Sometimes, when your best friend insists she doesn’t want portraits of herself because she doesn’t feel pretty… you just have to be sly about it. Give her a fabulous hat, as a sort of a security blanket. Don’t make her look at the camera.
This woman is simply inspirational. For a short time, right before I met her, she was a homeless single mother. She was the most determined person I’d ever met. Despite her circumstances, she applied and was accepted to the university my husband was attending at the time. Somehow, she made it work…attending college full time, working, and taking care of a toddler. We met, after she moved into the apartment across the parking lot from us, in student family housing. I babysat her son and she spoiled my children. She’d leave surprises for them on our front porch, like Easter baskets… even though she was Jewish. She’d bake cookies and deserts for them and let them eat Cheetos…even though she didn’t allow such things for her own child. In the true sense of the word, she was their aunt. You know, spoiling them in a way that only an aunt does.
Not only did she finish her undergrad program, but she went on to attend (and finish) graduate school. It was a LOT of work. I mean, a ridiculous amount of work. During it all, she got married and had another child, so her workload more than doubled in all aspects of her life. She got frustrated with school. She got outcasted by other students. She got picked on by instructors. She never ever EVER gave up, though, despite all of these things. She’s impressively good at letting others know how she admires them, but I don’t think she realizes just how much of an inspiration she is to her friends.
She is now a very talented and very patient Speech and Language Pathologist, working with the most challenging cases in her school district. I cannot even begin to fathom what her days are like, just based on the snippets I’ve heard from her (don’t worry, no confidentiality was broken at any time). She truly has the patience of a saint. A freaking saint, I tell you!
Kate, you’re my best friend, my sister, and an inspiration.
I love you.
Now, stop crying and go get some work done.