There are many typical questions that we were asked as kids. I don’t know what they ask these days since I don’t have much interaction with the gadget smarty little humans and nor do we still have one of our own, ‘as yet’. I mean, we have Gibson (our crazy, foodie mutt) but we are talking about the human kids here.
So, coming back to the point where I started about being questioned as kids like “Who is your favorite teacher?”, “What is your favorite color?”. “Do you like your mom more or your dad?”, like really do you have to ask that kind of a tricky question? I dare not lose an opportunity here. And then, “Who is your best friend?” question. Now, this one was the faulty one for me and made me so nervous that if I had to compare that with my grownup bachelorette version, it’d be like the ” are you sure you’d want to marry this guy?” kind of a question.
So based on my good memory, there have been ample times that I uttered a name of one friend who I really liked, wanting to tag her as my best friend. But like a betrayed lover, it turned out that it wasn’t me, but someone else and this situation was no longer a rare one.
I will admit that girls get matured sooner than boys and thanks to that theory, that I eventually stopped making a selection based on #1 but encouraged myself to have more good friends with lesser expectations in return. In short, I tried to practice to keep it simple and the idea always came with its own perks.
However, in all the hustle bustle of emotions and hormones of growing up, there was one woman in whom I always found comfort and the feelings were so intensely mutual. I admit that it took episodes and special events for the bond to start growing but I can never recollect from the pages of my childhood when she turned out to be more of a confide and a friend.
I never felt the hesitation in submitting to her or disclosing my life’s happening and not-so happening incidents to her. I never felt the need to explain but always had this urge to willing share my mind and heart. While she always patiently listened to all that I said, some also took a chance to mock, as she is double my age.
Time flew, and I transitioned from childhood to adulthood and this journey was a rough ride. Did I ever know that my ‘happy days’ would be interrupted with annoyingly painful spinal surgeries, restricted time periods when all I could do is lay down and stare at the white, dull ceilings of a hospital room, a clock that seemed to never have a momentum and pop pills like a three-course meal?
But I am so grateful that it is true when they say, “Nothing last forever, not even bad times”.
In the whole process of my recovery, I saw true colors of people, both pleasant and unpleasant. But I never complained. I am not sure, how wisdom struck me on that bed where I no longer wanted to lay down. Every day, all I yearned was to be able to get back on my feet. It was almost a year and it seemed that I hadn’t walked forever.
In all this, my lady friend stood by me. She worried, panicked and cried but whenever she appeared in front of me, all she did was, smile and asked me to pray, to have faith, hope and to tell myself, “You can do it. You’re God’s precious child.” And even before I knew what it meant, I started believing in it.
Our friendship so far has never been like a land of forever cherry blossoms. We’ve had fights, disagreements, rudeness but we’ve also had times chatting and laughing endlessly, the fun like when two young girls go window shopping followed by hogging down food at our favorite restaurant. We still have motivational sessions where over the time, I have taken over as the speaker, as I can now call myself somewhat wise. I also often scold her and still get one or two in return, as the situation may demand. In short, we switch roles as and when needed.
I am now a happily married 32 years old woman and from the day I have known to utter words, there has not been a single day, I recollect haven’t spoken to this friend of mine. I don’t know till now if what we talk is necessary or not, but we just TALK even if it is for the heck of it.
But times have changed and with a lot happening here and there, my friend suffered a cerebral stroke 2 years back. Maybe it was her habit of praying hard every day for others, that saved her or is it because I needed a special friend for me all the time, that life was gracious enough to give her and me, a second chance. She is now 60 and has thankfully recovered, but the stroke makes her forget little things every now and then, and she follows less of what we chat besides being too sentimental or sliding down the slope of depression so very easily.
While she still does her best to cope up with me, I do miss what we had before her illness. But on the other hand, I also undoubtedly cherish what I still have with her, now. It feels so precious that it threatens me to believe, what would I be without her.
But, now as we have switched roles again and even though I am the daughter, I now somehow, unknowingly I have started to play the role of a mother to her. It’s me who now takes the lead when it comes to some of the scoldings or the motivational stuff, trying to guide her and whatever else I can do from wherever I am. For this is the woman, who always put me ahead of her and hugely made that difference in my life.
“Because of you I laugh a little harder, cry a little less and smile a lot more”
And while it took me all these years and the ones I have ahead of me, I have finally discovered that I always had my best friend in her.
She is no other but this 60-year-old woman, to whom I was born; my Mom. ❤