Monday, January 27, 2014

The extra mile.

My best friend is a woman named Lisa D. We met on a warm summer day in July of 1992 during our medical school orientation week. Me, a new alumnus of Tuskegee University, and her, proudly sharing that she was a  product of Hampton University. Beyond both schools being historically black colleges, this should have been some foreshadowing of our futures. Tuskegee and Hampton are "sister and brother" schools because a unique connection--Booker T. Washington, the founder of Tuskegee, was a Hamptonian -- just like Lisa.


We became fast friends. And since that time, our friendship has weathered the test of time. We have laughed harder than any two people can together and have cried the most soul-stirring, gut-wrenching cries imaginable. We have celebrated each other, disappointed one another, agreed on just about everything and completely couldn't see eye-to-eye on anything. But still. Like the pillar that it is, the friendship always remains.

Yesterday we ran a 15K race together. In the early morning chill, we laughed and chatted and talked about everything and nothing. We reminisced on things and talked about the future. And for nine miles and some change we did what we have done since 1992--create lasting memories out of everyday occurrences. It was easy and awesome.

Our time together NOT that hellaciously hilly course we ran.


But, then again, I guess that's a good metaphor because really, really good and true friendships that transcend into sisterhoods can be hellaciously hilly at times, too. Life changes like marriage and kids and break-ups and make-ups and, for us, medical school and residencies and jobs and so much more redefines things as you know them from time to time. That can feel uphill sometimes. But there comes a point with each of those swells when you know you've come over the mountain. And once you've done that enough you know that you always will.

No matter what.

After the race we had breakfast at a cute little neighborhood bistro. Our forks crossed over from plate to plate as usual and our conversation crossed over from topic to topic, too. And over a sun dried tomato omelet and a most interesting interpretation of Eggs Benedict we agreed that we were thankful for moments like these. And a friendship like this.

I've said it before and I will say it again: Women need women to survive. To be our best and to be whole, we do. Our husbands are not enough. And to those who find women to be somehow less palatable as friends? Or who "don't really have too many women" as friends? Hmmm, If the person who says that is herself a woman, I say beware. That's what I say.

Women need women friends. Really good and true ones. Ones that will run hard up the most hellaciously hilly courses with you and go the extra mile.

I have that. And I'm glad.

Happy Monday.


  1. Thanks for sharing. I am new to your blog. Very refreshing!!! Things a can relate to. I'm a mom, a nurse and a mom....
    Oh and I agree....Women need other women!!! PERIOD

    Dee in San Diego

  2. I absolutely for the life of me cannot understand women who say they get along with men better than other women. I love my "sisters" and have no clue how I would have gotten through tough times without them. (Oh, and we're Hamptonians ;) )

    1. Correction made--Hamptonian, not Hamptonite. My bad!

  3. What a beautiful story, thanks for sharing. These types of friendships occur between men too... They're really rare, and absolutely precious and amazing when you can finally find yourself in one. Years can go by, and the catch up feelings like you just talked yesterday. I love that.


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