Monday, January 4, 2010


there are moments that shape each one of us, that leave indelible marks on who we are as human beings, friends, siblings, spouses, parents. some of these moments are forgettable in their ordinariness. some are split seconds, others are seasons, or years. nonetheless, they make us who we are. we all wear thousands of these moments in the ways we live, and in the way we love each other.

a brief moment: 16 years ago, i sat on a couch in davis. 18 years old and heartbroken, i sobbed as i shared my shattered heart with adriane, one of my roommates. i don't remember what i said. i don't remember what she said. all i remember is that as she sat next to me listening, she started crying for me. she started crying with me. it was a moment i will never forget. it showed me how sometimes tears weigh more than words. how silence can say more than a bunch of advice and wisdom. how the joy of a dear friend can overwhelm the grief, even if it is just a few minutes reprieve.

a moment that became a season: 5 years ago this last week, i parked my car outside of my parents' house. my mom came outside to meet me. it was new year's eve. i was laughing as she walked up to me. she looked sad and old. "i need to tell you something. i have bad news. travis just called; adriane is in the hospital. she was sick all week, they ran some tests." and? "she has leukemia." the sitting-on-the-couch-crying, like a sister to me, healthy adriane, was sick. really sick.

matt and i were supposed to fly back to new jersey, where we had been living that fall. we had some time and a break in jobs; i was in the process of applying for art school. instead we were able to change plans, stay, and be with my friend. to sit, to cry, to watch tv, to run errands, to support.

getting the news was only the beginning. my friend had a long, long journey ahead of her. over 5 months of hospitals, losing hair, appointments, long days, long nights, 4 rounds of chemo, and a bone marrow transplant.

half a year of moments.
i remember how bored we were some days.
i remember how she didn't complain even though she was so sick.
i remember a lot of sitting. a lot of playing mash. being silly in the hospital halls, and then, when she couldn't leave her room, being silly in her room.
i remember when she didn't have the energy to be silly, so we were just quiet.
i remember watching her husband love her so well.
i remember spending my 30th birthday in her room,
and then going home that night & wishing that she could go home to her own bed too.
i remember the day i sat next to her, a few days after her bone marrow transplant, when i thought she was going to die. and while she slept i went outside, called matt, and just cried because i didn't have any other words - just sadness.
i remember praying & yelling at & crying with God.
i remember how brave she was.
i remember her telling me that even though she felt so much pain, that she felt really alive.
i remember the thousand cranes we moved from hospital room to hospital room.

i remember the last day we drove to an appointment,
because her body was healing and healthy and becoming her own again.
i remember a thousand other things.

it was a lot of moments adding up.

when i pause, to think of these moments 5 years ago,
my heart aches for the hardness of that season for my friend.
my heart is also full.
i have never been more honored than i was to sit by her side as she and her husband fought her leukemia.
one of the greatest joys in my life has been to see her living, laughing, becoming a mother to twins, celebrating more years of marriage with her husband.

that season is a moment that i still wish never happened for adriane and travis. but i hope that being their friend in the midst of that dark time shaped me into a better friend, mother, wife. i hope i learned how to love more deeply. i hope i learned to pray more honestly and trust more despite the unknown. i hope that that time shaped me and softened me; i know i've thought of that season many times on our own journey these past couple of years.

today, sitting at the kitchen table, thinking of life-and both the joy and the grief that it contains- i am so grateful that we share these moments with people who can love, carry, be silly and cry with us.


  1. I am wiping away my tears, and my heart aches after reading this beautiful piece, S. I am so thankful for you; and the moments that make you, you.

  2. thanks for sharing your heart. you got me all choked up!! I, too, remember the phone call and how stunned I was as I laid on the couch praying for Adriane as I processed the news. hard to believe it's been 5 years.

    Yay God for transplant and doctors and nurses and healing! love you. love Adriane. love your very special friendship and how you got to minister to her in such a powerful way during that season.

  3. do you know every time i dial your number (when i have to put in the 925 area code) i am reminded of you and adriane. what a great way to remember to be thankful! and remember that you're an awesome friend.


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