I am still physically catching up on sleep… this past weekend I stayed up
way past my bedtime to watch the entire second season of Downton Abbey with one of my oldest and dearest friends, Catherine.
[well, almost… couldn’t stay awake for the Christmas Special.
And I think I drooled on her pillow when I passed out towards the end of Episode 8].
daydreaming out loud together about all the places we wanted to see and things we wanted to do…
helping each other to grow into the women we are today
by showing each other in turn kindness,
patience, love and encouragement when it was needed…
becoming introduced to the inimitable BBC Pride & Prejudice
sipping hot tea, sharing daily joys,
and meeting for long, happy, chatty walks in the quiet, green, mountainous
* * * * * * * * *
Catherine holds the very special honor of witnessing my relationship with Jason
from the very beginning. She was there
– either right by my side, or smirking furtively in the background –
when I met this handsome, older altar boy whom all our altar-server brothers looked up to with admiration.
She teased me once – only once! – my senior year of highschool about my evident adoration for this “older brother” of a friend in my life who was leaving for seminary,
and when I turned the color of a thousand tomatoes,
She only asked me once more if I ever would feel differently about Jason
I have been so grateful for her constant, affirming, prayerful presence in my life.
Catherine continually encourages me to simply be the woman I want to be… never to settle comfortably with my weaknesses, nor to grow discouraged with my failures, and always to overcome my insecurities.
I am so happy to be able to add to my perfectly beautiful list of memories of the long years of our fruitful friendship together:
falling asleep over Downton Abbey…
laughing at a certain Mr. Baby who was taking delight in his new green little flip-flop shoes smacking on the SouthPark Mall floors…
driving through the grandest old neighborhoods of Charlotte…
taking my dear friend on a tour of all my favorite haunts up here (and feeling keenly the treasure of such a friend who would so enthusiastically attempt to appreciate them as I do, simply because I wanted her to)…
going for a blazingly hot walk on the humid, jungle-like Greenway…
giggling behind the back of my poor sleep-deprived, slightly incoherent husband…
sipping Pinot Noir and
inhaling daintily nibbling spicy stuffed sweet potatoes as we reminisced over old memories and shared with humbling honesty the hardships as well as the joys of our respective vocations in life.
The first time I saw the following scripture verse, Catherine had copied it into one of our long letters.
It is truly reflective of the gift her friendship has been to me.
“A faithful friend is a sturdy shelterHe who finds one, finds a treasure.A faithful friend is beyond price; no sum can balance his worth.
A faithful friend is a life-saving remedy
such as he who fears God finds.
For he who fears God
behaves accordingly, and his friend will be like himself.”