Stories of Friendship: The ties you forget are there

This week’s Stories of Friendship post is a bit different than previous weeks. And a day later than normal. To see previous posts, check out last week’s, which contains links to all the posts in this series. If you’re interested in sharing a post about a friend who is important to you, send me a message.

This week, instead of focusing on one friend who has had an impact on me, I want to tell you what I learned about friendship this week.

On Monday, I received word from a friend and former co-worker that a colleague of ours had a severe reaction to something that caused her to stop breathing and be hospitalized. Her condition was serious and over the next several days, we exchanged dozens of messages with updates on her condition. During those days, I was also in contact with many of my former work colleagues, letting them know her status.

It’s been more than seven years since I worked at that company, and many of the people I keep up with marginally on Facebook. I haven’t seen most of them in seven years.

But instantly, we were a team again. Praying. Exchanging information. Connected even though we are literally scattered across the country, from California to Pennsylvania, Wisconsin to Texas. All of us were joined in mutual concern for our friend and colleague.

Though we’re not connected by a common workplace anymore, those years we spent working together solidified our bond. I mean, when you spend 8-10 hours a day, 5-6 days a week, in good times and bad, with co-workers, they really become more like family. And for me, a 20-something trying to find her way in the world, those co-workers were some of my first adult friends. And I’m sorry that tragedy has brought us back in touch with each other, but it reminded me that friendship comes in a variety of forms and just because bonds are stretched doesn’t mean they are broken.

So, today, as we continue talking about friendship, I ask you to pray for our friend, Marla. She is bold and outspoken, funny in all the best ways (I still smile thinking about things she said all those years ago), a fighter and survivor with a smile that fills a room. She is playful and unpredictable. There were times she scared me a little as I walked by her desk because she is fiercely loyal to her people and her beliefs and you don’t want to cross her.

Even if she was none of those things, I’d still ask for your prayers for her. We are waiting and watching and hoping for her recovery from this reaction.

Thank you for your prayers.

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