words with friends

A friend called me last week, and we talked for about 40 fairly uninterrupted minutes. That itself is worth recording.

We talked like the old friends we're becoming: she told me a ridiculous story, I confirmed that she wasn't crazy. We talked about work, and our kids. Then, as I started the ascent up the hill through our neighborhood, she warned me she was going to tell me something heavy.

We do heavy well, I think. This ain't our first rodeo with Madame Weight. She shared the story with me, and my friend, who doesn't often cry, started sniffling. Her voice cracked. I am pretty far removed from the story she was telling me, but my eyes welled with tears too.

In the moment it became clear that we were both crying, I took over. I jumped in and carried conversation for a minute. I told her I'd been thinking about her a few days earlier. Thinking about this topic, actually. And I said some other words.

I talked us through the crest of the emotional wave that snuck up on us, and she picked back up again. We made the trip to tears and back in about four minutes.

We hung up, and as I walked into our apartment and got to work on making lunch, I breathed deeply, letting the rest of the heaviness work its way out. It's hard to know what to say when a friend is feeling something difficult and deep. Sometimes we choose the wrong words, or the timing is awkward. But sometimes we know our friends well enough to recognize our turn to take the lead in the dance of a difficult conversation. As I thought about our conversation last week, I was thankful for this part of friendship. For the knowing and feeling known. For the beauty from ashes, and for words with friends.

 

Cross-posted at www.table-for-3.com

 

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