I have known my best friend Sarah since I was 10, now I’m not going to give away my age and admit how many years we’ve been friends, just know it’s as long as sisters have known each other. She is truly the sisters I never had, my partner in crime, the person I always wanted to be. Of course ours is the relationship that doesn’t require calling one another every night, although we have. Our relationship isn’t the kind of friendship that has any jealousy, competition, or ill will when one person says or does something the other doesn’t agree with. There’s plenty we don’t agree with, for instance she’s a Michigan fan and I’m a Buckeye. She’s and democrat but leans independent and I am a republican that leans libertarian. But neither of those or the other differences we have has ever caused us not to speak, well maybe during the actual Michigan/OSU game and if we do communicate it’s through Facebook and we generally tell the other one their team sucks.
Even when I was a pre-teen pain in the butt that wouldn’t stop bugging her to hang out, she still loved me and accepted me as friend. Even when we drifted apart when she went on to college and I was stuck staying behind, we always talked on the phone as if we had just talked the day before. I love her, she loves me and that’s it, it’s that simple. There were dark times in Sarah’s life that kept me from seeing and talking to her but when we did speak she knew I still loved her and stuck by her even when others in her life couldn’t handle her situation. After years of struggling with addiction she finally came through the other side a victor!
So when I heard she was having her first baby after all her struggle and strife I was overjoyed. She had always worried that she would never get pregnant after all the years of abuse to her body with pills and alcohol. I had gotten pretty sick during the end of September and most of October with a horrible cough which made talking on the phone next to impossible not to mention my kids just don’t allow me to talk on the phone. I could flip on the kids’ favorite movie that turns them into TV zombies that make me invisible, but during that same movie they would know if I left the room, locked myself in the bedroom and dialed the phone! So when Sarah called and said that she wanted to see me and to meet her half way in between our two cities for lunch I was more the happy to oblige.
The day of my anticipated travel up to my lunch date the inevitable happened; winter weather. Normally winter weather doesn’t bother me except that I hate the cold and the snow only because I love the hot and the sand. But I my hatred for winter hit a new level when I moved from northwest Ohio, where we can handle the snow, to central Ohio where they can’t. In central Ohio we are always right on the precipice of snow and rain, which always equals ice. I will drive in snow, slush, blowing snow, but I will NOT drive when it ices, especially around here. The night before I was to depart it stared to snow which was expected, but what was not predicted was the amount of snow. Now normally one wouldn’t freak out over an inch of snow especially when predicted, not here. Also, one may not freak out over an inch of snow if it wasn’t predicted, not here. Not only are the drivers here horrible when it comes to rain, sleet and snow but the weathermen induce panic with their “up to the minute radar” shenanigans. These radars they have now can zoom in on your residential street and show exactly where the heaviest rain or snow fall is at that moment. They show the street cameras that are capturing all the winter weather coming down out of the sky and all the traffic tie ups. They break in during your favorite show to give you a preview of weather to come, weather that’s here and where the weather is going. They blitz the social media pages with their every minute posts and tweets telling you the snow has started to fall, or a certain suburb is already hit hard and it’s on the way to the next suburb; it’s crazy. They [weathermen] create such a mass panic that you should never enter a grocery store on bad weather days because everyone is buying everything and store shelves are emptied, all over an inch of snow! They make this “snowmeggedon” type situation every time the weather even thinks of acting up. And this was the exact situation I was facing the morning of my commute. Now as I mentioned I do not like to drive in ice, had an experience with black ice that has left me more than a little nervous so I actually was one of the people glued to the social media updates on weather this particular day but I got so annoyed with my phone beeping every 20 seconds that I turned off my notifications and decided I’ll figure out what the weather situation is when it hits my windshield.
Once I reached Bob Evens I couldn’t get out of the car fast enough to see my beautiful pregnant friend. As soon as I saw her the big hugs and hello’s started and of course I had to be the obnoxious one and rub the belly. We sat down and started talking just like we always did, as if no time had ever passed. The waitress came over took our order and we warned her we may be awhile and she graciously said she was there all night and not to worry. We spent a few hours in that Bob Evens talking about everything from labor to politics to my kids and about her mom. Her mom is very ill, she is dying of bone cancer and of course Sarah is taking it is “Sarah stride” but as she explained to me she has known of her mother’s diagnosis for quite some time so her death has been something she has been able to mourn for a while ago, but now that she’s having the baby I think she’s a little rattled with her mother’s passing seeming to be in the near future. She had also wanted to get together in person because she had a very important question for me. She needed a secondary guardian for little baby boy Jack and I couldn’t have been more honored or happier to say yes. After all the important questions had been asked and all the catching up was done, it unfortunately was time to leave each other’s company and head back to our respective cities.
Once I was headed down US 23 south towards home I sat thinking about all the great childhood memories we had, all the great late night conversations and all the trials and triumphs we had been through, both together and apart. I was happy for her and her new journey into motherhood just as she was happy for my journey even though it took me 2 ½ hours away, 8 years, 1 husband and 2 kids ago. Once I got closer to the city it started to creep up on 5 o’clock rush hour and with this “snowmeggedon”/”iceapalooza" on the way people seemed more apt to cut me off and speed past me or drive at the speed of an average 90 year old gripping the wheel in fear, even though it hadn’t yet started to precipitate.
Finally, I parked the car at the curb of my home at approximately 5:30, grabbed my cell and empty coffee cup then headed inside to be greeted by my boisterous children. As soon as I shut the front door and took off my outer winter shell of coat, scarf and boots the snow began to fall. I plopped down on the couch and immediately had my children in my lap watching cartoons. While watching TV with the kids the National Weather Service kept interrupting our shows with the obnoxious beeping of the winter weather advisories for our area; all the while the snow outside our window had stopped and nothing more happened in our little burb.
With a great day behind me despite the constant weather reminders and bad drivers it was time to head to bed and say my prayers to our Lord and of course Sarah, her baby boy Jack and her mother were at the top of my prayer list. I can’t wait to welcome baby Jack in February and I will no doubt be caught up again in a “snowmeggedon” type situation but that won’t ever stop me from seeing the precious new life that has blessed my dear friend Sarah.