We haven't made many friends in Virginia yet. There have been more urgent things on our To Do list, such as finding a place to live, finding a church, and sometimes just getting through the day. But these two very special people were waiting for us on the East Coast when we got here.
These two wonderful people go way back with us. Joe and Glenn were neighbors and best friends growing up, and the Best Man in each other's weddings. Joe and Glenn can get belly-laughing over the silliest childhood memories--it only takes a word before the two of them are hilarious over some inside joke.
Though we've been geographically distant for many years, we are now, for the first time in 20 years, just a quick flight or a road trip away from these two. Glenn and Alison's daughters live in Virginia so we will get to see them on a regular basis when they come to visit their girls. You can't imagine how incredibly happy this makes us. These two are kindred spirits. They really know us, yet love us anyway.
When we finally connected last week, I cried in both their arms. Their love, support and compassion have been steadfast. Alison cried with me and kissed my Joey tattoo on my arm. Her act of compassion touched my heart deeply. They listened and they really care and that means everything to us. After being with them, I felt new hope. The clouds of gloom parted and I got some sunshine into my soul.
When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.