I hope you have someone like Danielle.
I’ve known Danielle since first grade. She and I were friends in elementary school, and then her family moved across town in fourth grade, so we didn’t see each other for a few years. Where I grew up, there is one high school for the whole district, and all the middle school graduates get dumped into the vast sea to sink or swim together. That’s where Danielle and I reconnected.
We were in the same section of Chorus in 9th grade (incidentally, the class my dad taught). She remembered me before I remembered her, but once we re-met, we were pretty fast friends. We laughed a lot, passed notes, auditioned for musicals, ate Cheetos before play practices, etc.
In 11th grade, December of 1995, I became a Christian. Danielle was always “religious” in the sense that her family attended Lutheran church, like mine. But neither of us knew very much about the gospel or the Bible. After lots of conversations with her and God working in her heart, she became a Christian in March of 1996. That took our relationship to a whole different level.
We were pretty much inseparable during the last year and half of high school. We attended youth group at a Baptist church together (much to our parents’ chagrin) and started growing in our relationships with the Lord.
College came. I went to Penn State, three and a half hours from home, and Danielle went to a smaller school about an hour from home. That ended up not working out for her, and the next year she remained in Erie. That meant that I got to see her every time I came home from college, and we spent pretty much all the time we could together. We’d often get house-sitting gigs together or something like that to entertain ourselves.
She eventually became an employee at the church we started attending in high school, as a youth worker for lots of years and now the Director of Communications. Danielle is extremely gifted in all things graphic. If you need wedding invitations or a logo design, or really anything, she’s your girl.
Danielle was the first person I called (after my parents) to break the news about Felicity’s death. I didn’t get her on her cell, so I called her husband’s, and he answered. She was with him. I didn’t know how to get the words out, so I just blurted it out as soon as she got on the phone.
She in turn got on a plane and came here for five or so days, pouring herself into every imaginable aspect of planning a funeral for a baby daughter. She designed our programs, edited our photos, constructed photo displays for the general public at our service, made a scrapbook/guest book for people to sign, made sure I was getting enough rest, managed the crowds and phone calls coming in—pretty much made herself indispensable. That’s kind of what she does.
I loved having her here with me. We played games, where we laughed so hard we couldn’t breathe; we cooked dinner together, which is so much more fun when you have a partner; we bowled, something neither of us are good at but our husbands love; and we worked on Felicity’s book some more, mounting pictures from my pregnancy and clippings from church bulletins. This is a task that has paralyzed me all year. But as soon as I mentioned that I could use her help doing it, it was good as done. She’s amazing like that.
So thanks for listening to me brag on my friend. I hope you have a Danielle in your life. I also hope you’re being a Danielle to someone.
Entry filed under: Life.