"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Friend in Flight


It's one of those friendships where you can't remember ever not being friends, even though you know the beginning wasn't that long ago.

I knew her first as a parent. Sandi's older daughter was in my (all time favorite) fifth grade class. Sometime in the two years before I had her younger daughter (whose class I also adored), we discovered a sisterhood that has only grown stronger over the last dozen years or more. My first clear memory of us is a lunch during which we shared Readers' Digest condensed versions of our stories. I can still feel the delight I realized as so many of our life experiences overlapped.

She was working as a teaching assistant, and was one of those helping and involved parents all teachers treasure. Then she became a teacher herself, was hired before the ink was dry on her certificate, and eventually became my teaching partner.

We had so much fun. We shared ideas, supplies, solutions to problems with each other. We held each other up when the weight of the job got to be too much for one person to bear alone. We pushed each other's buttons from time to time (much like sisters), but never lost our connection or our desire to work together. Then I changed districts and we lost touch for a time, except for a random email now and then and an annual antiquing expedition.

Sometime in the last couple of years, our emails became more frequent, and we found our friendship waiting for us right where we'd left off. It hasn't lost any of its magic, and has perhaps even acquired more. She asked me the other day if I'd read a particular book, one not that well-known. I had just ordered it from the library, and neither of us was that surprised because it's not the first time that's happened.

Sandi wanted to start a blog, so we spent some hours together as I helped her set it up (one of my favorite things to do). For a long time, she was shy about having anyone read her writing, even though she's a brilliant writer with amazing stories to tell.

Finally, my great friend Sandi is ready for a larger audience. She's housebound right now recovering from knee replacement surgery, and the writing she's doing about that experience will make you wince and laugh and be very grateful for limbs that work well.

I hope you'll give yourself the gift of her stories and visit her at Flying into the Light. I promise you won't be sorry.

17 comments:

Sandi said...

Aw Deb, you made me cry . . . I know that doesn't seem too unusual these days, but these are tears of joy. Our friendship has been such a blessing over the years. You are my sister, in so many, many ways, and I never tire of time spent with you. Thank you for my send off! I loved you when we first met, and I'll love you forever, dear friend of my heart!

Cheryl said...

What a beautiful piece. So lovely to have such a friendship, though I admit to being just a little jealous that I can't sit and have coffee with you. Off to meet your friend right now. Oh and the joeys - I've had as many as 8 in care plus a couple being stabilised. Smell is hard - kangaroos and red-necks would equate to a lovely clean dog or cat, but swamp wallabies often have a very unusual scent - some don't like it and won't care for them, but I love it and now you've challenged me to find a way to describe it!

DJan said...

I am now a follower of Sandi's, and I must say just the few posts she wrote are very moving. She just hangs her heart right out there, just like YOU! And me. So we are definitely kindred spirits. Thanks for the new friend I just made.

Oh, and have a GREAT weekend!

Terry said...

It's wonderful to have a friend like that! The years just melt away as if time had not passed. I love how open you are, thanks for making me think about my friends and remind me not too let too much time elapse!

Julia said...

I love, love, love, this post. Knowing you both I can read between the lines and it makes me smile! I enjoy both your blogs very much. Maybe one day soon I'll join the ranks.

yaya said...

I'm going to head over and read her blog. I'm sure I'll enjoy it as much as I do yours. Since I help put total knees in, I'd like to hear about the patient experience from their point of view! Have a great weekend!

B. WHITTINGTON said...

Well put, Deb. I'm off to check out the new blog.
I can't keep up at times with all that I follow but I love to find a new one!
Thanks. Love reading your stuff.
I too have friendships like that. Barb

#1Nana said...

My close educator friend just retired from Oregon and accepted a new elementary principal position in Washington. I have to admit that I am envious of your friendship with Sandi. I will miss my friend so much. I think it gets harder for me to make new friends as I get older. I'm off to check out Sandi's blog.

Pam said...

This post of yours is such a warm tribute to the value of friendship in our lives. You and Sandi have that wonderful attribute of rising above chalenges, anwering the call to reach deeper into ourselves to rediscover our strengths and go with resolve and wisdom,from there. It is a privilege to read of the steps you take to get to that point. Bless you both. No wonder you are friends.

Desiree said...

What a delightful friendship you and Sandi share. You have brought her alive for us as well and I cannot wait to meet her and follow her blog as I know that she's going to be a gem coming with your recommendation, Deb! I hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

Charlene: the Polarblogger said...

What an enduring and precious friendship you have! It's the kind that one definitely longs to have.
I visited her site and yes, I found very interesting blogs to read. And so I followed her too. Thanks for directing us there.

kario said...

Such lovely friendship! You reap what you sow, you know. Your openness and honesty invite strong connections. Love that this one is so rewarding for both of you.

dstarkey said...

I have a few friends like that too...if fact I'm calling one as soon as I finish on the computer. Friends like these are worth their weight in gold! They make the journey of life much easier...glad you have her!!!

Katie Gates said...

I love this line -- "we found our friendship waiting for us right where we'd left off" -- it's so easy to relate to it and also such a deep statement. I'm heading over to Sandi's now. Thanks for the introduction!

Retired English Teacher said...

You are both fortunate to have each other. I will check out your friend's blog. I know she will soar with her new endeavor.

Lavi said...

Such a friendship is always a blessing. And your story a pleasure to read, as always. I hope your friend will get well soon.

Barb said...

The specialness of a friendship that binds throughout he years. I have some, and I treasure them. I'll visit your friend - who can resist after your wonderful introduction!