By: Mia L. Hazlett
You never know when the first day of the rest of your life begins with a person. In fact, it’s not until sixteen years later that you look back on that first day and thank God for His life- changing blessing. It was the day you waited for your entire teenage life…turning eighteen and going off to college. It’s that day when you found yourself wandering aimlessly on a new college campus, like a kindergartner on their first day of school. You smiled back at anyone that showed you some sign of attention, just so you didn’t have to endure the entire experience by yourself. But as they passed you by, you gave up the chance to introduce yourself and embark on a new friendship. You got to the point that you wanted to start crying, because you actually missed your parents and home. You realized that you were out of your safety zone and you wanted to put your security blanket back on.
As you scanned your list of events for the day, a familiar face smiled at you from across the field. Not familiar in the sense you thought you recognized them, but familiar in the sense that you now knew you were not the only black girl again. You returned her smile and welcomed her company as she came to sit down next to you. She introduced herself and gave you a small piece of paper. It had something about “Afro-Am”, but you didn’t want to waste your time reading it and pass up the opportunity of having your first conversation of the day. Two hours in and you hadn’t talked to a single person. You’ve ignored her piece of paper, but she goes on to explain her organization and tell you the meeting time and place. At the end of her sales pitch she bid you a farewell and walked away.
With that brief five minute encounter, God introduced you to your best friend. Because from there, you would end up attending her meeting and becoming part of her organization. You would abuse her open-door policy and begin to share your darkest secrets. You would embrace her with your arms and all your heart and soul as you depart, knowing she is going home to tell her parents she’s pregnant at 21. You would run full sprint up a flight of stairs with her back pack, all in the name of a pregnancy prank. You would impatiently pace the waiting room anxious for the announcement of her firstborn. You would lend her your shoulder as she announces her divorce to you. You would cry with her when she tells you she is going back home to California with the baby. You would celebrate with her when she returns from California baby in tow. She would stand by you as your bridesmaid in your first wedding. She would laugh with you as you both realize she has the peanut butter, you have the jelly, but neither of you have any bread. She lends her shoulder as you announce your divorce. You both celebrate each other as you become adults…she moves away to Texas and you move to Virginia. She supports your pregnancy long distance. You fly to Texas for her second wedding. She understands your paycheck to paycheck struggle with your newborn. She comes to visit you when you move back home to your parents’ house. She gives you a hearty congratulation when you remarry. You are overjoyed at the announcement of her second pregnancy and blessed at the birth of you Godchild. You both offer stability through the stormy years of your marriages. She announces to you that you may be pregnant again and advices you to get a test. You support her decision to end her second marriage and open your home as she looks for homes in your area. You both agree that Texas would be better for her and the kids. You bid her farewell and good luck as she leaves you again. You pray for her as she builds her first home and thank God for her success as she stamps her mark on Corporate America. She pushes and edits your writing as you struggle through the first year with your publishing company.
You look back to the first day with that person and sixteen years later realize who God brought into your life….your guardian angel, your advocate, your biggest fan, your biggest critic, your shoulder, your patience, your conscience, your children’s second mother, your marriage mediator, your doctor, your pastor…all and all your friend and sister. And by this one person being in your life, you have been forever changed.