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"The Visitation and Friendship" by Susan Anderson (CatholicMom.com) By Mattana - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link[/caption] The Road to a Friend’s House is Never Long. It seems I’ve seen this on a plate in my house growing up. I can’t remember. Holly Hobbie, or something. I was praying the mystery of the Visitation during my Rosary, the other day. I was travelling, in my imagination. I veered from Mary, to cousin Elizabeth, to John the Baptist. I thought about my own friends, The few, the strong, the loyal. The ones I can count on one hand, or less than two. If we’re lucky, right? It seems to me that if you have more best friends than fingers, maybe they aren’t (really) best friends? But I don’t know. There have been a few seasons in my life now. I’m am heading to my 54th birthday, this summer. I have had close friends at different times in my life. Like when I was little. I remember a few playmates: Gina, Kendi, Jill, my sister, Kirsten. As I grew, we moved and now I don’t know where Gina is. I wouldn’t know the first place to look for her. I don’t even remember her last name. Jill, pretty much the same. Kendi, thankfully, is still there. I just painted a jewelry box for her, and included a photo of my sister, Kendi, and me when we were young. Kirsten, my sister, is of course close in my heart as well. And then there was elementary school. Oh, my goodness. What I wouldn’t give to talk to Michelle, Jennifer, and Christina. We all had sleepovers, rode horses, and took spelling quizzes together. But where are they? They were each special. I loved each one, and each loved me back. We were best friends. After my parents divorced, I moved again. Middle school introduced me to more friends. Few who I met then joined me in high school. One was so close, we introduced our parents. Her dad was single. My mom was single. They got married. My seventh-grade best friend, Jackie, became my sister. She had three sisters and a brother and I gained a new dad. Now, all together, there are nine of us. Souls who are connected until the end. That is family. Then there was high school: the place and time when I lived with my family in the same house for seven years. I grew to know people. They grew to know me. A solid few are still in touch today. I don’t know what I’d do without them. I would survive, but with less meaning, less laughter. College is when I met my husband. He is my best friend. Our marriage, our love, continues to bond us, together, as one. The fruit of our union: our children. Each one is my blood. And each one is a friend. There are six of them: Paul, Scott, Mark, Danika, Katie, and Bethany. I love them equally. I love them differently. Then I think about my Mom. She is my friend. My cheerleader. My confidante. My staple. My person. That covers almost everybody. Almost. *** Prayer brings me back to Mary, the Mother of God. Can you imagine what it was like for her when she wondered how she would tell Joseph? I imagine myself thinking that a little getaway would be nice for a while. Even Jesus wasn’t known as a prophet in his own land. How would it be for his mother, a girl of maybe fourteen years old at the time? “I’m pregnant … I know! I’ll hoof it on down to see my cousin Elizabeth. She’ll understand. She’s pregnant too. She’s facing this challenge at the far end of life. Wrinkles, gray hair. People are whispering about her too.” Of course, I’m imposing my own feelings and thoughts on this eternal event of Christ. It may have not been like that at all. Mary was a bit more humble than I am. She was full of grace. Full of Jesus. I have learned, with having more than one child, that there is always room for another. Love multiplies. It doesn’t divide. Just because you love with all you have, this one, doesn’t mean you can’t do that for another. I examine Mary only bearing one child, physically. I extend that to her following Him from birth to death on the cross. “Woman, behold your son.” “Son, behold your mother.” Mary loves each. Mary loves all. In worshipping Christ through the mystery of the Visitation, there is a stretching. Elizabeth returns Mary’s greeting. Her hand goes to her rounded tummy. The child had leapt. John, the unborn, recognizes his Savior, his brother, his friend. But that thought is a whole other conversation. (Isn’t God and His kingdom just infinitely awesome???!!!) I ruminate upon friendship. About going the extra mile. Going out on a mission to visit my old friends. The ones who were, are, and ever shall be. These are the things I think about when I pray the Rosary. These are the true, lovely, noble things that work in me, Salvation, Conversion, True Love of God, True Love of Neighbor, As Myself.
Copyright 2018 Susan Anderson