me: how can you be sure this is love? her: she smiles every time she sees me. me: oh, but couldn’t it just be a delight to see you? her: I know love when I feel it. I ache at the sight of her. me: that sounds more like a belly or headache than it does love. her: don’t you remember, Tre? that’s exactly what love feels like. me: silence.
how’d I get eighteen years with you?
what resolve must it have taken
for you to watch the years pile up
and embrace us without flinching?
I am not the easiest person to love,
but can’t we all say this?
can’t we all confess that loving,
truly loving someone through
the thick of it all takes patience
and a will that cannot be broken?
I thank God for your resilience —
your ability to trip an off-putting person
in three seconds flat without batting
your words attacking them, but not
cutting them down.
you don’t do low blows.
you hit them where it hurts
while offering them the opportunity
to rethink their actions and govern
themselves accordingly for future rapport.
it has been an honor to stand by your side
and watch you take flight each year —
shifting into something new.
you wear change well —
a human chameleon coloring
up my world.
the battles I fight now come
fully equipped with love,
guidance, and understanding.
I am never alone.
the task to grow with someone
and allow yourself to morph
into what you must become without
losing the bond created years ago
is a hard one.
friendship is a gift — an
ever-blooming present that
is priceless, but . . .
there will be obstacles.
there will be setbacks.
how strong will you be when
the fists landing on your nose
are liable to break it?
I pose this question to anyone
thinking friendship is easy — something
you achieve without work.
don’t be fooled.
nothing worth keeping
is easy to obtain.
the best of friends show you
who you are when others
only want to remind you
who you were.
they pull the chair out
for you in your corner,
splash your aching face with water,
gauze your mouth, and tell you
there’s more fighting to do.
and if they have to,
they get in the ring
with you: fists up, feet swiftly
playing the canvas,
arms extended — punching alongside you.
they invested in you
when you made a full withdrawal
on yourself —
they see your value.
she knows my worth.
“I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.” – Plutarch