Sunday, October 17, 2010

Growing up....and growing old.

I attended my best friend's father's memorial service last week.  I have never been so blown away with the strength and elegance of someone so young and so clearly heartbroken.  She stood in front of 600 sullen people in that warm glow of the welcoming Episcopal church and made them laugh.  She reminded them of how truly wonderful, giving and brilliant the man whom raised her and touched all of their lives truly was. 
In that moment, she was as brilliant as he.  She didn't write a thing down....ironic considering her father was an award winning, world-famous, genius scribe.  He would have been so proud- and definitely more impressed by it than anything he had ever put to paper.  It was sentimental, sad, hilarious, sweet, touching, silly, capricious and passionate.
I was supposed to fly to NY the same day to assist my own ailing father just recovering from heart surgery.  Ernesto insisted I stay to be by my bestie's side.  It was the best decision I have made in years. 
As I approached the church and my friend....she saw me and hugged me.  Not an ordinary hug, a hug I will never ever forget.  She broke down in tears...tears of sadness about the death of her patriarch, tears of nervousness for the speech she was about to attempt to deliver and tears of gratitude that I was there to support her.  I hate to make any of this about me, but it made me feel more important to another human being than I had in a long time. 
That hug has resonated with me for days. It will resonate with me forever.
That day I truly, concretely realized that we never stop growing and never stop learning, whether its about life or relationships. I grew as a woman that day, watching my peer do the hardest thing she has ever had to do in her life.  I grew by learning a bit more about how to be a good friend to someone.
Just being there... is crucial.

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