Who is that woman? Was the thought that ran through my head as I looked at the photo of me sitting poolside. “No one needs to see that!” I quipped in embarrassment and cheek-warming shame to my friend who’d taken the photo.
“Oh, shut it!” She replied…
Because she is real, and good, and loves me. She sees the flesh and bones— stretch marks, cellulite, colored hair, painted nails, muscles and rolls. But she sees those things as she would a vehicle which transports me. She has an affinity for the slightly beaten up machine that carries me…because she sees that it does its job well.
It carries the person inside whom she also sees—the woman who is her friend; the person who would come to her aid should she ever need it. The kindred spirit who laughs at all the same jokes, and cries at all the same tragedies. She sees the girl who meets her in the dark hours of the morning for sweat sessions as well as vent sessions. She sees the mother, the wife, the sister, the daughter, the writer, the reader, the cheerleader, the fighter, the lover of food and wine, and the cherisher of good times. She sees all this and so much more.
She sees exactly who that woman is.
And because she can see her, I can too.
Sometimes, all we need is a little help from our friends.