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I will believe, for a friend in need

She is my heart’s home.

Together we cry through our hard times.

Then, we hug.

One believes when the other cannot.

It’s been like that since we lived together senior year in college.

Do you have someone so dear, so solid who you do this dance with?

We cried when it looked like she couldn’t have a baby.

I bought her a pair of baby Nike sneakers.

“I believe,” I told her. “Even though you can’t right now. I will hold that space.”

Years later, she called me from the delivery room. “She’s here!” she said. “Our new daughter’s name. We’re naming her, Daryn.”

We cried.

“I don’t think he will ever come,” I said as I cried a few years ago in her living room, knowing that it would never be my time to meet that special guy and have my own family.

We hugged.

“It’s my turn to believe for you,” she told me. “I believe he’s on his way.”

Last year she toasted my new husband and me and our wedding.

We cried.

“It was the trip of a lifetime!” I shared as our plane touched down last week, just back from our belated honeymoon.

“I can’t wait to hear about it,” she said a mix of enthusiasm and distraction.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“That biopsy I had right before you left?”

“Yes?” I said holding my breath.

“It came back positive. I have breast cancer.”

We cried.

And we got to work doing what best friends do. We discussed treatment options, how to tell others, reconstruction. “What kind of boobs do you get when you start all over?” We wondered as we discussed perhaps the one topic we’ve never talked about.

I know what is the most important thing on my “to do” list — believing.

It is my turn again.

I can’t think of a greater honor.

“Three things,” I said the day after the news sunk in.

“No. 1: You’re going to be fine. I know that more than even I knew you were going to have a baby.

“No. 2: You’re going to have to go through some crappy things.

“Which leads me to no. 3: I’m so sorry you have to go through this.

“Even in your darkest times, I want you to remember — all roads lead to No. 1 — you’re going to be fine.

“I will believe that even when you can’t.”

I hung up the phone knowing I have to believe that for me as much as I have to believe it for her. I can’t imagine life without her. She is my rock, my heart’s home, the one who believes for me when I can’t.

And then, I cried.

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