Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hidden Blessings

This post is linked up with Mamakat's Writers Workshop

Prompt: Who is the last person you spoke with on the phone for more than 30 minutes? Write about one thing you talked about.

I have a friend who I won't name but instead call her Maria. She has been my friend for almost 20 years. She was in my wedding, she's godmother to one of my children, she's been there for me for a long time. In college she taught me how to take risks and take myself less seriously. In return, I grounded her a bit more, keeping her head out of the clouds at time and helping her focus more than 5 minutes in the future.

Mostly, though, I'm the one who's been there for her. I mean, we mean a lot to each other and she would be by my side in a second should I even need her. But what I mean by that is, she's had a lot of stuff go down in her life, and I've sat by her through it all, holding her hand and handing her Kleenex and listening every time she asked, "Why me?"

Her story isn't so unique but it is personal so I don't want to divulge details. I think I can safely say, though, it involves men - the stupid kind. It also involves bosses - the stupid kind. It further involves family members - you guessed it, the stupid kind.

And yet, there have been times that I've envied her life. She makes a LOT of money at her job. She has a gorgeous house. Her child is grown and responsible for himself. She has a rockin' body.

But when I listen to her divulge her struggles to me, I can't say I'd want to trade places with her. I realize that the "poor, pitiful me" feelings I have are kind of... well, pathetic. I have a loving husband - NOTE, I did not say perfect! But he's loyal and responsible and a fantastic father. I have a generous family and we all get along great and I can't remember a family spat, EVER. My in-laws are incredible. Seriously, I love them as much as I love my own parents. Although I don't have a job, my husband has a job with very high job security and a good salary. And, okay, I don't have a smokin' body but my kids think I'm beautiful.

Talking to Maria, I admit, makes me feel happy to be there for someone. I guess, knowing that a friend needs to talk to someone and that someone is me, it makes me feel loved, or useful, or something like that. It's a different kind of useful than being a mom - all she wants me to do is listen; I don't have to make her a cheese sandwich or find her teddy bear.

Our last conversation ended abruptly, as I had to chase Violet around a display of DVD's and she kept randomly selecting titles which she used like a frisbee. I actually still need to call Maria back but I think she knows I'm here if she needs me. And I know she's there for me too.

Everyone needs a Maria.

Texan Mama


Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

I'm sure she finds you equally valuable.

What a good friend you are!

Patty Ann said...

Oh, and I am sure she appreciates you. If she did not, she wouldn't be still calling. I think you sound like a great friend!!

Gigi said...

Sounds like you are both lucky.

Arnebya said...

You're right; everyone needs/deserves a Maria. I love 20+ year friendships. Even with two sisters, I have that lifetime friend with whom I am actually (embarrassingly) closer to.

Bridgett said...

I lost my Maria about 12 years ago and I still try to pick up the phone and call her. She didn't die--we both simply ruined our friendship together.

I have Marias on the block of course, but there's something about making a phone call, that is a little easier when you have tough thngs to talk about.

Anna See said...

What a neat post! So glad you have each other. I like how my sister and I can hang up abruptly w/ no need for a call back.

Jennifer said...

I don't think I have any close friends that I've had that long. Most of my close friends are ones I made as an adult. I envy people with those long term friendships. Having someone that remembers you back that far is a wonderful thing.