“The weekend does bring a huge flood of emotion. I just wanted to say thank you for understanding. I can’t wait to see you.”
I pressed send on the text and asked God again, “Seriously?!”
Mercy’s wedding day was practically here, 2 months to the day after mine. It was the summer friends dream about…or it was supposed to be. “Seriously, God?!”
Less than a week out, we’d been texting about the coming goodness and plans. Already I could feel places in my heart getting squished, like when you poke a wound before it’s scabbed over. I was a grenade of triggers, emotions and needs about to get launched into a sea of happy people.
I turned to my suitcase, carefully folding and stowing her gifts for the weekend and trying to settle my heart.
“You’re feelings are not too much for her. What you need is ok. She loves you and sees you, and you will offer enough.”
“Best Friend” and “Premium Bridesmaid” had never existed so far apart on my spectrum of performance. Instead “Best Friend” was shaping up to mean “Try Not To Dissociate During The Vows.”
The phone buzzed, “I cannot wait to see YOU!!!!!” she said.
I laughed to myself and exhaled. If it was anyone else, you could not pay me to face this weekend. But it wasn’t anyone. It was Mercy.
The weekend was filled with beauty. It certainly held its share of moments twinged with ache. But that wasn’t the larger story. The story was about a woman who brings life to everyone who meets her and a man who brings courage and truth. The story was about watching them share their first dance together and feeling the happiness curl all the way out to my toes as he twirled her across the floor, her tiny heels only occasionally touching the ground.
I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Because when you’re getting married, you need your friend to say, “Stop packing shirts for the honeymoon. It’s the honeymoon, there will be no shirts!!”
I love that girl.
I love that our friendship means helping one another remember who we are and who we want to be.
This summer after the breakup, there was a specific night when I felt like my whole person was called into question. So I turned to Mercy, who knew the background story and knew me. And her words brought me back to myself, reminding me that who I am is lovely, and who I am is loving, and who I am is loved.
I believe friendship means crossing the world to bring such truth, worth and loyalty to one another.
I closed this summer with a flight to share in Mercy’s joy, because she opened hers with a flight to share in my grief. We are souls entwined with a faithful courage to meet one another on any sea, and that story brings it’s own kind of beauty.
Katy Johnson lives, dreams, writes, and edits in a messy, watercolored world. She’s a 26 year old, discovering her hope, her longings, and the wild spaces in her own heart. Her favorite creative project right now is called The Someday Writings, and someday, she may let those writings see the light of day. For now, she shares her thoughts here.