Posts Tagged ‘childhood’

My friend Mel

I have a few close friends who I share my life. I have learned over the years to only share with those that are safe. I want to tell you about one of those friends.

Growing up a preacher’s kid there was a lot of pressure. I am not sure that I saw it as such at the time but I was a very responsible kid who felt I must be perfect. I went to church with Mel but I don’t think I really knew her until we went to Jackson Middle School. Mel and I became instant best friends. She had no expectations of me, she was so fun and took me just for who I was. When I think of her I just smile. We were living high on life in seventh and eight grade. At that age I had little fights with my friends and I was easily hurt. The joy of my friendship with Mel was that we NEVER EVER fought. We were inseparable in seventh and eighth grade. She was very pretty and popular. I had no confidence, dressed poorly and really was always on the fringe, she never cared. She treated me with such respect and love. She never cared that I was not popular, that my dad was a preacher or what others thought. I always felt truly loved and accepted by her. I know she would have stepped in front of a car for me if need be. Those two years were probably the funniest years of my youth.

We were friends in high school but really ran with different crowds. She moved and then came back. Even though we hung out with different people we always knew each other would be there at the drop of a hat. We were in each other’s weddings. Over the years we have seen each other through many different difficult times. Because we do not live near each other we will lose touch but the moment we talk it is like never being away.

I have always held things in, I had never shared my deepest hurts with anyone until one time when I was home for a vacation. I was in my early thirties. Someone in my family hurt me deeply. I went running to Mel. My pain was so deep and at first I could not tell her what was wrong. I gave her some surface details but could not tell my deepest hurts. I will tell you I got drunk at her house that night and probably for the first time opened up and shared my hurts. I sobbed in her arms and said everything that was hurting. That night she just let me cry and talk. She never tried to give me a solution, she just loved me. I went home the next morning shaken by my feelings but loved by Mel. She gave me the courage to keep moving.

Recently we talked. It had been several years since we had talked. As we started talking I asked Mel how she was and was digging around in her stuff. I did not realize, but every time she asked me about mine I deflected and said all was okay. Laughing, she said, oh no, you tell me how you really are and stop turning it back to me. I realized she was right, I was not really sharing what my life was like and where I had been or what was happening today. Because I felt completely loved and accepted by her I felt safe to share it all. (This time I did not need to be drunk to share the truth with her.) I think she got more than she expected, I left no stone unturned. I felt no judgment, she did not give me advice, she did not quote scripture at me, she just said, Oh Ruth! I am so sorry. I love you and thank you for sharing. It meant a lot to her that I was finally real. It meant a lot to me that I could be real with her. She is a true picture of God loving me unconditionally and comforting me.

It is funny and sad we have not talked since but that afternoon I would not trade for anything. My thirty four year old friendship is stronger than ever. She has loved me fiercely since we were twelve. I hope Mel knows that I love her just as fierce. I know if I called Mel today and told her I needed her she would drop everything and come running. I know one day I will make that call and I know she will come.


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