friends two little girls with braids

“Love doesn’t keep track of wrong doings.”

It took me over a half a lifetime to understand what that one piece of wisdom that God  has tucked in HIS WORD over and over again, really means. I’m not sure  why it took me so long to truly understand just how simple this message was. For years, it seems as if I’ve been angry at something or someone. My dad used to say that I had a Forest going, with all of the leaves I turned over. I wasn’t always like that. I was a happy little girl. For the most part. But people hurt me and I let it get to me.

peaceful forest

A few years ago, I had a falling out with my childhood Best friend. We’d lasted for over a half a century without so much as a cross exchange. Well, at least on my part. She was the “alpha” in our relationship and pretty sharped tongued at times, and said it like it was. I’d accepted that part of her personality and though she hurt my feelings at times, I’d dealt with it. And then in one stupid afternoon, I used my words to retaliate and let her know that it wasn’t okay. It wasn’t that they were fighting words, or even that they ended our visit on  the spot. It was just that I’d had it and I stood up to her for the first time and it surprised us both and for the most part, changed  the future of our friendship. I am not saying that it is not good to be honest with your feelings, nor to stand up for yourself when the occasion calls. I am just saying that for me, it was not worth it. And it kind of changed the dynamics of a life long friendship. Though we’ve shared a thousand phone calls and texts and emails, and have confided and laughed and cried and laughed again since that last time, I hadn’t been back for a visit since that fateful confrontation. Until…  this last weekend, my daughter and I went to visit her. And she was still the one who I walked to kindergarten with, and failed my driver’s license test in front of… TWICE. She was still the one who was in both of my weddings and I in hers. She was still the one who let me drag her around as I searched for the perfect “first dance” song. She was still the one who ironed my wedding dress twice! We were even both pregnant with our daughters at the same time. She is two months older than me and her daughter is two months older than Brooke! And she is still the one who invested in my daughter’s dream, helping her pay for her first year of school.  She is still the one who my dad sent for when I went through a bad break up, and still the one who was my friend when I sometimes felt that I had no one else. And she was the first one I called when my dad died. She is still the one who has beat this damn cancer over and over again for the last twenty years. We’d planned a visit for her birthday this year, but then she canceled saying that her treatments were taking a toll on her and we should wait until later. But her sister (also my dear friend) called and said not to wait. So my sweet daughter piled in the car with me and we took that six-hour round trip laughing and crying both ways. door ajar The house was still the house she’d designed with loving care. The scent of her home still enveloped us as we walked through her door that I hadn’t walked through for a few years. And there she was. They’d gotten her a hospital bed. We covered her with the blanket we brought her for her birthday. She was able to get up and eat some lunch. I fed her soup. The next day she went on hospice. On the way home, my daughter begged me to get a mammogram. I got one the next day. I guess I am sharing this because I have learned that we don’t always have to make it about us. We don’t always have to be so offended. I mean after all, it worked for over fifty years the way it was. I do have regrets. I wish that I’d just “let it go” because we were best friends forever, we wrote to each other on stationery we picked out especially for the other  and used sealing wax to make it even more special.

sealing wax

Our friendship was one of the greats, the way we loved each other, and the history we shared would be hard to duplicate. But I still regret that one month where we didn’t know what to do so we did nothing. Last night, I read all of our emails since 2007 And you know what? God really has it right…. “Love doesn’t even notice when it’s done wrong.” 1 Corinthian 13:5

friends crying hugging

47 thoughts on “Still The One

  1. This was so touching my friend. This truly reflects God’s ultimate ministry, reconciliation (as Jesus was sent so we could be reconciled to Him), and shows the great restorative power of love. Praying for you all. XOXO

    1. Thank you Patti_💖💖
      We actually saw her this weekend and my daughter is believing in another miracle for her. It was a good visit. Your prayers are a blessing😊

  2. This is so touching and heartfelt Di. We are all imperfect and without labels love simply is….and this story is all about love. ❤ xXx

