Category Archives: friendship

BFF VI

BFF VI
By: Mia L. Hazlett
3/31/11

I wasn’t sure if I showed my utter devastation, but that’s exactly how I felt. I was absolutely devastated by what Kay just told me. But this was so far from being about me. My feelings didn’t matter. My thoughts didn’t matter. Nothing about me mattered right now. I just had to focus on my friend who was weeping in my arms as we stood in the restaurant’s bathroom.

This is exactly the release I needed. The journey was just beginning, but crying in Becky’s arms made this journey possible. Although the stakes are my life on this one, this moment brought me back to junior high. Jason Fegal, my seventh grade “date” to my first dance. He didn’t know he was there with me. We arrived separately and I had never formally asked him or anything. But someone had heard he liked me and they told Becky.

That’s all we needed. We knew the dance was coming up in a week. Our mothers got involved and we were allowed to buy new dresses. Not full make-up, but we were permitted to wear nail polish and lip gloss. You would have thought we were going to the prom the way our mothers carried on that night with all of the pictures. They dropped us off and as soon as we walked into that dance, we were on Jason patrol. He didn’t show up for another hour.

I remember standing around a corner against a wall with Becky, trying to figure out what she was going to say him. Obviously I couldn’t speak with him. Junior high rules: your best friend is in charge of getting the boys you like to like you. I can’t recall what we came up with for her to say, but I can remember them speaking clear as day and the feeling of wanting to die when she pointed at me. He and I caught eyes and I maturely ran into the hallway. Had I stayed, I would have witnessed Becky pushing him to the ground.

We went to the bathroom and she told me he already had a girlfriend that went to another school. I broke into tears and cried my little heart out in her comforting hug. She called him every name she could think of and I couldn’t understand why she was so upset. I later learned about the push and he didn’t have a girlfriend, but had called me ugly.

Now we stood in that same embrace in a little restaurant bathroom. Becky was calling the doctors and biopsy results everything she could think of. And just like that night at the dance, “Don’t worry Kay, we are going to knock this cancer on its ass.”

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BFF V

BFF V
By: Mia L. Hazlett
3/23/11

Lunch with my BFF. Yay! It had been almost a week since I’d seen Kay. I think she is pregnant. She had slipped up in a few conversations over the past couple of months with mention of doctors’ appointments. A few years ago she had a miscarriage, so I respected if she wanted to keep this one little secret under wraps until she felt comfortable telling me. They took about a year off after that, but I knew they’d been trying ever since. I prayed for them all the time. But like she said last night on the phone, she had some news for me. Yay! Finally.

Lunch with Becky. I’d been rehearsing every moment, since I invited her out to the restaurant around the corner from her job. Knowing her, she probably thinks I’m pregnant. I knew I’d slipped up about some of the doctors’ appointments. But I knew her, she was not going to say anything because of my miscarriage. Through all of my rehearsals, I’d found there was no happy positive way to tell your lifelong friend you have cancer. I mean, I hadn’t even accepted it yet, but I needed my BFF to help me. If I didn’t tell her now, I wouldn’t make it through this week.

Look at my girl. She looked so beautiful, a little tired maybe, but beautiful nonetheless. And she was not showing one bit. I always knew she would be one of those skinny pregnant woman. I hated her so much. I’d probably gain all the sympathy weight why she’d lose weight. This was what being best friends was all about, I thought as I sat down at the table and sipped on my ginger ale with no ice and lime wedge that she had ordered me. She knew my drink, while my husband always messed it up.

I had to do my best to keep my tears away as I waved her over to the table. Just by looking at her I could tell she is expecting happy baby news. She didn’t even know I was about to drastically change both of our lives. The thing about being best friends was you feel the joys and pains of each other. You also try and spare each other pain. In this case, I was setting my pride aside and clinging to the only person in this world that would be able to share in my pain. In our lifetime together we had promised we would always use “we” instead of “I” if something happened to one of us. Because we both agreed, if it happened to one of us, it happened to both of us.

I took both of her hands in mine and she postured herself for the baby news. Her smile slowly fell as I finally let my tears flow. “Becky, we have cancer.”

