Most humbling of all is to comprehend the lifesaving gift that your pit crew of people has been for you, and all the experiences you have shared, the journeys together, the collaborations, births and deaths, divorces, rehab, and vacations, the solidarity you have shown one another. Every so often you realize that without all of them, your life would be barren and pathetic. It would be Death of a Salesman, though with e-mail and texting. – Anne Lamott

This quote climbed into me last night as I lay in bed, eyes barely open, trying to suck in a few more of my favorite writer’s words before sleep lumbered in fully.  See, I have friends like this.

I am blessed beyond measure to have people in my life who I know will always, always be there. These are the people to whom I can tell anything – the bitter seeds that sprout from time to time from my pain, the joys of buying seeds for my first farm garden, the scariness of losing one parent and watching the other grow older, the laughter of absolutely ridiculous television.  They are the people who will push me in my wheelchair when I cannot walk myself and who will sit with me in old age and point out how ridiculous the outfits of teenagers are as we sport our elastic-waisted pants and puffy-painted sweatshirts.

Some people call these friends, friends of the heart.  But I think it’s more than that – there’s more to these friendships than love, although that is there in abundance.  There’s acceptance and accountability and deep, abiding loyalty even when we are ridiculous and off-balance and petty.  These are my friends of the soul. 

I pray you have these people, and if you don’t, I pray you find your way to them even as they find their way to you. I pray that you can learn – as I have – that it’s safe to drop your walls all the way to dust around these few and that you show them they can do the same for you.

To my dear, dear friends, thank you for saving me from a Death of the Salesman life.

What do your dearest friends give to you that no one else can?

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In the way of gifts, I would like to give one today.  A beautiful person gifted me a copy of Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott, and it is a great joy.  As is the way with joy, it multiplied, and I got another copy in the mail this week – from an anonymous friend. I do not need two copies, so I’d like to give one away to you. 

If you’d like to win this copy, please comment below.  You’ll get one entry for your comment, and another for each time you share the post.  (Just be sure to tell me in your comment where you have shared it.)  I’ll pick the winner tonight at 8pm.  🙂