I was very happy when Carol DM’d me after I tweeted about this series. There was a story of a moment she shared with a dear friend of hers, and before she would permit me to publish it, she wanted to make sure her friend would be okay. Turns out, her friend, like all of us do, wanted to share her story as well. She’ll be posting on Friday.
Godly grace poured through Carol in this moment and her friend’s brave vulnerability. I am so honored to have you all read this.
Carol writes at Upside Down Grace and is definitely one to add to your list.
It all began with a message after I started writing my blog. I’m paraphrasing here as I can’t find the originals but it went something like this:
I’ve been reading your blog. You seem to be changing. Evolving. Being more honest. I need to tell you something that might change our friendship or possibly even end it…
I think that’s the point at which my thoughts were confirmed. Somehow I think I had known for a long time. But how do you ask the question, “Are you gay?”
I replied that nothing could ever change our friendship. There was nothing that would be so devastating or so bad that it would have that kind of impact on a friendship of 34 years. Nothing she could say would surprise me. I had done enough in my life to pave a road to hell and back brick by brick.
And then, silence. If I remember correctly, she begged off somehow saying it was nothing or not important. Basically, don’t worry about it. I am nothing if not persistent. I wasn’t going to let this go.
We eventually made plans to spend the day together. We enjoyed lunch at a Mexican restaurant and then decided to head to a nearby park to walk off our meal. We walked around the small lake a couple of times chatting about this and that. Just enjoying each other’s company as we had done many other times in the past. The further we walked, the further away she became. We eventually took a seat on the bleachers of the soccer field and sat in silence for a while. I didn’t want to push her but we had come too far to turn back what had started all those weeks ago with that original message. I have something to tell you…
The story finally came. Hesitantly. And not without a few tears. I remember saying, probably more than once, that nothing she could tell me would change how I felt about her. She was my friend and would always be my friend. Sometime before the words were actually spoken I told her, “I’m pretty sure I already know what you are going to say.” I have no idea if that helped or made it even harder to speak them, but her words did come. “I am gay.”
We sat there on those wooden bleachers in silence as time seemingly stood still. Yet the breeze still blew, the birds still sang and the sun continued to shine. And a friendship continued. Yes, the next 34 years will be different, will be changed. Because of three small words…I love you. Because that’s what true friends do. And the more you truly know someone, the more you can truly love them.
Be sure to check out Carol’s blog here