The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Monday, October 27, 2008


When You've Always Got a Friend

Yesterday was my best friend Amy’s birthday. I didn’t know if she was in Washington or visiting her mother in Connecticut, so I left messages at both places.

I planned to call her today, but she beat me to it.

She always does.

I first noticed her kindness when we were barely in double digits. I told her how much I liked the James Taylor album, “You’ve Got a Friend.”

For my birthday a few weeks later she bought me the disc.

“How did you know I wanted that?” I asked amazed.

“I remember you mentioned it,” she said with a smile.

I stared at her in wonder. Such kindness. Such thoughtfulness. And she could hold a secret! Amy said she knew she was going to buy me that gift as soon as I said I liked it. Yet, she never told me she was going to purchase it. If that were me -- I would have blurted it out.

Over the years there have been many incidents like that. Someone asking Amy to hold a secret and she always does. I asked her how she was able to do it. She seemed surprised at the question because the answer was so obvious.

“Because someone asked me to promise not to tell,” she said.

OK, felt instantly stupid, but I knew I wanted to follow her principled example. It is from Amy that I learned the importance of discretion.

I met her just after she moved to Connecticut from Brooklyn, N.Y. Her first words to me were, “I hear you’re nice. Want to come to my party?

“Sure,” I said, trying to act cool. Inside I thought, “Woo-hoo!”

Because Amy was new, she was instantly popular at school. However, within a few months she went from being everyone’s best friend to a piranha. To this day, neither of us knows why, other than kids can be randomly cruel.

“You were the only one who was still my friend,” Amy recalled.

“Really,” I said, not quite remembering the incident. Of course, the scars were much deeper for her, even all these years later.

“Yeah, when I was crying about everybody being so mean you said they were losers. To forget about them because they weren’t worth it. You said not to worry because you’d always be my friend. “

What makes our relationship so important is the time and nurturing that we have put into it.  Even as kids we spoke about how when we got older we would remain best friends.

The funniest moments of my life have been spent laughing with her. The kind of laughter that is rare, deep and unstoppable. It may not even be anything that is said. It can just be a look. A knowingness. A bond. But it also is only shared with someone who knows you incredibly well.

When my daughter, Mimi, was born, Amy flew out to spend a week with me. After I was diagnosed with cancer, she dropped everything, and came with me for my first clinical medical trial visit. It was eight hours long and at the end, we were both exhausted. Afterwards, while I slept on the couch, she played with my daughter and tried to keep her from disturbing me.

Amy called me every week for nearly a year and a half asking me about the trial and gently encouraging me to drop it. Stubbornly, I did not. She didn’t push. Instead, she listened to my complaints and whining without judgment. It was the greatest gift she could have given me.

When Amy recently went though a tough patch, I called, not as often as she called me, not nearly so, but I would listen intently when she wanted to talk, not push when I could tell she didn’t, and then gently prod her as I know when Amy needs encouragement to speak.

It’s like that album Amy bought me so many years ago that has proven prescient: “You’ve Got a Friend.” 

We've talked about it often and we agree -- we're blessed.

By Dawn Yun

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