Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The 24/7 Friend

Last week I read some 'Mommy Blogs' and, for a moment, wished blogs would have been invented when I was a young mother.

But no! I smiled and was immediately grateful that I did not have a blog back when I was the most insecure little thing ever to have a baby. I would have loved blogging too much. I'd have poured my whole soul, my everything, into posts without missing a day.

Back then, my blog would have become who I was--my whole identity. And if the Internet was down or if Blogger was down-- I would have gone down, also. If either ever crashed, then I, too, would have crashed. 

When I was in my 30's and the mom of a ten-year-old, I was lonely beyond lonely. This was during those Nevada Years some of you know about already. While Tom worked a hundred desert miles away, I'd spend mornings and afternoons searching for friends, almost like working a desk job. Naomi would come home from school and we'd walk to the park on hot Nevada afternoons and I'd glimpse women sitting together chatting on benches or pushing their children on swings and laughing--and I'd die and die because I could not step over to those women and ask them to befriend me. I was too shy, too chained-up inside to do that and just too overwhelmingly needy. Doing such a thing was risking way too much.

So I put a pen pal ad in the old-fashioned Women's Household magazine and received envelopes with bits of women's lives from farms and city places and discovered a few friends that way, others to add to the list of old friends I wrote to already. I'd pen a hundred letters in a month and still I was lonely. 

Eventually I found a friend down the street and some at church, yet still the loneliness washed over me almost like the scariest, blackest ink when days I'd look at the clock and swear the hands had moved backward.

I poured-out friendship, but never seemed to reap as much in return as I sowed. But back in those years I could not see that there was no friend alive like the one I was searching for-- a Friend who constantly followed me around my house and my heart, someone I could talk to and laugh with anytime I wanted to wash dishes or take a walk. 

I wanted someone who never went away on vacation or ignored me during their family reunion weeks or went back to college, got jobs and always started their sentences with, "I've just been so busy!". I didn't need a just-sometimes friend, or a once-a week-at-the-playground friend or a coffee-shop friend or one who came through written words in a letter. No, I was desperate for a 24/7 Friend.

But not until later, not until 1994 did I finally search in the right place. Not until then did I find the Friend who sticks closer than a brother, much closer than friends down the street or ones connected by old-fashioned mail or who you meet at church. And now we have a 12-year wonderful history together, a love which grows deeper, more vital and moment-by-moment each day.

And I believe that's why I'm so grateful that blogs did not exist during my loneliest years--because if they had, I would probably even now be searching, this time online, for that 24/7 Friend. And not finding Him here, I'd have settled for a few hundred sometimes-there, sometimes-not friends instead, all while trying to convince myself that they are the best of what Life offers. That they are what I'd searched for and needed most. Yet always hungering, deep down, for something, Someone, else.


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