      1. Thank you Di…I might just do that right now…it’s been a funny old day and that would add a sparkle to it. Loving you right back with soft hugs. Xxx ❤

  3. This post is so bittersweet. I have (had) such a friend in my life and just as you, one day I finally voiced what I had been feeling concerning what I felt to be, most of the time, a one-sided relationship. We haven’t spoken in probably two years or perhaps more now and reading this beautiful post made me realize that the last encounter somehow seemed to nullify all the times we shared – junior high and high school, marriage(s), divorce, pregnancy, birth of our children, and the death of her mother. Until now, I had justified my pulling away from the relationship but I can see some ugliness on my part. An opportunity for growth… Thank you for sharing.

    1. Wow Tina,
      You made me cry! Thank you so much. I was hesitant about sharing this because this is just a hard time and I kind of only want positive thoughts around right now. But I have agonized over this since it happened. At first, I too felt very justified. Even wrote an ugly poem and tried to laugh it off. But you just can’t write off history. Recently I reconnected with my best friend in High School and there is just something about history that connects us. I will pray for your friendship. I am sure she misses you! How could she not!? 🙂
      And with your beautiful writing, I am sure if you remind her of some of the memories that you guys share, she will have trouble not seeing how silly it is to stay in a stuck place.
      Tina, you will never know how much this means that you shared this. My whole platform is… if the dumb stuff I have done can help one person not make the same mistakes then it was worth it! In this case, I am afraid, I don’t get a second chance.
      Though we really are good. I know she knows I love her. And I still remember the pain she’s caused and it was all really real hurtful things at time. But I also remember the joy we shared and the love she brought in my life that no one else exactly shares. Her generosity and the memories she has provided are bigger than that one afternoon. And I know that I also have been a good friend to her. And that is all that matters. But it is too bad that in a half a century of our friendship, the bad stuff had to happen right at the end. Don’t wait too long! And please let me know?

  4. I can see how badly you feel about the one conversation that you did tell her how you felt. While I totally understand especially in light of her health now, and it seems so petty and unnecessary, we are human and sometimes we just need to express our feelings…. We can’t know the future.. sometimes it’s just the present moment we’re in … so don’t be too hard on yourself. My sister is my best friend and we have had moments in time like you had, but we both know we love each other and your friend knows that about you…. “love really is what counts”… Diane

  5. Wonderful, thoughtful post! A healing message! This gives me some good food for thought for how to approach a loved one that I’ve had a falling out with. Wishing you God’s richest blessings!

  6. Just an update. She is resting without a lot of pain. She’s always been a fighter for life! I pray for her to have the peace that surpasses all understanding. Your prayers are appreciated.

  7. What a beautiful story, and what a truly beautiful friendship. There have been times I’ve felt pressure from friends about other friendships, but they haven’t walked the path, and so I am glad that you build a new path on that strong foundation with your dear friend!

  8. Well written as it comes from the heart directly. I can identify with the story of your friendship. I suppose many people can. All the best.

    1. Bumba,
      I am glad you can relate because that means you’ve known a great friendship! But hopefully not because you have regrets. Though I am realizing I am not the only one, and I am grateful for everyone taking the time to share that with me as well. Thank you for reading!

  9. So touch and beautiful Diane. I’m glad you got to see her again. I’m glad you have taken your wisdoms and placed them where they need to be in your heart. I might only say that no matter how close we are with someone, we don’t have to step back when we feel injustice. Friends should be able to say how they feel, rectify the problem and move on. Friends shouldn’t make one another feel bad and nobody should dominate the other. Don’t feel bad for your decisions. Just be happy for the now, which you are doing. You always seem to know what to do in your heart wise one. xoxo (hugs) to you my friend.

