It was author, Jim Hayes, who once wrote: "An old friend will help you move. A good friend will help you move a dead body."
Cue my friend, Sunshine! She would not only help a friend move a body, she'd treat that friend to cheesecake and a makeover in her bathroom after "the dirty work" was done! She is THAT good of a friend.
I met Sunshine (and you bet, that's her real name) three years ago and have been in love with her ever since. She is the epitome of radiance; her namesake as perfect a fit as the silver, metallic-colored heels she sometimes wears to church. (Sling-backs with a peep toe...ha-cha-cha!)
A FEW (out of a bazillion) reasons why I love Ms. Sunny:
--She can rock a red lipstick.
--She cries when she laughs.
--That girl loves shoes and books as much as I do.
--She tells me my big nose looks "Grecian" and therefore...exotic????
--She ALWAYS pours me a diet soda when I drop by her home. She NEVER forgets the slice of lime.
--She remembers to text me about the really important stuff. Example: "New Sweet Fiesta Starbursts at Wal-Mart" or "Must check out Sephora's lip gloss."
--When I host a "Thriller" Halloween party, she shows up dressed like Michael Jackson.
--She stays faithful and prayerful when faced with adversity.
--When doctors told her she wouldn't be able to have children, she said, "No, I WILL be a mother."
--She has known the anxiety, sadness, and despair of enduring fertility treatments; she has known the unequivocal joy of hearing her babies' heartbeats in utero, during an ultrasound.
--She is an extraordinary mother to a five-year-old and two-year-old twins.
Sunshine and I have an exceptional friendship that was initially established via a terrific and quirky email correspondence. This past week, I opened my "Sunny!" folder in my email and laughed and cried as I reread some of our written exchanges. In that beloved folder, I have roughly one hundred and eighty saved email messages from Mama Sun! They read like a "Friends" episode, or a zany "Thelma and Louise"-like novel.
In one email I had written, I lamented to Sunshine about a horrendous all nighter I had survived with Baby Cam. It had involved several feedings, a bad "blow-out," the Camster peeing on his own head during a diaper change, and NO sleep. Oye! Sunshine so wonderfully responded: "Today I was wrestling with Gunner on the floor and he would shriek with laughter as I chased him, and this in turn caused me to laugh too. It felt good. I am resigned to laugh more this week. I share this with you in part to replay it in my own mind, but also to give you the hope to continue. Let's face it, when they're not peeing in their own eyes (pee stings by the way, DON'T ask me how I know that) and blowing out diapers and howling at 3:00am, kids are freakin' fun."
One of my most fond memories with Sunshine happened after the Cam Man was born. The day after I had given birth to him was exquisite. I was alone in my hospital room with him; watching him sleep in my arms, feeling the comforting weight of his little body beneath my hands. Rays of sunlight were streaming through the large window at the far end of my room. It was peaceful, to the point of transcendent.
I heard a quiet knock at the door. Within seconds of me saying, "Come in," Sunshine's glowing face was peering from the doorway. She quietly came in and sat at the foot of my bed, like a sister would do. I handed Cam to her.
I watched as Sunshine lovingly cradled my newborn son in her arms. I saw a maternal warmth and light in her smile as she cooed at my sweet baby. I watched as two tears rolled down her beautiful cheeks. "Oh Lou, he's perfect. He's just perfect," she whispered. I felt an abundance of love fill the room.
In that priceless, tender moment I offered a simple prayer to heaven: "Thank you, Father in Heaven, thank you. Thank you for my incredible friend."
I continue to be grateful, everyday, for Sunshine--a woman who not only helps me "move a body" (ha, ha) or find the perfect shade of lipstick for my skin tone (Sephora's Rouge Creme lipstick in Cortisane), but a woman who helps me (and inspires me) to truly, truly celebrate motherhood.
As she does.