10 years ago tomorrow, my (then boring, suburban housewife, stay at home mom of 4) life changed when a very close friend of 8 years, who was in my wedding, suffered a psychotic breakdown.
She was the friend who I trusted implicitly with my kids, who I went out to dinner or breakfast (forever am I thankful for the introduction to Soundbites) with every week or so, shared play dates and New Years Eve's with our kids, watched the X-files with every Sunday, brought me chocolate, food, hugs, and tissues when my boy was diagnosed with autism, supported my beginnings going back to professional work with, worshipped with on Sundays, whose family celebrated holidays with ours when our extended families weren't present, who we spent the evening of September 11th, 2001 with, and whose oldest child I cared for the night her youngest was born. That kind of beautiful friendship--one which wasn't work, didn't have unreasonable commitments, and where there were never any fights.
March 11, 2006. I saw this friend, having pulled clumps of hair out of her head, clutching a photo of her kids, saying over and over again she was under surveillance by the FBI through her TV.
My heart broke for her. For her children. For I knew her life as she knew it, successful career and all, was never to be the same again.
That day affected her, her children, my children, and I in unimaginable ways. I would never not help someone who needed it, but I am wiser not because I wanted to be, but because I had to be. My family suffered because I made the choice to support hers. Two beautiful children in my care, in addition to my own. In the end, that friend too sick, and maybe eventually too guilt-ridden and worn down by others in her life, to say even a quiet thank you. She can't express gratitude perhaps because she can't or won't accept what happened and her role in it. I have no choice but to forgive that.
My soul is a bit wearier, but my heart remains open to being kind, helping my village, and always looking for the best in those around me.
What a journey-- grateful to the friends who have traveled it with me, from an innocent and fun lunch at Ruby Tuesday's on...