"U" is for...Unforgettable

>> Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"You're My Person"
If you've ever watched the show "Grey's Anatomy," you're probably familiar with two of the main characters, Meredith and Cristina. They are best friends who are always by each other's side.

"You're my person." That's how they refer to one another.

Yup, we've had some adventures!
We all have family and friends, but every now and then, you find that special pal who's in for the long haul. Doesn't matter how often you see them or how many days pass between phone calls: You always know you can count on them to be there for you...and you for them.

They are your person.

When I started to think about a "U" post for this week's meme, the word "unforgettable" kept jumping out at me. And my best friend, Sandi.

And for the life of me, I couldn't figure out why.

We made it to 4500 feet...

The years flipped through my mind like a PowerPoint slide show. We've had a lot of fun and grand adventure. I've held her during crisis and she's done the same for me. We've cheered each other's successes, and cried during failures. There isn't much we haven't been through together.

Including an unforgettable event.

This is an article I did for a FaithWriters Weekly Challenge two years ago. It didn't win anything, but it was one of those "must be written" entries that came straight from the heart.

                                          White Swan Hope
In sixteenth century Europe, there was an assumption that all swans were white. It was a safe theory since no other variety had ever been seen. However, in 1697, all that changed when a Dutch explorer discovered the first black swan in Australia. People had to alter their perspective on the birds and soon the phrase “Black Swan Event” was used to describe the unpredicted, highly improbable, and unforeseen. Describing life-changing experiences with a major impact, the “Black Swan Event” became a symbol of the impossible…


I never saw it coming. The phone call kept echoing though my mind, playing over and over like a song stuck on repeat. Except I couldn't press the off button and make it stop.

An acquaintance had called to tell me that my best friend, Sandi, was seriously ill. Details were vague, but apparently it started with complications due to bronchitis. No other information was available. No contact information. Nothing.

Bewildered, I lay in the dark, staring. My gaze momentarily fell on the graceful goldfish that wandered across the screen of my laptop, but I paid it no attention. I was too busy wishing I was several hours away. For all the good it would do me. Even if I drove frantically to her town, I had no idea which hospital or where to begin in my quest to find her. Someone, somewhere, was working to save her life and I was helpless to do anything.

Slipping to the floor, I cried out,“Oh God, please help.” Grief flooded over me like a runaway train, roaring at breakneck speed as I curled into the fetal position. “We need you, Lord,” I whispered into the silence.

Sandi and I had met several years earlier when we ended up cleaning toilets together in an orphanage while on a mission trip. We became fast friends after discovering we were from the same state and lived only a few hours apart.  What started in the dusty sands of Mexico had forged into a solid, lifelong friendship. Even though we didn’t see each other often, it was one of those special relationships that endured the test of time. We’d been through a lot together: she was “my person.”

The fact that I had even found out she was sick was the result of a bizarre chain of events that started with a call from California. Sandi’s church had emailed all over the world in an effort to get as many prayers going as possible. A man that received the email relayed the information to Minnesota, location of the home office for the organization that had sponsored us in Mexico. A woman from there called a local mutual friend, who passed the news on to me.

Unfortunately, no details were known--other than an urgent call to prayer. No one could tell me where she was and I didn’t know any of her family members. I was at a loss.  
My reckless emotional side wanted to jump in the car and just start driving. Fortunately, my rational self prevailed and I began to clear the fog from my brain. Options ran through my head and were quickly dismissed as either impractical or impossible.

In a moment of clarity, I sheepishly turned to the Lord (where I should have started in the first place). “Father, I need your guidance. Please show me what to do, which way to turn. I beg of you to spare Sandi. Heal her even now with Your mighty power.  And give me direction.”

Immediately, His calming presence came over me. The goldfish flittered by...and the answer came.  Getting on the Internet, I got the number of every hospital in the area where Sandi lived. Several interminable phone calls later, I was actually connected to her mother in the ICU waiting area.

The news was not good: Sandi was in critical condition, on a ventilator, and not expected to live. She had gone septic as a result of the bronchitis and infection was proving to be too much for her weakened condition. 

There wasn’t time for me to get there and I resigned myself to sitting at home, waiting, and praying…

Author’s Note:
This story is based on an actual “Black Swan Event” involving my best friend. The end result? After 21 days on a respirator, and many setbacks, including a stroke, Sandi made a full recovery.  She has a few residual affects, but for the most part, the Lord spared her for the work she has yet to do.  

 She went on to finish college, realize her dream of becoming a teacher, and was recently married.   

Sandi has had countless opportunities to share how she turned her “Black Swan” into pure white.
Me and My Person


Pencildancers October 11, 2011 at 8:40 AM  

I have a 'person' too. I'm thankful your person made a full recovery.

Joanne Sher October 11, 2011 at 9:04 AM  

What a story! Love it, Kim. I have a person too, of course. Just texted her ;)

Barbara Lynn Culler October 11, 2011 at 9:24 AM  

What an awesome story! Your are truly blessed!

Unknown October 11, 2011 at 11:03 AM  

Still looking for "my person." One day at the right time.

Thanks for sharing.

Marji Laine - Faith Driven Fiction October 11, 2011 at 1:22 PM  

What an awesome testimony! Thanks so much for sharing.

Nicole Mandeville October 11, 2011 at 7:25 PM  

This made me tear up! What a well written and moving tribute to your friend and your relationship with God!

Rita Garcia October 11, 2011 at 9:12 PM  

I'm let out a sigh of relief when I found out Sandi survived--I'm soooo glad she did!

Awesome story!

Laury October 11, 2011 at 10:23 PM  

Thanks for sharing your story, Kim. Everyone needs a best friend, for sure!

Shelley Ledfors October 12, 2011 at 9:25 PM  

What a beautiful story, Kim. God is so good--both to give you "your person" in the first place and then to help both of you during her health crisis and to restore her health. Thanks for sharing this!

Sparrow October 13, 2011 at 3:34 AM  

Beautiful tribute! So glad she's okay. I have a few "my person"s... different people who are there for me in different situations. I hope I'm at least one person's "person", too!

As for the black swans, I didn't know they existed until a few years ago when I was in Australia visiting FWer Chrissy Siggee. I distinctly remember a conversation with her husband while the three of us were taking a walk by a lake.

Me: What bird is that?
Norm: Which?
Me: That one that looks like a black swan.
Norm: It's a black swan.

We even got to see little brown cygnets! (baby swans)

Niki Turner October 13, 2011 at 2:06 PM  

I LOVE this! My person celebrated her birthday yesterday. I've not watched Grey's Anatomy, but I think Jonathan and David had that same kind of "you are my person" relationship!

Di Smith October 13, 2011 at 4:45 PM  

I remember that challenge entry!!! It tugged at my heart then... sniff, sniff. Thanks for posting it :)

Unforgettable relationships have incredible value, for sure.

Patty Wysong October 16, 2011 at 5:47 PM  

Friends like that are the bestest. Glad you have one!! =]

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