We met in the second grade in Miss Johnson’s class.
We had to sit by each other in those double desks that grade schools had back then. We immediately hit it off.
We gave each other full permission to dig in each other’s cigar boxes.
(That was what we had back then…not the fancy stuff kids have now.)
We traded crayons. We traded markers. We traded secrets.
We did lunch together in the school cafeteria.
I’d give her my roll then I’d scrape her macaroni and cheese onto my tray.
(Hang on, I suck at math so let me get my calculator…)
…approximately 37 years ago.
I spent many weekends at her family’s cabin on the lake. She spent many weekends at my family’s cabin at the beach.
Her mother threw the bible at us and made us read some scripture stuff in it because she heard us use the term, “Well, hells bells” when we thought she wasn’t around.
We were about 10.
My mother barked and yelled and threatened us within an inch of our life because she smelled Bartles and Jaymes Strawberry Daquiri on our breath.
We were about 14.
We snuck Oreos onto the field at our high school graduation and passed them back and forth. We sat two seats a part that night.
We were about 18.
We caused lots and lots and lots of trouble all through those years. Pretty much side-by-side.
This morning, she is sitting in the waiting room at MD Anderson Hospital in Houston.
This morning, I’m sitting at my desk at the office in Austin.
With really bad bangs.
Sometimes life seems miserably wrong and unfair.
But her biggest question this morning?
“Now that I’m bald, do I use soap or shampoo?”
(I suggested a shammy thing or one of those cloth things you use to make your car shiny.)
(And wigs. Here’s her chance to be a redhead! Curly one day, short one day, long one day…live it up!)
My biggest question this morning?
“Now that I’m seeing gray, do I color it or not?”
Her faith is strong enough to support an entire small country.
Her faith is right now supporting my faith.
And she’s the one bald.
So, yeah…sometimes life seems miserably wrong and unfair.
But most of the time, life is immeasurably beautiful.
And that’s worth every day we can get with a shiny bald head and really bad bangs.