    1. Leave it to my special friend, to be so gracious in receiving my story. I agree that friends should be able to say what is on their hearts without feeling bad about doing so, but it was so out of the norm for me to speak up that it was awkward. I have other friends who I can be more up front with. I guess that in the end, you are right, it is best to always be true to yourself. But sometimes it is not always necesarry. Sometimes, you just have to accept people where they are. We did end up having a long discussion about it. Not in anger, and she received it well. But it was never the same again. She just was in check. And personally, I would have rather had the occasional snapping if you know what I mean. I felt that the authenticity of what we shared was damaged. And my whole point of this post is that now, I will never have a chance to undo the damage. She’d beat her cancer several times, I guess in my head I believed that there was more of a chance of me dying first. You just never know. And in one small conversation things changed. Not because she was punishing me. Just because it did. And the lesson here is … real love doesn’t even notice when the other guy does it wrong. The act of love is not even noticing. Ya know?
      I love you Deb! YOU are always trying to set me free and that is how I want to be!!!!

      1. I hear all your words Di. And absolutely,real love doesn’t even notice when the other guy does it wrong. And sometimes we can’t unchanged what’s been done. If we are true to ourselves, that is what’s most important. I personally prefer the ‘snapping’ part, lol, just say it, clear it off your chest, and let’s move on and if we can’t move on then there is something missing from the unconditional love of the friendship. Love you right back girlfriend! xo

        1. Deb,
          That is so neat that you said that. Brooke and I were talking on the way home and she was saying about her Auntie… “You’ve gotta kind of admire someone who just says it like it is and is honest and at least true to themselves. 😉

  10. A friend , a real friend , takes what you dish out and loves you for what you are and you them . With a true friend you can be truly yourself . Lovely story you write so eloquently .

    1. Thank you Cherry.
      You are right. But in this particular case, I reread our letters back and forth that we’d written to each other after that time. And she really did try to understand and apologize. I think that it surprised her that I’d taken offense. There’d been so much that I’d just let go for so many years. It would have been so easy to keep it that way.
      There are so many great things about our friendship that to focus on the negative, for me, was just not worth it
      today. As for being true friends, I do
      know what you mean. And our history
      speaks for itself. We did get past that
      month of confusion. But where we emailed
      every day before, we never quite picked up the same pace ever again. NOW I know the cancer had a lot to do with that, but Ialso know that what I’m trying to convey is…. You’ve got to really think before you speak and decide if its worth it. All I’m saying here, is it wasn’t for me.

  11. “I am just saying that for me, it was not worth it.”

    That one sentence glowed for me above all others. No preaching, no telling. But I take so much more simply because of it. Thank you.

  12. There was a Facebook meme I saw months ago:

    “Holding onto anger is like taking poison and hoping the other person dies.”

    That spoke worlds to me, about how the only person my anger was hurting was myself, particularly since the other person is not there and is not aware of my emotional state. I meditate on those words whenever I start holding any sort of grudge.

  13. Such a special post, I HAVE to share it! It spoke volumes to me, about the 12 year friendship that turned sour last year, in my mind, unfairly so. Life is too short to hold grudges. I hope your friend will be ok xoxo Is her illness terminal?

    1. Oh Merryn,
      If my mistakes can nudge just one person to not make the same, to pick up the phone earlier, to let go of their pride and visit someone before its too late, to apologize or forgive sooner, it will be worth ripping out my heart to share this.Thank you for sharing that it touched you. YOU my friend just blessed me.

  14. In that moment you each saw something in the other neither knew existed. Weren’t you simply then the mirror she got a glimpse into that day. When the rots have grown strong, the storm passes, and the tree stands firm. The love between the two of you is a destiny shared, cherish the joys and the sadness, you soul has been painted with the color of love … thank you for sharing you heart

    1. Yeah, Truly. If I can save someone from making the same mistake I did…. then at least something good can come out of this lesson. Thank you for reading!

  15. Thank you for sharing this really important truth. Made me cry at the times I have done the same thing . ..spoken up when I could just have easily have let it go. God bless you and yours.

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