Both of our lives have directed our hearts towards truth, value, and compassion. Our pasts quietly remind us of where we have come from, but also how far we have traveled. She is one of the smartest people I know. She is real in her happiness and struggles. We can have a serious conversation, have completely different beliefs, “argue” about it, respect each other, and then go out for coffee. Now that’s a true friend!
During my pregnancy with Natalie Grace, Kelli too became pregnant with her first daughter, Maddison Marie. An event like Natalie’s death not only destroyed the hopes and dreams of my family, but also put sadness into our friendship. We both acknowledged this hardship and told each other we were going to get through it. After Natalie’s death and during my hospitalization, even if it were awkward and extremely painful, Kelli would call and visit. Again I use Peck’s quote as he states “Often the most loving thing we can do when a friend is in pain is to share the pain- to be there even when we have nothing to offer except our presence and even when being there is painful to ourselves.”
I never comprehended Kelli’s concern for me while she concluded her pregnancy and delivered Maddison in San Antonio. I was beyond depressed and Kelli stood by me. About a year ago, she and her family moved back to Abilene. The conditions of our lives were different. We too had changed, but held on to our friendship even though it was hard to know what to say or sometimes even feel around one another. The fact she did not give up on me as a friend sometimes astounds me. I am thankful she and her family are a part of my life.
Recently our friendship has been given opportunities to grow and deepen. Somewhere between skipping class to talk about life, and me being single again, God created something we both never saw coming: a sisterhood. We are family to each other when our families feel so distant. She is an inspiration to me. She challenges my thinking. She doesn’t even realize who she is, but her talents far out way many many people. She is a great mom. Her daughter, Maddie, is a sweet angel who is being taught of love from someone who desires to show it with every ounce of her being.
My life is blessed and enriched by knowing Kelli. If I could give her a “gold medal” I would. She deserves it. Not for being perfect, or being the best, but for being a friend that is a sister.