Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

Daughter of Ishmael

by Diane Stringam Tolley

Giveaway ends April 08, 2017.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Best Friend

I have a friend.

A best friend.
Or BFF, if you prefer.
She is fiercely loyal.
Supportive.
Encouraging.
Kind.
Fun.
Believes in me.
And I nearly missed out on gaining that friendship.
Let me tell you about it . . .
Many, many years ago, our family had just come through a very difficult experience.
Very difficult.
We were wounded and aching.
This woman, a single mom, called me to see if I was interested in babysitting for her.
She had two adorable little tow-headed girls.
I turned her down, with the excuse that I needed some time to heal.
I asked her to give me a year.
She was disappointed.
But understanding.
She gave me my time.
One year later, to the day, she called again.
This time, though still feeling less-than-whole, I accepted.
Reluctantly.
And her two happy little girls arrived.
Immediately, they mixed seamlessly in with my own kids.
Played the same games.
Ate the same food.
Watched the same programs.
Fought over the same toys.
Became two more members of the family.
Meanwhile, their hardworking and dependable mom gave me an insight into the life of a single parent.
Work.
Joy in her children.
And loneliness.
More and more, we invited her and her girls to spend time with our family.
We became friends.
Best friends.
That was over twenty-five years ago.
We were with her when she began to date her future husband.
Who became my Husby's best friend.
We were with them when they married.
And had two more little girls.
We are best friends still.
I often think about her request to babysit.
Given when I was feeling selfish and sorry for myself.
And how nearly I turned her down.
I might have missed this.

14 comments:

  1. I love that she called you a year later! She obviously had a feeling.... You know, I'm hinky about the concept of a 'best' friend...just one...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I've had other friends. But just the one who has stayed through everything that life has thrown. I guess staying power triumphs over all! :)

      Delete
  2. She sounds like such a kind and understanding person, gave you your space but remembered to come back when you said she could. It's no wonder you became such great friends.

    ReplyDelete
  3. She clearly found a wonderful friend in you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Susan! What a sweet thing to say! :)

      Delete
  4. Your label says just what I was thinking as I came to the end, Diane!

    The reality for many people is that they are not lucky enough to have one BFF. I have several very different and lovely friends; from each of them I receive and give different parts of friendship. Some I can talk with and use all my big words and never feel uncomfortable doing that; some have helped me be a better person; some are just so much fun to be with that my face aches from laughing. You are so fortunate to have all those in one person!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She certainly has concentrated everything in that one little body! Sometimes, I think she keeps me around to reach for things off the high shelf . . .

      Delete
  5. This is a very endearing story. It would have been sad to have missed having this wonderful BFF. I am going to lunch tomorrow with two high school friends that we have been close for over 50 years. How I treasure moments with them.
    Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 50 years! Wonderful! I do hope you have a special time!

      Delete
  6. I have a feeling she was sent by an angel who knew the two of you would help and heal each other.

    ReplyDelete
  7. We were just talking about how things happen that you don't think are big deals such as babysitting and gaining a BF. You never were a certain path might lead you. I'm so happy to know you are surrounded by caring, loving people!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true, Rena! And I am! And now my circle is growing with the wonderful, caring blog friends I've found . . .

      Delete

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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

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