She is kind. Dependable. Thoughtful. Generous in spirit. Compassionate. Willing to undertake any task without complaint. A loving mother to her children and a good daughter. She loves well and sacrifices daily for those she loves. She laughs easily and readily and radiates a great deal of joy, yet life has not dealt her an easy hand. She became a widow with five young children when she was but a very young woman. She is the age of my oldest son, yet she carries the wisdom of the ages in her hands and her heart. She has much to teach me.
This precious woman entered my life six years ago by rendering a service to me, and over the course of time she has become my dear friend. From her I have learned so much. We work on her language skills together, and I marvel that after what seems but a short period of time, we have progressed to the point where we are now working of the finer points of idiomatic English. She is smart and learns quickly. I think sometimes that if she had been born in a different place and a different time, she might have been a doctor or a professor. She does not voice these thoughts: perhaps, they are foreign to her, but when I see the quickness and rapidity with which her mind works, I cannot help but wonder what a difference an education might have made in her life. And then I feel guilty because she does not feel cheated or deprived in the least; instead, she feels grateful and blessed. Incredibly blessed to be able to live in a place where she and her children are safe.
It is hard for me with my overflowing refrigerator and cabinets stocked with food to fathom that my friend once lived in such poverty that she often went hungry. It has made her all the more determined that her own children will not know the same. I think I understand, but I cannot comprehend the desperation that fuels her incredible work ethic. She has taught me a great deal about resourcefulness.
Several women gathered at my home recently to honor this woman. It was a surprise. I found such joy in pulling the party together. I set the table with care. I wanted to use the things that I knew that my friend loved and considered beautiful. There were flowers and silver. And lots of pink. She loves these things. There was even a pink cake. We were all there to bless and honor our friend for her selfless service to each of us, but in truth we were the ones who received the blessing. My friend has told me a hundred times since that day that she has never felt so special in her life. I have had many special birthdays. My loving husband, family, and friends have seen to that, but seeing my friend revel in the joy of her very own birthday party may have been one of the sweetest days of my life. My friend said she felt so special and so loved. I am thankful. She is a treasure indeed.