Debbie is the type of friend that I hope everyone has in their lifetime. We laugh, we cry, we talk everyday...about everything. I've shared my deepest hurts with her, my greatest joys, my fears, my victories.....in short, my life.
She is beautiful...inside and out. A "fashionista".....most days, she looks as if she has stepped out of a magazine....even in scrubs or at the ballpark. Before cancer changed my whole appearance....people often would mistake us for sisters....and boy, would my head swell! :) I have never been that beautiful...but our personalities, our banter, and for years....our haircut, were so similar, that strangers oftentimes just assumed. I love that so much....because if I had to choose a sister....she would be it!
Our friendship started on the baseball field, about 10 years ago. "Cubs mommies" always have and always will this bond, that few ever experience or even understand. Never an ounce of drama. Ever. A core group of a few families that will forever be like my own. The Shamlins are among them.
So many times, we have lifted each other up and loved each other, sometimes when we didn't feel so "lovable." We have had held each others hands through the ups and downs of life's journeys. We are the keeper of deep secrets, and the protector of each other's hearts. There is a trust there like few others I've ever had. And I know what an honor and blessing it is.
Debbie is a ball of energy. Always late....hehe. I know to pad our meeting time for things about 30 minutes early which will give her time to fly in on two wheels in the nick of time. I know that if I have a specific prayer request -- that she is going to the Lord with it....not once. But often, until a resolution is reached. She ALWAYS puts other's needs before her own. As her friend, there are times when I really want to sucker punch others for taking advantage of such kindness that she extends. :) She gives of herself and her blessings without ever asking or expecting anything in return. Always.
She loves my kids. Both of them would call Ms. Deb in a heartbeat and know that she would be there. I, too, love her kids like my own. So many of my favorite memories of my kiddos' childhoods include hers. They are the real deal.....And I love them so very much.
I know that when I vent to her? She hurts with me. She takes it for face-value and holds it to herself. And when I'm over it....she, too is over it. I can trust her to never use my weaknesses against me. She is a person in my "boat" that I know has her paddle rowing strong. She isn't in the back drilling holes while I'm not looking. And when I'm too tired to paddle? She paddles harder. Trust is something I never question.
Long before I was diagnosed....we shared memories, talks, heartbreaks and joy like very few in my life. From the very second I found the lump.....she led my recovery path. It started in the bathroom at a ballpark in Lake Hamilton....where I let her feel my boob. haha. From then on....she took charge and used her contacts to get me the absolutely best care in the state.
She held my hand through the physical fight of cancer....and continues to hold tight to it through the emotional fight that is lingering. During my mom's lifetime, she had a best friend, that was there through every milestone of not only my mother's life...but ours as well. Also a nurse, she was there through every step of the way during mom's illness. Still there for us today, Judy is a precious part of my family because of the love she shared with my mother. Deb is my "Judy." Those close to my family, know exactly what a compliment that is. Judy is/was like no other. And Deb is too. She was there throughout every bit of bad news and every bit of good. She was most always....the first call I made. (Unless she was sittin' there with me!) And her emotion most always matched mine....be it laughter, joy, or tears. A sister. In every way.
As recent as a few days ago....I texted her to give her the results of my gene testing. Immediately, she called me sobbing so that I couldn't make out her words. A genuine celebration of a prayer answered. That is Deb.
I can't imagine going through life without her in it. Sharing the remainder of what is to come. Her friendship, her giving heart, her self-less spirit, and her precious family are so important to me and such a blessing straight from God. I will be forever in debt to the ways she has helped me and been there for me. She would disagree with that statement....in a heartbeat. The thing is....she doesn't keep score. "That is what friends are for...." is always her response. And she lives it....and believes it.
Chuck, Chase and Ashlyn have shared their lives with me. Opened their doors and their hearts to form such a precious bond and countless memories over the years. They have shared their momma with me, out of love. Because they knew I needed her.
Friends Forever.....Facing Whatever. I love you, Deb. God knew what He was doing when He gave me you.
John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends."
If you look realllllll close....you can see God's fingerprints in there. <3
Happy Birthday, my precious friend.