Thursday, April 30, 2009

Maribeth Was Here

You probably know by now that my dear friend, Maribeth, & her husband, "Big Al," moved from Bainbridge to Kansas City last year. They had lived here for nearly 10 years, and their children grew up and went to school here; the youngest graduated from high school right before the move.

Since both of her kids are going to college in this state, MB has been back to visit several times during the year. This is the one thing that has made her move bearable, from my point of view, and I know I'm not alone in feeling this way.

It would be hard to overstate how much I love
this woman. She is hilarious, fun, serious, irreverent, courageous, full of spice, stylish, strong, talented, creative, faithful, honest, loyal, loves children & animals...I could go on and on about the things I have learned about her character in the decade or so that I've known her.

Katie loved her tremendously, and MB was one of the few people who knew exactly how to be with us throughout EVERYTHING that we experienced on the cancer journey. We were already close, but that experience took us to a place where few will go together. Maybe it's because she is a cancer survivor herself, so she doesn't dramatize, pity or act weirdly about any of it. Maybe it's because she is so incredibly honest that she cannot tolerate (or generate) bullsh*t. Perhaps it's just her character, but whatever it is, she was fabulous company on the journey through hell and beyond. It changed our friendship forever, and I can't tell you how happy & profoundly grateful I am to be her friend.

Maribeth arrived on Tuesday night, late. When she comes to town, she stays in Katie's room, which Katie would LOVE; we all love it. She and Katie had a very happy, snappy and loving rapport, and I know Katie would be thrilled to share her room with MB.

We get up in the morning and have coffee, stay up late in our p.j.s talking, and hang out with my guys. It's a treat, and a kind of vacation when she visits.
The funniest part is walking through town together. We were doing a couple of errands yesterday, and it seemed as if every few feet that we walked, we encountered someone who felt they had witnessed a sort of miracle when they saw her. The hugs! The exclamations! The joy! It makes me smile hugely, every time, to witness the delight that people feel when they see her; I feel the same way.
Because she is an multifaceted person, she has friends all over the community, who know her from her varied activities of (among other things) knitting, working out, church groups, school volunteering, and theatre (visible here in two of many productions). It's lovely to see how much she is loved (and missed) in our community. She gave so generously of her time and talents here that she left a huge void when she moved. (The next time she comes, I'm thinking of making a float and pulling it behind my car through town. I'd love to see her do her parade wave, cheerleader kicks, and really WORK it! Okay, I'm kidding)
Of course, we had to go to the of our favorite pastimes. We both collect beach glass, and keep it in HUGE glass jars in our homes...except that hers is packed away, at the moment.

So we went to one of our favorite beaches, where I've taken my kids over the years for walks and picnics, and we walked and talked and laughed and picked up glass. The big news is that she found her first-ever Indian bead (like the ones I mentioned in a previous post)!
Now she's off to visit her kids for a few days, and then we'll have one more quick visit, before she flies back to Kansas (and Big Al).

It's great to have you back, B*B*ly! XO


Jennifer said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. Three cheers for yet another invigorating and beautiful visit with a dear friend. Your description of her was quite powerful -- and I'm sure she adores wonderful you as much as you do her.


Busy Bee Suz said...

The beautiful friends that you have are such a testament to the kind of person who is drawn to YOU.
MB seems like a wonderful friend, the kind of friend we ALL need in life.
I am so glad you have these times of joy in your makes me happy too. :) I can see why Katie loved her also.

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful friend. She sounds like a special, special woman!

Hope you are doing well.... I'm really missing my blogger buddies! My new job is going well, but (clearly) my free time has become very limited now.

Consider yourself "virtually hugged" from me! :)


Elizabeth said...

I think I love Mary Beth.

Renee said...

There are sweet things in life. Thank God for that.


Love Renee xoxo

Mary said...

Hooray for such wonderful friends! I loved reading about Maribeth and everything that she means to you.

pinky chong said...

I love my friends and so rarely get to see them nowadays what them being so far away and my boys being so little. so happy that you got to spend some quality time with them in person. When I read your blog, I always feel like I've had a special visit with a dear friend. Thank you for always sharing your life with us.

Kay said...

Aww... sounds like you had a wonderful visit.. with an equally wonderful friend. I'm so glad for you!


Dreamer girl said...

Friends are such gifts. I have one from high school and I treasure her. I am so glad that you appreciate and at the same time make us appreciate.
God bless ya!

Dreamer Girl

jlo said...

YOu are lucky to have such a dear friend. Powerful story...I snooped a little bit. I'm sending you big hugs from cyber space.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

hdbl said...

so many posts! what fun! my computer has been down. first off...the beach glass below and the indian beads and the second. the pictures of you. how much more darling could you be? the coat, the outfit, you're very very always chic hair...LOVE IT! third, aren't best friends the best kind? i miss my friend beth tremendously but we are so grateful for modern technology. i have given your blog address to a friend who is a brilliant graduate of fuller seminary and one of the pastors on our staff. we were discussing salvation the other day and i was telling him about your blog and how your writings are so from the heart and real and how you have EXPERIENCED real hell and your relationship to God now and what that looks like. you inspire me, truly. and i know that you have your days; that is the best part. that you share honestly about your days good and bad and that the tapestry of hurt and sadness mixed with joy and survival has meant so much to me in my walk with the are a blessing.