“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.
Oh Katy. Such a sacred experience. And… Seriously God! Wow.
Robyn, there really is no other word for it, huh? I’ve thought that so many times…sacred, wild, painful, unknown, and surely for something. Thanks for reading.
Beautifully written! Thank you for sharing.
Linda, I’ve noticed you reading my story as it unfolds…thank you for walking the journey.
Love this Katy. Honoring of the beauty of your friendship.
🙂 friendship is well worth honoring. Love you, Ellen.
Bravo friend. So much beauty. I especially love the end when you tied the beginning and end of summer with grief and joy.
Thank you, B. I loved that too, it kind of let me breath a little easier with the feeling, yes, it all belongs.
Katy. Wow. You are the best and so is Mercy! Oh my goodness. I loved your whole entry and I thank you for your vulnerable heart. I have wondered so often how you are. I loved this line in particular: “I believe friendship means crossing the world to bring such truth, worth and loyalty to one another.” So well and beautifully said.
Becky, thank you. Mercy is indeed one of the sweetest gifts my life has held. And I love that line too…I am very aware I couldn’t have written it if my story hadn’t taken the turns it has…I wouldn’t have known my friend’s love went all the way that deep.
Brave, beautiful Katy…..What a gift you are to your friend – willing to face pain and scrape the freshly formed scab off your wound to celebrate with Mercy. May mercy continue to be showered on you as you continue to heal.
Thank you, Valerie. Her name is a rich metaphor, isn’t it? I pray for that too.
Love absolutely everything about this!
The word “sacred” covered my heart as I read your offering this morning. Thank you for opening your “real” !