(the title has nothing whatsoever to do with what follows)

I haven’t managed to keep friends easily.

While I’d like to say something like, “it’s totally their loss,” or “it’s their fault,” there have been a number of mitigating circumstances, some of which were entirely my own fault (if one has to blame someone). I had three kids and was unable to leave the house for years. I moved from a central location to Bumfuck, Egypt. PTSD crippled my ability to let others really in.

And certainly, my former friends have done their fair share of shitballs things to me, too. I won’t fling poo, because that’s unladylike (snorts) but it has happened.

I won’t lie and say it’s been easy or particularly enjoyable, because who likes losing their friends?

Through all of the bullshit of the past couple of years, I’ve been lucky enough to maintain a few close friends; mostly people who’d once lived inside my computer but became real friends. We’ve managed to bridge the gaps in geography and, throughout it all, grow together, rather than apart.

(I include you, Pranksters, in this category)

Meet Kat.

I met Kat shortly after Amelia was born – her daughter Avi is roughly the same age – when she IM’d me to correct my grammar on a post*. And while this is an unlikely way to become friends with someone, it’s what happened.

I won’t lie or sugarcoat things here: Kat was instrumental in saving my life after Amelia was born. I was in a bad place; such a bad place that I’m not sure anyone else – including me – realized it. I would have easily told you that I was “fine,” but I was so far from fine that I couldn’t even recall what “fine” looked like any more.

Kat saved me.

Nine months ago, her husband had a stroke, spent a good amount of time in the ICU and was eventually diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder – alpha 1-angiotripsan deficiency – for which there is no cure. Her 2-year old daughter, Mimi’s clone, was also diagnosed with this.

On Friday, at the butt-ass crack of dawn, I got up and slogged my sorry ass onto an airplane to Seattle or Portland or one of those cities that is NOT Chicago on the West Coast. It was time to hug the person who had saved me.

And I did.

I also got to meet Mimi Avi who is, just as I’d suspected, Mimi’s doppelganger in both looks and actions. When I met her, she covered her eyes shyly, only to look at me through the cracks in her fingers. I may have passed out from the cuteness.

But Kat isn’t leading an easy life now, which breaks my small, dark heart. The daily what-if stresses are, as you can imagine, crippling. I wish like hell I could say or do something more than visit; something that would matter.

When I figure out what that is, Pranksters, I’ll do it.

Instead, I’ll be thrilled that I finally got to hug my friend in person, meet her charmingly hilarious daughter, and hear my very mild-mannered friend say the one word I flew a jillion miles to hear come from her mouth: “fuck.”

*Prolly NOT the best way to become BFF with me considering both my grammar and spelling are atrocious AND I LIKE IT THAT WAY.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

26 Responses to When Laser Kitties Attack

  • Jana A says:

    Awww <3 I'm so glad you got to put your arms around her. I'm sending her virtual hugs from georgia.

  • Mary Ann Lana says:

    Virtual clinking of martini glasses from another mom also dealt a heap of shit… My shit is named Fanconi Anemia, and we’re waiting (down to actual minutes now, not kidding) to see if we get to bring our 6 year old home after 144 days and a bone marrow transplant…Your blog saved me these past several weeks.

  • There is something substantial about being able to be there for someone full circle when they were there for you. I’m sorry for what both of you have gone through and what her and her family are going through… but I am glad she has a friend like you right now…

    …even if your grammar and spelling suck ;)

  • No Good says:

    What could be better than being there for someone, physically or virtually?

  • Missy says:

    You know, it took forever for me to figure out why I liked you so much, but I think this post is what helped me see the light. Your personality is one that could very easily end up being “fuck you, you all suck” and genuinely mean it. Make fun of people and definitively be evil intentionally.

    But you’re not. Sure, you say things like “fuck you, you all suck – shut your whore mouths, bitches!” but you have a heart of gold. You can hate John C. Mayer with every fiber of your being, but you would fly all the way to Seattle just to give a friend a hug. And hear her say Fuck. THAT is what I love about you – in a non-creepy, stalkerish way. You genuinely care AND can appreciate the eloquent vocabulary that is typical of a foul-mouthed sailor.

    You’ve solidified my approval as an okay person, Aunt Becky – and even though you don’t know what the fuck that means, people who know me would tell you that is a HUGE deal.

    PS – I wish the best for your friend, that sounds like a truly awful ordeal to have to endure. She’s lucky to have you there for her.

  • Sarah says:

    You were minutes from my house and I never knew! (I’m not a stalker, dammit….) I’m so sorry for everything Kat is going through, my husband is the same age as hers, so reading her story hit close to home for me. I’m glad you were able to be there for her.

    As an aside, feel free to share my email address with her and let her know if she needs anything at all, she can just email me.

  • You’re an awesome friend! I don’t have very many friends that GET me either and was very pleased to make one this past weekend.I think you did the aboslutely best thing any friend could do and i will keep the family in my prayers

  • Kat says:

    Awwwww, sweetie. *sniff* I <3 you so much!

  • Liz says:

    Love you, AB, bunches and bunches. Many hugs and prayers for Kat and her family. If I use bad grammar, will she be my friend too? I identify with you not because I’ve been through anything close to what you have, as I haven’t, but because we both have autistic sons and quirky lovable, strong-willed daughters.

