Yesterday a good friend and old roommate stopped by for a visit with her almost-two-year-old. Her daughter is gorgeous and darling, and I adore her. Until Baby Ally became jealous of one or both of us, we had a chance to recreate old moments while making new ones. I think those quiet moments were my favorite of the little time we had together.
When we met, I just knew we were going to be friends. Despite not knowing each other well, there was an instant kinship that didn't need to be discussed or worried about, it just was. After a long day of working towards her nursing degree and a long night of working at BYU Info, she would come home, see me out in the hallway (across from yet another guy who would be "just friends" with me but would ultimately break my heart, who was probably playing the guitar while I sang), and plop down next to me to lay her head in my lap while I played with her hair. A few hours later, her hair massively frizzy (we're talking Bozo-the-clown huge) and the poor girl completely asleep, I would quietly arouse her enough to get her into her apartment across the hall, and I would head off to bed.
If one of us needed a hug, you just had to go in, look at the other, and you knew. No words exchanged, not even after, just a hug and off to whatever you had to accomplish. When I was depressed and wondered if anybody but Heavenly Father knew, she would show up. Even if it was for a few moments, I knew that I would be okay and that she was one of my personal angels. After a long day on my part, the easiest way to relax me is to play with my hair, and she would--until it was so greasy that it would stay straight up (right now my sister is saying, "Ewww!"). There were long nights getting caught in a Real World marathon or watching Saturday's Warrior on BYU-TV, and lots of me cooking while we talked.
She put up with a million fans in our room in the middle of a Provo Summer, my constant need for music, and a messy room, along with my many other oddities. She was the first to catch me (literally) the night I found out my younger brother died--knowing just how much I would need her and "Bybee and Marcia get down here now!" Going through multiple rolls of toilet paper and tissues, hugs from friends, and priesthood blessings, her maternal cocoon created around my broken heart (me on the floor at her feet as she ran her fingers through my hair) made that first night bearable.
Years later, her calming affect still lingers. We sat in relative darkness as the sun went down outside, talking like old times. Me playing with her hair; then her playing with mine as we covered life and how we are dealing with it, and a little girl scrambled over the both of us, trying to figure out this sisterly bond that just exists between us. We don't see each other often, but when we do, that perfect love we have for each other just happens. And, I am reminded, yet again, that I am loved for me, that angels are real, and that sometimes you meet them across the hall.
ETA: I've been very lucky to have many angels in my life; the Countess De Winters just happens to be the one who visited yesterday. . . My love goes out to all of you.