Sunday, November 1, 2009

True Friends

(My blog pal the RevDrMom decided to post to her blog once each day in November. Reading what she had to say about doing that, I thought, “Now why can’t I do that?” What a great way to ease back into a writing discipline. But I haven't signed up yet.)

Friendships are best measured not by quantity, but by quality. After my parents became homebound, not too many people came around anymore. But some did.

For example, Mom had a good friend, Terrie, who had been one of my childhood playmates. She had moved away but returned to the hometown as an adult. She became reacquainted with my mother at their mutual place of employment and stayed friends the rest of my mother’s life, close to twenty-five years. I always liked Terrie, although we no longer had much in common—but she was good to my mother. I told people that since I lived far away, Terrie lived into the role of daughter to Mom, and by default, also to Dad.

She truly did. Over the years, Terrie accompanied Mom on her “(prescription) drug running” trips to Mexico (another story), ran errands and cleaned for my parents, took them to doctor appointments. In return, Mom was a supportive ear when Terrie’s spouse ran off with another woman; she helped Terrie deal with her rebellious teen daughter, C. They spoke for hours on the phone when they could not visit. My mom was every bit of a mother to Terrie as she was to me.

Terrie stuck close to the end; she and her now adult daughter visited Mom almost every day she was in the hospital. C loved Mom like a grandmother. When Mom died, C was so distraught she had to be sedated. We put Terrie and C among the survivors in Mom’s obituary. They were as much family as any of us kids were. In fact, among the comments below the online obituary was a statement of comfort for Terrie. Everyone knew how close they were.

When I think of self sacrificing friendship, almost covenantal, I think of Terrie’s obvious care for Mom. Friendships like this are rare. Mom was lucky to have her.

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