"The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but to reveal to him his own."
"Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being."
These two statements describe my friend, who is very sick tonight. From the moment we met 12 short years ago she, quite unawares, helped me to become the woman I am today. I had a massive platonic crush on her cuteness, her humor, her intelligence, her grace and her class. I was a somewhat chubby 21 year old dating her friend's son. I was just a kind of awkward girlfriend who came to family events, and who knows what would become of the relationship, but she treated me like family from that very first day. She asked me questions about myself, made me feel welcome, told me how much I could achieve, inspired me with her cool stories of her New York days. She had every reason in the world to be pleasant but noncommital toward me, but instead she opened her arms wide and embraced me--both the girl I was and the woman I was to become. Simply by being herself, she showed me all that I could be.
I'm writing this now because I cannot sleep for thinking about her, willing my thoughts to be somehow extrasensorily transmitted to her, telling her how much I love her and how grateful I am for all that she has brought to my life in the 12 short years I have been blessed enough to know her. I don't even know how to finish this post, whether to loudly curse a world where such an amazing and beautiful soul and her family are facing this, or whether to quietly let the tears fall, knowing that there are no words that will suffice.
My friend, you are in our thoughts. You are in our prayers. You are loved in the same way you have loved me lo these past 12 years: with arms and heart wide open.