Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My good friend Betsy

Betsy and I have been friends for the last 28 years. Her husband and mine were fraternity brothers and we became friends when we were all graduating from college. We're not best friends, we're good friends. She lives a distance away and we see each other about two to three times a year. Recently her husband (the frat. brother) was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease and his treatment is in our city. So there's bad news and good news. The bad news is he has to have chemo, but the good news is we get to spend more time with them than ever because they've stayed with us during a few of his treatments.

They are the type of friends who knew us when, who are just like us, who have two kids out of college, and who, (and this is the best part) can come and stay at our house and I know I don't really have to prepare much, if I don't want to. She doesn't care if I've cleaned the bathroom or changed the sheets. She doesn't care if I cook or if we eat out. She doesn't care if I have to get up the next day and go to work while she stays at our house. Betsy just likes me for me. And I feel the same way about her.

We have shared college years and young married life together as well as the joys of raising kids, the pressures of work and the angst of middle age. She is as sweet as can be and always brings me something when she comes. Sometimes it's a recipe and sometimes it's a Vera Bradley bag. Sometimes it's donuts, and sometimes is flowers. When we stay at their house, there's a surprise on my pillow when I go to bed. She makes me laugh and she laughs at my jokes.

But the best thing is there's a comfort level that only happens after years of being friends. There's no pressure, just laughs; no one-up-man-ship, just an equal playing field, no judging, just accepting.

I said we weren't best friends, and that's probably because we live so far apart, but she's kind and funny and thoughtful and the best kind of friend to have.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Box of Chocolates

I'm so proud. Since I started this blog I've been planning to write about a former student. In my 25 years of teaching I've had about 2700 students pass through my classroom door. Many keep in contact for a year or so after graduation and less keep in contact longer. I have a handful of students well past college age who I still keep in touch with.
However, one student got under my skin, crawled through me straight to my heart and sat herself there like a naughty kid in the time-out chair. She wasn't poor or homeless or lonely or friendless, she just needed something that, apparently I had. A few times a week she'd appear at my door after school, to talk, to question, for approval that she mattered, I think. She'd sit and stare, comfortable with the quiet as I would finish up some work...a dear...a petite blond, with big brown eyes peering at me..silently.
You would think "cheerleader" if you saw her even today. However, this sweetie has seen more of life than most people and has been to "there" and back too many times. She suffered her share of teenage angst and then had many years after high school seriously struggling to get her act together. And I mean, seriously. She'll write her own story about those years one day.
But now I'm happy to say I attended her wedding and rejoiced with her when she had a little baby girl. She's a wonderful wife, mother, and.........blogger! You can find her here: blogging along with her best friend. I think they are hysterical. They make me laugh out loud.