I’ve always got a cause. In every season, I’m up to something, going through something, or fired up about something. It would be both foolish and selfish of me to ask my friends to care about what I care about all the time, in every situation. Because just like me, I know you have passions, too. We are all ablaze with good intentions and desperate needs. That’s how all this works. There’s good. There’s bad. And when there is darkness – we need friendships to sparkle.
My causes are just that – my causes. I am grateful when friends come to the epilepsy walk. For a few laps, they are at my side, and I am energized in the fight. When I take up a social issue or a school concern, I want their listening ears and their “hell yeahs”. It reassures me that my course – MY course – is true. I don’t expect them to lay awake at night worrying about kids with seizures. I don’t want them to spend their own lunch hours researching IEPs and accommodations for dietary restrictions.
We can’t all fight the same fight all. the. time.
I don’t need someone carrying the same torch I am. This one’s taken. But from time to time, my flame flickers and fades in the winds of adversity. During those times, when I’m down to embers of effort, my true friends will light a sparkler. A tiny wink of blinding light that will burn up in a flash. It lights my way, it renews my spirit, it rejuvenates my love for light. And so I press on. Inevitably, that friend’s sparkler will wane and extinguish in a wisp of smoke.
Then, there is another friend. One farther down the path. From the other side, perhaps with a new perspective and a fresh light. They each keep me going. Without them I’m lost in darkness and despair; but with these kindred souls along my path, just a small effort on their part keeps me going. I don’t need them all bunched up around me at once, crammed in at the same time in the same place. You see, I’m not a giddy bride dashing from church to limo. I’m on a marathon, mama. I need to last.
I need my friendships to last.
I turn to them in times of need. When I need to shine, I need those friendships to sparkle. Having said that, I must remember there are times when I must put aside my own flame. I must ensconce my torch and see to more important matters. I gotta get my sparkle on. With white-hot heat and temporary pizzazz, I explode onto the scene – a cheerleader for her marathon, a light for her journey. I’m one of those obnoxious people who whiz my sparkler about, writing your name in the air, burning my wrist and dancing like a loon. I will emit the brightest light, the biggest sparkle, the most genuine energy I can! Until your flame is whole again. Until you are on your feet with your causes, your needs met, your spirit rekindled. Then I must go. I can’t stay here. My sparkler is spent, my torch awaits.
I see you. You on your path, me on mine.
I need you to sparkle, my friend! Don’t burn up or burn me out. But by golly, when there is darkness – cherish the sparklers in your life. Sparkle on, mama. Sparkle on.