadness our friendship drifted apart when we were in our teens due to some circumstances that I will talk of later, but even though we drifted apart I still loved her deeply.

I tracked my FRIEND down in 2000 just before I got married, when I was planning our wedding I knew I wanted her to be a part of it if I could track her down. I wanted the ladies that stood with me on that wonderful day to be a scope of my life from childhood up to the moment that David and I fell in love. So I called her mom and she gave me all her contact information. I can tell you that the moment I heard her voice on the other end of the line, tears filled my eyes and the joy of finding her filled me.

My FRIEND had a very difficult childhood, the funny thing is that MY view of her life looked really good. Her family always traveled to a family cottage every summer for about a month and always came back brown little babies darkened by hours spent in the sun along the water. Her family was always taking special trips to concerts, to see extended family, and to just spend time together to make up for time apart from their dad who traveled a lot for business. It always seemed to me that whatever was popular at the time Poppy and her siblings had it, and more important her family seemed close and happy in each others company. Don't get me wrong, I loved my family deeply, but you know how you are as a child the view on the other side always looks better. Sadly my child's eyes missed so much and so when she suddenly changed when we were around 13 and seemed to want to drink with the neighborhood boys, it scared me and I didn't know what to do other then to back off from our friendship. I remember one incident in particular when she was drinking with two boys who were about a year younger then us, she kept asking me to drink to, I left. Later that day we got a call, Poppy had to be taken to the hospital, turned out to be alcohol poisoning, I had no idea what as going on with her and NO IDEA how to deal with it. What seemed to finalize the separation between us was that she ended up going to a different high school which meant we saw each other even less and deepened the wedge that had come between us.

Several years after David and I got married her sister contacted me and asked for prayers for her, she told me that she had disappeared and that she had lost her children. She didn't go into many details but I knew that more then likely she had returned to old habits. I cried and prayed, asked friends to pray, and put her on our church prayer list. I still felt the guilt of not doing something for my dear FRIEND back when we were teenagers. However, I knew that God could take the seeds planted all those years ago when she had gone to church with my family and touch her life now where ever she was and whatever she was doing. Another year or so passed and I got an email from her sister, she said Poppy had returned and that she was living with her mom. My FRIEND had been diagnosed with bipolar disease (which explained so much) and she was getting treatment and doing better, she gave me her contact info and said I could call if I wanted to. We talked just before Christmas this last year, our conversation was very short but she seemed to be going well and happy to finally have some answers for why things happened in her life.

My FRIEND and I talked but our conversations were stilted and difficult. I loved her so much and the past didn't matter but I didn't know what to say and I still didn't know how to help her, and I think in many ways she was ashamed and afraid I would judge her. A week ago her sister contacted me again and told me Poppy was in the hospital, she said she had asked Poppy's permission to contact me first, and Poppy said "Yes Laura loves me no matter what". I called her right away and was so heart broken to hear how weak she sounded. Sadly the years of chemical abuse to her body had taken its toll and the medications to fight her disease were making her even more sick. I truly feel God has kept me in her life for all these years for a reason, and I pray that even now I can bring her comfort in His name and that she will be able to call His name and draw strength from the Heavenly Father. I don't know if my FRIEND will win this fight this time and if she doesn't it will tear me apart, but the greatest thing I can do is place my dear heart at the Master's feet and trust Him with her and pray He gives me and her peace in what ever happens.

I tell this story because she is a part of who I am and who I have become, and so in telling you will hopefully begin to understand me and my life journey so far. Also if you are a praying person, you will pray for my FRIEND and I at this moment in our lives, that our connection will grow stronger in these days that we talk and she needs me most, and prayerfully God will provide me the His words and strength.


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