Awhile ago, I wrote a post about my best friend, Diane. It was the first in a series of three, telling you a little bit about the people who have been my lifelines during tough times. It is proving to be more difficult than I anticipated. When people I love are struggling and I’m trying so hard to help them, I think of what Diane, Steph and John have meant to me and I hope that I’m able to bring that to someone in their time of need. When I compare my efforts to what they have done for me, I find myself lacking- big time!
So, next up is Steph. We met 17 years ago through a playgroup. My youngest, Andy, and her only child, Margaret are two weeks apart in age. They weren’t even talking when they met and yet they clicked from the start. While the rest of the kids in the group were all running around and interacting on a large scale, Andrew and Margaret could often be found on the outskirts engaging in some kind of language free interaction. They were like two soulmates separated at birth. Pairing their similar coloring with their close age and people mistook them for twins. They were that close. By default, Steph and I became friends. I like to think we would have become friends even if your kids didn’t find each other.
Steph’s childhood was very different than mine. She was raised on the north side of Chicago by a divorced mom. She often had to take on the ‘parent’ role and as a result grew up more quickly than I did, being sheltered and in the suburbs.
Steph is a free spirit, gentle and caring, loving and kind. She is a great mom and one of the most patient and accepting people I know. It is her calm and gentle ways that have helped to balance me out before I went too haywire at times. She never judges, just listens. And asks questions. Lots of questions. 🙂
We share a love of creating crafty things and we cannot pass up a great bargain at a thrift store. Her temperament is most like mine (out of these three friends).
If anyone is going to ask the tough questions, it’s Steph. She’s not afraid to go there. The place no one wants to go- deep down where those truths are buried. I love that about her. By the time our first “Kris conversation” came on the horizon, we had already gone through many tough times together. I really do believe that it was her unwavering friendship that got me through those times. It wasn’t a big surprise that when I told her about Kris, she reacted with compassion and tears. We’ve cried a lot together. And it always seems to be out in public- like the walking path or a parking lot. I don’t know why. Those seem to be the places our most heartfelt conversations take place. Her empathy is enormous and just oozes out of her. Next to Kris himself, I have had some of my deepest soul searching conversations with Steph.
As our babies leave for college, we are looking forward to doing more grownup girl friend stuff, having navigated every stage of raising Andrew and Margaret together. I am so lucky to have her in my life and I am proud to call her my best friend.
As I approach the final part in the Hat Trick series, John, I feel that I just can’t do these people justice without gushing on and on. They truly have done so much for me and they mean the world to me.