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Conundrum (Part VII)

Conundrum (Part VII)
By: Mia L. Hazlett
3/14/11

The silence enveloped the room as I breastfed my daughter and gently rocked us back and forth in the large maple glider my parents had given me. Her ladybug light casted a soft glow in the corner of the room. I watched her suckle and with each blink caught the flashback of this exact moment with each of her sisters. With my oldest, I had this moment on my bed propped up against my pillows in my small studio apartment. I did the same with my second daughter, but it was in our house with her father next to me. I now sat in the makeshift nursery in my friend’s home alone with nothing but dreams and hopes.

The only recent contact I had with my husband was the divorce papers I was served the other day. I couldn’t get my head around the fact that I actually felt sad. We were coming up on a year of being apart and I couldn’t tell you the last time we even talked or he contacted the kids. So why was this hurting? Why when I had embraced and accepted that I was doing this alone, did I feel like I was losing him all over again? I consistently prayed that God hadn’t forgotten me. Sometimes I believed I was just having a pity party, and the rest of the time I tried to hold onto the faith that He had me in the palm of His hand.

I signed the papers and sent them in the return envelope. It was against my faith, but I had to let go. Would God forgive me for giving up? I had continually asked myself this question since I mailed my vows away. But unfortunately my time in prayer had to be spent praying for my strength to support this family and thank my friend for her patience with my situation. I didn’t know if God was going to answer my prayers. I guess part of faith was hope, and I hoped God heard my prayers.

So in the dim glow of the makeshift nursery in my friend’s house, I said a single line to a prayer I had always rehearsed in its entirety, “Thy will be done.” I kissed my daughter and placed her in her tiny bassinet. “Thy will be done.”

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BFF IV

BFF IV
By: Mia L. Hazlett
3/2/11

My best friend, Rebecca. I loved that woman. She was the only person that could complete my sentences, go to the store a month after me and buy the same exact dress and not know I already have it, and most of all she knew my heart and protected it better than I did at times. I couldn’t think of the past 28 years being any different. She was the love of my life, the only person outside my family, that had known me almost my whole life and still wanted to be my friend.

The history that Becky and I shared was something that my husband couldn’t seem to get passed. Well maybe not just my husband, but Becky’s husband too. I will say at the very least Becky’s husband reached out and became my friend. So while he hated the fact that I knew everything about his life, he also understood that I wasn’t going anywhere and my advice didn’t always work in my friend’s favor.

I guess the problem I had was that my husband really didn’t do any outreach to Becky. He felt the same way her husband felt about our relationship, but I’m not sure that he could get passed his jealousy to reach out to my friend. One of the pacts Becky and I made in our childhood was that boys stink. As we got approached our teens, there was a boy that liked both of us. He got us to stop calling each other for a whole three days. From that point on, we promised no boy was more important than our friendship. Those three days will be held as the longest we’ve gone without speaking to each other.

The other promise we swore to each other was to never keep a secret. I think we both tried and failed at achieving any sort of promise to ourselves or others. Most people who told us not to tell anyone, would always receive my honesty that I would most likely tell Becky. Some shared, some didn’t, but at least they knew not even their deepest darkest secret would make me break my promise to my BFF.

Now I sat in my bedroom wondering how I had gone a week and at least six phone conversations without sharing the news of what my doctor told me three days ago. This was one time in their lives that my husband and Becky had reversed roles in my life. My husband has been there for me the past month as I’ve gone through all these tests. And now I think he was understanding why he didn’t want to be my best friend. It was a huge responsibility. He continued to ask me if I told Becky yet. I told him I wanted to wait for the results. And now, three days ago-the results, and I still hadn’t told her. How could I tell her I have cancer?

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BFF III

BFF III
By: Mia L. Hazlett
3/1/11

My best friend was my soul mate. Odd? Not really. I laughed when people made that claim about their spouses. It just wasn’t true. Ask any person if they tell their spouse everything…and I mean everything. I myself was married. But unlike my best friend, my husband wasn’t there when I was in elementary school. He didn’t experience my first kiss when I played spin-the-bottle at Jerry Cartright’s party when I was twelve. He didn’t try to get my first crush to talk to me by hanging out at his locker after third period everyday for a week, when I was fourteen. And he’s never told me that I look fat. He doesn’t even know what colors make me look fat, nevermind tell me the truth when I try wear them. And he sure the hell wasn’t there to assist me in writing the worst love email of my life. My soul mate, Kay, she’s been there through it all and because of her, yellow and baby blue are sworn out of my wardrobe.

