Facing the Unknown.

As a child, I chose my friendships based off people’s faces. Life was much simpler then… if someone had a kind face, they were automatically deemed a nice person who was deserving of a friendship.

By my teenage years, I chose friendships based off risk. Could I trust the person? How much would it hurt if they betrayed me? Looking back, I can see my friendships during this time period were shallow-based and reminds me why these friends have scattered as I’ve matured.

As an adult, I choose my friendships based off feelings. When I meet someone, I know within a few moments if we’d get along, and what similarities and differences we have that could strengthen or hurt our friendship.

lucy and ethel

While living in Baltimore, I first experienced the beauty of natural friendship. Heading to the elevator to bring medicine to a client one day, my insides jumped as I heard someone loudly say, “Hey Boston! You stole my boyfriend!

A co-worker, working on a different treatment team than I, was yelling this towards me with a big smile and laughter on her lips. I remember feeling stunned and wondering if this almost-stranger really believed I stole her boyfriend. Who was she? Who was he?

“Actually, I had this dream that you stole my boyfriend. Hi, I’m Elizabeth. You’re Boston, right? I’m here from Indiana.”

And so began the natural friendship between myself and my best friend, Elizabeth. Within a short period of time, our intimate life details spilled incautiously through bubble tea dates and tears during simultaneous break-ups. I never had to work hard in our friendship or explain my crazy thought patterns… she always just understood. And I understood her.

intimate details of friendship

We supported each other through dark and turbulent times. Through break-up’s dealing with heavy issues, the death of my boyfriend, leaving Baltimore, and family tragedies. We cheered one another on during celebratory moments, mimicking eager cheerleaders’ excitement and pride. She stood by my side as I faced the death of loved ones for several years, and I stood by her side as she grappled with issues in her own life. Elizabeth has seen every ugly spot on my soul and still loves me unconditionally, as I do her.

About one month ago, Elizabeth casually mentioned that her feet felt strange and tingly. Being in our late 20’s, I chalked it up to stress or our office jobs that result in sitting 40+ hours a week. But by the following week, a dark pit grew in my stomach knowing that in fact… this wasn’t just stress or boredom, something was wrong.

Fast forwarding to today, Elizabeth is now headed to a medical center offering world renowned care in rare medical syndromes. She is the first thought of my every day and my final prayer before I fall asleep.

god made us friends

Facing the unknown in a friendship can shake one to their core. It’s a balance of support and strength, of insight and honesty. It’s a constant battle between ‘I wish I had the perfect words to say’ and ‘There are no perfect words to say’. It’s a mixture of calm knowledge that God will make this right, and fuming anger that the world could miss the mark and afflict someone so good with something so bad.

Most of all, facing the unknown allows you to see someone’s true colors. Even more so than found during a natural friendship, facing the unknown strips people to their essence and soul. During the past month of facing fears and having her faith rattled, Elizabeth has continually checked on me, asked how I’m doing, and supported me through the unknown. It’s a daily reminder that our friendship is not based off her kind face or the knowledge she’d never intentionally hurt me, it’s based off of our souls being connected, intertwined through time.


All that’s left to do now is pray. I pray and hope and wish and plead with the universe. I beg for answers and peace to find her soon. I put faith in the medical team that will guide her back to health and allow her to live freely once again. I look forward to our next reunion with hopes of saying, “Holy hell, that was a scary ride, huh?

But most of all, I dream of one day soon when I can wrap her in a hug, hold back my tears, and remind her that she is simply the bravest, strongest woman I know and I’m lucky just to know her name.

37 responses to “Facing the Unknown.

  1. What a beautiful post. Your friend is lucky to have you, and you are lucky to have her.

    PS. On a different note, Josephine Tey’s “The Daughter of Time” popped into my mind when I read about how you chose friends as a child. The novel features an investigator who specializes in physiognomy.

  2. Oh, honey. What a beautiful, heart-rending post. Just as AMB said above, you and Elizabeth are lucky to have each other.

    I’ve become intimately familiar with that feeling of fear, helplessness, pleading with the universe, and wishing I could make someone who means the world to me magically get better — and so I’m sending you a massive mental hug and as much support as someone can possibly lend from afar. I join you in praying that, someday soon, you can look back on this and be relieved that the scary ride is over. ❤

    • Thank you so much, Lillian. Your words mean so much, especially with you facing your own hard times right now. What gives, huh?! Life needs to lighten up a little!

      Thank you for the mental hug and prayers… they’re so needed! And I’m sending some right back to you for support during your time! ❤

  3. It is if you are describing what has been happening to me and a good friend recently.
    Friendship of the sincere, natural, kind is the most precious thing!
    Bless you.

  4. I enjoyed this post so much, you have no idea. I need to click on the links too to read more. Very well written too.

  5. this was a beautiful post, wishing her the best. hugs)

  6. Life can be so cruel sometimes…I pray for your soul sister and hope you are back together soon doing wild and crazy things~I too am blessed with a friend who is actually the mother of my son’s first friend in kindergarten. We have been best friends for 30 years, thick and thin. A truly most precious gift~

  7. Well, you certainly know how to make a girl all weepy!

    You are truly the most remarkable friend a girl could ask for! I am so lucky to have you in my life and even more lucky to have your support and love through this scary time.

    Don’t worry, we will have our celebratory beach vacation when I am healthy again and you are a graduate of grad school! Consider that a sealed deal. LOVE YOU HLM.

  8. How beautiful Caitlin…not only your love and support for Elizabeth, but your ode to your friendship.

  9. Pure sweetness… this made me weep as I thought of my friends of the heart who have loved me through some difficult times. Those of us who have these friendships are luckier than all the stars in the universe. Sometimes, on this side of the journey through health and other issues, it’s lonely, long, dark, yes, even dismal. It’s difficult to see the confusion, anger, suffering, frustration and love in those surrounding me when I’m feeling all of those things mega-times. Thank you for writing this from the other perspective and reminding me to feel gratitude.. which is truly healing. Thinking the best of you and your dear friend.

    • That’s the true beauty of friendship… an ever-changing seesaw with each friend facing good and bad times. It’s so important for us all to support one another through the good, the bad, and the ugly. Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your experience with friendship!

  10. What a sweet friend you are, and how lucky that you and Elizabeth found each other. I pray for her health.

  11. A beautiful testimony to friendship. I have someone just like this and I know your heart must be hurting so. Prayers for her and you. Soon to look back on. Hugs.x

  12. Just lovely. May this chapter of illness and worry pass quickly into one of joy and mischief. Wishing you both happier milestones to mark your adventures.

  13. Beautiful and touching post. My thoughts are with you and Elizabeth during this difficult time. Friendship, true and loving friendship, is one of the greatest gifts we can give and receive.

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