  • Joules says:

    Wait, you were in PORTLAND? As in MY Portland? Doubleya tee effenstein? Oh yeah, ok, this not all about me.
    I’m sorry for what your friend is going through. Visiting – being a shoulder and an ear matters, man. And your heart might appear small and dark, but it’s deep and true and holds the whole band inside plus a whole mess of other peeps.
    And if you ever make it out to my Portland again, I’m in the market for a hug from a terrible speller with a small, dark heart.

  • There’s something so agonizing about someone you love being in pain and you being unable to help.

    My thoughts are with you AND Mrs. Soup.

  • Amelia says:

    *love*

  • I’m so sorry Kat and her family are going through all of this crap. Ugh. You are a super cool friend for flying out to give her what I suspect to be just what she needed, a big hug. You as always rock Becky. And if you’re ever in my neck of the woods again (Seattle) I want to give you a hug too. xo

  • Dianne says:

    Those of us who do have little black hearts do have love for others it just takes time to show it.
    I am sorry that your friend has to deal with all of this but I am glad that she has you to talk to and to give her a hug.
    Sending hugs to you Kat all the way from San Francisco bay area:-)

  • Heli says:

    I’m not sure quantity of friends really counts anything, it’s quality that matters. Sounds like the two of you have quality with each other.

  • Lori says:

    I’m still pretty new here and was reluctant to chime in because I’m kind of a stranger. But I needed to tell you your love for your friend is so touching and so reminds me of my own BFF speeding down the freeway to meet me at the ER when my hubby had a cardiac scare. She brought a thermos of coffee and sandwiches so we wouldn’t have to hike to the hospital cafeteria or drink vending machine sludge…and she was just there with me, holding my hand or hugging me when it got scary. Kat may have already told you but I’m nothing if not redundant – a friend’s presence is so helpful and loving. You are a very good friend Aunt Becky and I’m so glad I found you and your pranksters! Thanks for letting me be a part of it all.

  • Andrea says:

    You are incredible!

  • Jennifer B says:

    I’m so glad for both you AND Kathy. Big huge smiles across my heart. I have been keeping up with her from the fringe, as apparently we are somehow the same person on almost everything. Wishing I could do something like that. Good for you AB!

  • Magic says:

    At times like that, there is nothing really to be said, it’s all about being there for that hug just when it’s needed. You ROCK Aunt Becky!

  • Erin says:

    Lurker here. Much like your friend I will come out wielding my grammar knife. It’s actually alpha-1 antitripsan deficiency. I know this because my father has it and just got a liver transplant two weeks ago. (Unlike your friend I’m pretending I can’t have it too so I’m avoiding being tested.) The liver permutation is actually pretty rare and it more often seems to affect the lungs. Either way it’s an awful, horrible, terrible thing to have happen. It devastated me to see my amazing, wonderful dad reduced to a shell of himself. He had no life left and basically had to be on death’s door before he got a liver transplant at age 66. But he did!! And people said stupid stuff to me and my mom all throughout that super scary time of thinking he would die. Now granted my dad got to be 64 before he showed any symptom, no young child and relatively new marriage to be dealt with so I don’t know if my assvice will apply here…just being there is what will mean the most. Checking in with her and seeing what she needs- does she need to be distracted from the shit of reality or does she need to process? Understanding that you won’t always have the right thing to say but letting her know that you are there to listen. Being there, truly being there, whether it’s mentally or physically (or both) means a lot. It’s hard work holding up the mask of being normal when it feels like your life is falling apart. Providing a safe space to drop the mask is what makes kick ass friends. You’re doing things right.

    • Kat says:

      Erin, thank you for the spell check….and GET YOURSELF TESTED! At the very least, so you can know what type of alpha 1 you may have (if you have it) and can know what symptoms to look for. My husband and MIL have both smoked in their past, which is why they may have been affected. My SIL hasn’t smoked and hasn’t shown any symptoms and neither has my daughter (at 2.5, she better not have…..) but it’s a better reason to just not smoke.

      Please, for my sanity, get tested! And thank you for your support.

  • katrina says:

    Nothing can take the place of a close friend…..there with you, holding your hand and giving you love and support. nothing. I will keep Kat and her family in my thoughts and prayers. You have written about her before…and i’m so sorry to hear she is still going through such hard times.

  • It is always great to know, though, that all your time and effort online hasn’t been for nothing. Even though we all consider each other a friend – those who are there for us in one way or another through our darkest times – it is always nice to thank them in person too. You will always have that connection – bad grammar and all – and that makes you very blessed…a dark blessed of course!

    WM

  • Marta
    Twitter: marta28
    says:

    Poor Kat, that really blows. When is the universe going to figure out that bad things should happen to bad people not good ones?

    Making friends as adults sucks. It’s hard. So much harder than it should be. I got a post in draft just about this in fact.

  • Lori says:

    @Erin ~ “Providing a safe space to drop the mask is what makes kick ass friends.” Amen! That is all.

  • Betty M says:

    You are a great friend Aunt B . Your former friends are missing out. But you have obviously got a great friend in Kat i’n just sorry both of you have a hard time of it lately.

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