I actually thought my husband’s jealousy over our relationship proved my case even more. Because my soul mate could not care less how he felt about her. He couldn’t understand why he couldn’t be my best friend. There was no comprehension in the difference in my relationship with Kay and with him. I couldn’t marry her. I couldn’t start a family with her. The whole live together thing had never happened. And I prefer to sleep with men, not women. She can’t be him and he can’t be her.

But now since my life partner and BFF learned they both loved me, things were backfiring on me. They liked each other. Meaning, they had each other’s cell and work numbers. And get this, my BFF took his side sometimes. For the first time in our lifetime of friendship she was telling me I was wrong. As jealous as my stupid husband got, he didn’t realize that my BFF had been the glue in our relationship at times. She was a wonderful mediator and had the peace of my soul in her best interest. So in my six years of marriage and my lifetime friendship, I was able to comfortably co-exist with my two favorite people. My life was happy and it was all mine.

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Conundrum (Part II)

Conundrum (Part II)
By: Mia L. Hazlett
7/23/10

I allowed the days to pass without sharing the news with my husband. Unfortunately at almost forty years-old he had not learned to have his own emotions. I had to look at how his mother felt towards me and that would pretty much dictate the person who walked through my door at the end of the day. So for now she wasn’t speaking to me or our daughters, luckily he was still speaking to our children.

He hadn’t returned any of my phone calls today, nor come home. I spent most of the night up with our two year-old daughter and finally just let her fall asleep in his spot. And in one of the moments that I watched her sleep, it hit me; I was about to raise these three children by myself. He wasn’t going to be here through this pregnancy. At that moment I knew I would never share my bed with my husband again. I had lost my husband to a woman that he was supposed to have left so he could cleave to me. I mean it’s in the Bible. They’re Christians. He was raised in the church and she claims to be involved in hers. So why were they not honoring the word of God?

I woke in the morning to the incessant chirping of my old alarm clock. My daughter slightly stirred, but settled back under the blanket. I rose with a sharp pain in my back and then it shot down my right leg. I stifled all movement and tried to turn so I could get back in the bed. Ouch! That was not about to happen. The pain was excruciating with even the slightest movement. I decided to call out to my husband in the hopes he was just downstairs on our couch after discovering our daughter in his spot.

By the time I had shouted his name the third time, my eight year-old came into the room. I conveyed the situation and before I could finish, she was swinging my legs onto the bed with the rest of me. As I was explaining, she simply pushed me back. My body was so rigid with pain I fell straight back. It’s amazing what children remember. She had to do the same thing when I was pregnant with her sister. And once again he was missing. I couldn’t do this to her again. I refused to allow her to take on his responsibilities. But as I tried to move, I cried out in pain.

Unfortunately, our oldest is well rehearsed in her father’s disappearance acts. She got her sister up and dressed and then herself. She prepared them cereal and made her lunch for school. In the meantime, I made a phone call to my girlfriend and their godmother, who came over and took them to school. As only a best friend could she promised her return, caretaking, and lecture. I guess you could say I fear God, my mother, and her. I guess her moreso than my mother because she knows everything.

I heard the door downstairs open and awaited her lecture. But to my surprise, my husband entered our bedroom dressed in the same clothes he left in yesterday. After inquiring about the kids whereabouts and why I was not at work, he got in the shower and then left. The one thing I was finding out about my crying for him, it wasn’t lasting so long and it didn’t hurt so much when he didn’t come home or left.

Not long after the tears subsided; the lecturer returned, rice cakes and sparkling water in hand. I really had to work on that with her. When we didn’t see each other for a while, she was never dieting. Now when I couldn’t move and needed comfort food, I crunched on salt flavored cardboard and sipped on fake soda. The lecture was redundant from his previous wrong doings. It all came down to, stay or leave. It’s my choice. To stay meant to accept who he was and that his mother came with the package. To leave meant I might lose her, but ultimately I was still tied to him through the kids.

I guess the one thing she did bring to my attention was the phrase, “actions speak louder than words”. She told me not to be fooled by those that can quote the Bible and go to church. Observe how they are living their so called Christian lives. Because ultimately their actions will speak louder than their words.

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Forever Changed

Forever Changed
By: Mia L. Hazlett
12/5/07

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.

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