Tuesday, April 21, 2009

In It With You

My best friend moved away this year. By away, I don't mean the next town over or the next state over or even the next country over. She moved all the way across a continent and ocean to the country of Germany.

We met when we were juniors in high school on a church houseboat camping trip. We didn't go to the same high school, but I was drawn to her immediately. She was funny and witty and pretty. These are the things a sixteen year old looks for in a friend. I had no idea the depth of the friendship that would follow. We bonded over the fact that we had both tried out for varsity cheer and neither one of us had made it. I remember dancing with her on the top of that houseboat singing together, "we are losers" or something like that. We also thought that our twenty something ski boat driver was hot. These silly things began the bond that has now lasted twenty years.

A few years ago,I used to run with another friend. I was just getting to know her and we had many great talks on our runs. But, at that time, her best friend had just moved away. She was in mourning over it really. I used to listen to her and not really "get it." I kept thinking that it was silly to be so upset. That she could pick up the phone and talk to her anytime or e-mail or even go visit her. Of course, I never said these things, but I thought them.

Also, when my friend told me she was moving away, I didn't really process it as something hard for me because I was so happy for her and her husband to be doing what they were called to do. But then, as the time grew closer, I had an emotional reaction that I didn't expect. I would be in the shower or wake up in the middle of the night, or be driving my kids to school and just start weeping because she was leaving. I was mourning the loss of her. I remember telling myself, "She is not dying, she is just moving."

The thing is that I never expected to have a friendship like this. I am really close to my family and I think when that is the case, we don't often dig in to friendships like other women do. It isn't the lifeline that it is to others.

I always say that she taught me to be a friend. She wouldn't let me not call her back. She wouldn't let me slack off on being part of her life. She wouldn't let me fake it. She wouldn't let me hide. She would be loyal. She would be truthful. She would "get me." What a gift.

It has not turned out to be as hard as I thought it would because of the Internet. Skype and blogging and the fact that she somehow has a local phone number that reaches all the way to Germany has made it much easier than I anticipated.

I was able to talk to her yesterday morning for the first time in a while. A subject came up that I had anticipated would and she said something to me that has stuck with me. I have been processing or failing to process something that we, of course, discussed. (No, I'm not going to write about it yet! Didn't you note that I am currently failing to process it?)

Anyway, she said, "I'm in it with you."

Did you catch how powerful that is?

Even across a continent and ocean!

To first, have someone really gets who you are and second, to have that person "in it with you" is such an amazing thing. Not as an onlooker, observer, advice giver, an "oh I knew that is what was going on with you", an "oh, it will all be okay" type of "with you." Rather, an honest to goodness, get down in the pit and mud and get dirty "in it with you" or up to the mountaintops and into the beauty "in it with you." The thing is that she didn't really know how to process it either. She was, "in it with me." I love that! That is real.

This got me thinking about this blogging thing. I have been visiting a lot of blogs and the thing I am starting to get is that there is this very cool and powerful and authentic group of women blogging out there. A few months ago, I didn't even know what a blog was. Now, I have discovered this community of women who don't even know each other in real life, but are completely invested in each others lives.

Today, baby Stellan is having surgery on his heart. Please pray for this little one. As I read about the details of his surgery on MckMama's blog, I got a pit in my stomach. There are thousands reading and praying for Stellan and when I read their comments I see that many of these women are "in it with her." The reason they are is simply because she has let them in.

Thanks, my little fraulein, for teaching me to let others in and for being "in it with me."


Buddy and Krista said...

ha! i just called you but no answer...yes, to 'process a bit more WITH you' as i fumble at any answers myself...then i went to update our blog and saw you'd updated yours...you little sneak! :) what an HONOR it is to be in it with you...an honor, my beautiful friend. love you sooo much!

Sheryl said...

first of all, thank you for your comment on my blog - i love making new friends!

now...i wonder if you have just been eavesdropping in my home. my friend just left and we had a LONG conversation about friendships. you've just said so much of what we talked about. genuine, real frienships are hard to come by! i don't want advice and someone to tell me "their story", i want someone who is "in it with me". i just love that!

wish you didn't live across the country, i think we could be friends! congratulations on your new miracle, he sure is beautiful. i will definitely be back.

Anonymous said...

I have a girlfriend who was "in it with me" and she taught me how to say goodbye....

I never got to say goodbye to my dad when he left. I was 5 years old. I learned really quick that when people leave, it's just easier to turn away. Maybe even pretend they don't exist. Yeah. That's easier.

It took a real friend who loved me enough to "be in it with me" and help me walk through the sadness of letting someone go, even if that meant just moving away. She moved to another state, and did not let me turn my back. She was determined to help me grow through the experience, and show me that she wasn't leaving ME, just the state. I had to cry with her, and experience every emotion I should have the very first time....and I did.

She is now a mother of 6, and she is STILL here for me. Even across the miles...I feel so blessed to have that kind of friend.

Farmgirl Paints said...

So sorry to hear your best friend moved away. Thanks for sharing your heart. My family "moved away" five years ago from everyone we knew and it has been a slow building process to get new friends and maintain old friendships. It's really hard and the ones that are that special, easy, tell everything to, everyday friend they are priceless. So my prayer for you is that God will pour out his mercy on you and heal your heart and bring a special new someone in your life.

Wendy said...

Hi Brigetta (I love that name by the way),
I came across your blog today and it touched me b/c I've moved away from close friends and have found some sweet ladies in the past three months I've been blogging. My close friend & I still talk often...but I miss hugging her.

I wrote a book, currently being reviewed by an agent...loosely based on a friendship like the one you described. Thank God for people like that, right!

~ Wendy

Kristy said...

I came across your blog on the LPM blog and loved the name!
My husband is in the military - and there has been a couple of times where I have moved (or someone else) and I have deeply grieved missing a dear friend. Sounds like you are handling it a bit better than I did - which I am happy about.
I'm in it with you - totally praying for baby Stellan!