Since I got back from Georgia, I have been staying with Kim and Claudio. I call it “Promises Jacksonville” as a joke to myself. Their home is in a beautiful setting, I am encouraged to exercise and eat right and there is a feeling of welcome and nonjudgmental caring so profound it could be a rehab center, or a sanctuary (or a five star hotel)…
Kim is my best friend. She has been for twenty years, so you can imagine what she’s witnessed and patched up and accepted in me. You can imagine the mercy and forgiveness she has shown this wayward soul. She calls herself “the other sister” because I have been the outrageous one to her steady reliability, the hare to her tortoise. Over the years, I know people have asked Kim what she sees in me. At my most unlovable, I have wondered myself.
I am not telling tales out of school here; I have asked Kim if I could talk about this. She has been ill. For the past several years she has battled a baffling array of infections and autoimmune deficiencies that would have brought other mortals to their spiritual and physical wit’s end. In her worst moments, when Kim was gray and scared and tired and in pain, I have seen her sit at her kitchen table in her exercise gear, with her devotionals and her newspapers and her rosary and her musings (jotted on scraps of paper), and regenerate. She says it aloud, “I’ll rally. I always do.”
I’ll Rally. I Always Do. It has become my mantra in my own annus horribillis. It should be a political slogan or a Gator Aid Ad or a prayer. I’ve used it before in the blog – the words embody the essence of my friend. Kim had major surgery on Monday, and with what I might call coincidence and what she calls Divine intervention, I am here to take care of her. To pay back a tiny portion of what she has given me.
She will regenerate and rally and heal from this travail the way she does everything else – with great good grace, in a Germanic, steadfast concert with God…
You know, I’ve figured it out. I’m the other sister. Kim has always been the strong one.
The consistent one.
The best one.