We Were Four

There has never been a time when she wasn’t my friend.  

I met her in the nursery at church. We were four. I remember us telling each other that day that we were both four and giggling together about it. Meeting her is one of my first childhood memories.  We were circling the legs of our parents as they talked and introduced us, and from then on we were friends.

We started out our friendship stacking blocks and playing with baby dolls.  We were in the same kindergarten class together and got into trouble a few times for talking during nap-time.  
We had lots of sleepovers and play dates.  
We used to daydream about what we would be when we grew up and who we would marry.  We always played school at her house and played dress-up at mine.  She had the biggest collection of Strawberry Shortcake dolls.  Her room smelled very fruity.   
She was my first best friend.  

Fast forward a few years to the boy-crazy era.  Oh we drove our parents crazy.  Being from a small town, you had the same girls chasing after the same boys (and vice-versa). There was always drama among us girls, but she was always my friend.  Dance recitals, church camps and trips, school functions, and everything else – she was absolutely a constant in my life.  
High school flew by – and through the happy and tough times, she was always my friend. 

Since we both moved away from home to go to college, and then careers and marriage, our actual moments together have been few and far between.  We were bridesmaids in each other’s weddings and have stayed in touch through the years.  We both had CRAZY bachelorette parties and I am so thankful this was before the digital era…

We have shared in the joys of motherhood and reached out to each other in tough times.  

And now my friend, my oldest friend, has breast cancer.  

Geography is not my friend and I am so far away and can do so little to help her or be there for her or even hug her.  And in times like this, I really want to DO something.

When we were little, I was always pretty sensitive and would go hide when I got upset.  Silly, huh?  She would always find me.  She always knew where to find me.  And she would hold my hand and hug me and assure me that everything was OK.  I just want to do the same for her.  
As I have matured (yeah, right)… I have quickly realized in life that friendships come and go.  Some friendships are only there for a specific time and some are simply timeless.  I am so thankful to have a handful of friendships that are truly timeless.  Hers is one of them.  We have continued on our own paths of life – literally in two different directions.  I live just about as north as you can live and still be in America  and am blanketed in snow half of the year and she is close to the Gulf and the beach and the sun.  
And yet we can pick up the phone and we’re right back where we left off.  
Last month, she had heard that I was having some health issues and I had learned that she was awaiting test results from a biopsy and we just picked up the phone and caught up.  
And while she has been mapping out the plan of attack on her very aggressive cancer and figuring out a course of treatment, she has been checking in on me.  
I’m OK… but she just had a double mastectomy and is facing chemo.   
That is just like her.  Worrying about me when she is facing a giant.  
And I dearly love her.   
When we were little, she always found me and lifted me up when I was lost and sad.  Now I want to be able to do the same for her.  
Please say a little prayer for my friend.  She has breast cancer.  She is only 37.  She has two beautiful children and a husband that has stood by her side through some pretty tough times.  Her family is standing with her and loving her and supporting her. 
I am so blessed to be able to pray for her from where I am… and I covet your prayers from wherever you are, too.  

Jennifer Collins

About Jennifer Collins

Jennifer is a mom with a day job and she likes to write about her victories and messes along the way. She is living an adventurous life as a Georgia transplant learning to thrive in Maine, with a strong Southern accent that screams that she is "from away" and a new-found love for lobster rolls and timely snow plows. Jennifer's writing has been featured on BlogHer, iVillage Australia, Daddy Doin' Work, and Mamapedia.