My daughter and I spent most of today at Vanderbilt with her best friend, Shelbi, who is recovering from a pretty intense kidney infection. It was so intense, her blood pressure was scary high. I can't remember what the top number was, but, the bottom number was 125. That's high for an adult. Shelbi is a teeny little girl. They were fearful she had had a stroke, with the seizures and all. At any rate, she is doing much better and was moved to a regular room early this morning.
Being at the hospital last night and today, I observed some things that, in spite of the chaotic and scary situation, were real gifts to me:
Because my daughter is around Shelbi so much, all of her family and extended family knows her and treat her like she's one of them. Having a number of them get me off to the side and say how sweet my girl is and how special she is....well, that does a mom's heart a lot of good. Nice to know she conducts herself so becomingly when she's away from the house.
In addition to her wonderful family of three sisters, brothers in law, nieces, nephews, cousins, Lisa being surrounded by three girlfriends she's had since junior high was something lovely to see and quite envied by me. The girls I was close to until junior high...we went in different directions, had different interests and drifted. We have an occasional "What's Up?" email but I haven't seen them in years. It makes me want to call them and get totally reconnected. Same with the people I was close to in high school. I don't know why those friendships weren't maintained.
I have totally shied away from girlfriend type relationships as an adult and really, don't tend to get really close to anybody. Another part of my personality I don't really understand. On the surface, I am lively and cut up with people and love to talk to people, but, as a rule, my lunchtimes are spent alone, as are my weekends, etc. I guess it's by choice. Fear of rejection....those nasty voices that say "Why would anybody want to spend time with YOU?" It's weird, I know. I need to get over that, I guess. Solitude is nice at times, but, isolation is dangerous.
I always knew these girls cared for each other, but, didn't realize the depth of the love they have for each other until today. Shelbi called as soon as she was in a room, wanting my daughter to come down to see her. I took my time going down there and didn't hurry to get ready. We got another call from one of Lisa's friends saying "She's REALLY wanting her down here."
When we got down there, Shelbi cried and clung to my daughter. All afternoon, my daughter sat in the chair right next to Shelbi's bed. Shelbi did not really want her to leave her sight so my daughter sat. Sometimes they'd talk and Shelbi would recount what she remembered about her ordeal. I finally told my daughter I had to go home to see about the boys and she was insistent that she was not leaving. Shelbi also did not want her to go so her parents said they'd bring her home tonight when one of them brought her little sister home.
I think this experience has deepened their already close friendship even more. I hope and pray these two will be like Shelbi's mother and her friends are now when they're my age. After all these years, all the things they've been through with each other, all the moments they've been by each other's sides during difficult days...it was so precious to see. My daughter is blessed. I was reminded that I too am blessed and there are some people out there who would probably love to get a phone call from me or to have lunch with me or (surprise) want to see me more than once a decade or at another occasion besides, say, a funeral. I'm the one who needs to open up a little more.
God is good...all the time. Even when things around us are scary and seem out of control, He's got His finger on the pulse. He sometimes throws you a much needed wakeup call.
Take a whiff of Sista Smiff and you'll come back for more, that's fo sho!
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