Years ago, when I desperately needed a friend but was too scared to reach out, she never faltered. She was there.
Even when my friendship cost her dearly. Even when she knew I was running scared, running away, running into disaster, she was always there. Willing to listen, to pick me up, to give me love and care, support and kindness.
Today, Nan R is celebrating her birthday.
I don’t see as much of her as I’d like to these days. Work. Life. Different circles have diminished our time together, but not the love and gratitude I carry in my heart for this amazing friend whose concern for me once made me lie to her about leaving the man who was trying to kill me.
It was towards the end of my journey through that hell, just before the man and I disappeared for 4 months. She was convinced he was a psychopath. Showed me all sorts of evidence to prove he was. Her love and concern for me felt so heavy on my heart. I couldn’t tell her how undeserving of her care I felt. How empty.
I also couldn’t tell her I was so lost in his abuse, I couldn’t leave him. When she asked me to promise to leave him, I promised her I would.
I broke that promise. Instead, when he told me we had to leave the city and I couldn’t tell anyone where we were going, I silently went with him.
Months later, it was her call to the police that lead to his arrest and my freedom.
It was her home I came back to visit the first time I returned to the city.
It was her love that carried me through those first difficult and challenging months of trying to find myself again after his abuse.
She never judged me, blamed me, shamed me. She always accepted and loved me.
It is her way.
My friend Nan turns another year older today. And while the number of her years on earth may have changed, what has never changed is the incredible beauty and loving kindness that she shares so generously from her heart. What remains constant is the incredible capacity she has to make everyone feel special, cared for and honoured.
No matter the time or season, Nan creates beauty all around. And while she may not talk about her gifts, she is a talented designer, poet, writer, singer, mother, grandmother, sister and friend. She’s funny. Smart. Quick witted. She is a magnificent human being.
I am so grateful for you my friend. Thank you for your enduring friendship. The laughter, tears, good times, and not so good times too! Thank you for always being the one I can call no matter the time or gap between our visits to ask, “How about a cup of tea?” Thank you for being such a beautiful light, that even when I didn’t believe I deserved it, I knew your love never dimmed. Thank you for being you!
Happy Birthday Nan!