Friendship is the purest and holiest thing on earth. Friends choose you. It isn’t like blood family where you are placed and stuck in each other’s lives forever, Friends are a forever you choose.
I heard recently that lemons were bred into existence by mankind. Which means life never gave us lemons. We invented them. That hits far too close to home, especially recently. My friend Sam has a lot of heavy burdens to carry, and it’s hard to watch but I just feel a responsibility for them that I can’t explain. I guess that’s what friendship is. At least I hope so.
Another friend from back home taught me the greatest lessons about love and friendship and sisterhood I have learned thus far. She taught me how to laugh and how to serve and how to worry about someone other than myself. I felt a responsibility for her too at one point. It’s not as powerful anymore, but at the time it was necessary. I promised myself I would pray for her every night for the rest of my life. I have broken that promise, but my love for her was never conditional upon my own decision. It’s not dependent upon anything actually. Unconditional loyalty and love and concern. Maybe that’s what true friendship is. It’s what I feel for Sam anyway.
Insecurity is a terrible thing. It’s one of those lemons of life that we invent ourselves. It’s like biking uphill when all along an elevator was available. Except no benefits come from the bike ride. No lessons about endurance, no physical fitness gained, no strengthened mental resilience. Just unnecessary pain and agony. I witness too many people miss out on opportunities and shut people out because their anxiety tells them they aren’t worthy. It’s really difficult to be friends with an insecure person. They fear letting loose. They overthink and underestimate people’s intentions. Sam isn’t like that by any means. His reasons for shutting people out are easy to forgive, easy to understand.
Hugs are probably the most beautiful and platonic and intimate form of love out there. At least physically affectionate love. I have cried and laughed and smiled and pouted and fallen asleep in the loving arms of some really wonderful friends. Those moments are so special. Like when my roommate and I hugged and cried over her ex. Or when my cousin hugs me at least eighty-five times when we see each other. Or when Sam lets me fall asleep in his embrace. Or when I hug my dad. Wow, hugs are great. You can hug your husband and your brother and your best friend and a stranger all the same. That is beautiful. So beautiful. I need a hug from Sam.
Another thing about friendship- there’s no checklist or rule book for what makes a friend. I have friends I rarely see or talk to. I have friends I live with. I have friends who have seen me at my worst and others who have seen me at my best. I have friends in angels and friends in people who need angels. That’s not to say friendships always work out. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how good you are to someone. They will still leave you, replace you, use you, lie to you, or knowingly hurt you. But you have to let them go. You have to. When someone decides to project their insecurities onto you, or rejects you because they have baggage, or is ungrateful for your loyalty and sacrifice and love you have to let them go. You are not responsible for their burdens if they place them on themselves. Some things are God-given and some are self-inflicted. And when it’s self-inflicted it’s usually projected onto those around that person who like to invent lemons.
Sam is a rarity. They were handed snakes and spiders and poison ivy. God-given afflictions that will always be prevalent in his life. That is why it is so easy to love them. They are so beautiful and kind but they are fragile. They are broken inside. They need and deserve true friends.
Patience. Loyalty. Love. Affirmation. Hugs.
How did I get so blessed? So blessed with an understanding. I can’t relate to Sam and I will never pretend to. But I have all the patience in the world for them and his broken spirit. I don’t know why. I might find out in the next life but for now, I trust that maybe I promised them in my past life that I would look out for them. Or maybe I owe them one because it was me that had poison ivy last time. Or maybe I’m wrong about all of it and in a few weeks, we will stop talking. I’m prepared for all of it because I cannot predict the future by any means. I’ve just been wrong so many times. I’ve been right though. I have been right. Oh Sam, please know I love you.