You Gotta Have Friends

I sat on the stool – heart pounding, palms sweating – waiting for a break in conversation. What would she say when I told her? I took another huge gulp of ice water and shoveled some scrambled eggs into my mouth. We talked about silly memories from college, my job and her upcoming wedding. The wedding I felt I was about to complicate.

“So… I have to tell you something,” I finally got out.

“Okay?” Kacey said.

Fighting back tears, then eventually just letting them pour out, I told my best friend I was contemplating another leg lengthening surgery. This was the beginning of December on one of my trips home to Pittsburgh. She and I were eating at a popular breakfast joint – sitting at the bar. I had recently scheduled a consultation with the surgeon for that upcoming February. I had only discussed my thoughts with my mom, dad and boss. I was so emotional about possibly taking on this endeavor and it became more real as I discussed it with more people.

My nervousness about this particular conversation was rooted in becoming a burden during a time that is so special – a wedding. Kacey’s would be held in September with me as a bridesmaid. Of course the planning, showers and the bachelorette party would happen during the months beforehand. But my leg lengthening was a now or never situation in the timing of my life. I felt horrible that my possible upcoming surgery would cripple me – likely through many rights of passage for my friend. I thought Kacey might be disappointed or angry with me for putting all of this on her during a time when she should be the focus.

“I just feel so bad that this could possibly interfere with stuff leading up to the wedding,” I pushed out through a terrible ugly cry. “I want to help and be able to do everything, but I’m not even sure when I’ll be able to walk. I don’t want you to think I don’t care about you, but if I’m going to do this I have to do it now.”

“SHUT-UP!” she said. “Don’t even talk like that. Out of anyone I know you would do anything to be there on my wedding day, even if you had to wheel down the aisle!”

We talked more and cried more, looking pretty silly in this casual diner! During that brunch, Kacey never once hinted that I had complicated things for her or expressed any disappointment in my timing. All she did was give me love and support – that day and ever since. She listened to me and knew what was in my heart. She understood that I had to have the surgery, but would move mountains to make sure I was involved in all I could be for one of the most important days in her life. That’s one of the perks of having a best friend – you get each other.

(Kacey and Nate came to visit me in Chattanooga back in April of 2011.)

After that consultation with the surgeon, I of course decided to have the surgery. Now I know that all of my anxiety about Kacey’s wedding went to waste, because I’ve been able to help plan her bridal shower and bachelorette party and I will get to attend both. It seems by September, I will be able to walk and maybe even dance at her wedding!

(Here we are at a recent shopping trip to Target!)

Through this experience Kacey has done more kind and caring things for me than I could list, but the most impactful to me – was listening and giving me her support at the moment I needed it most. I hope to return the favor anytime she or another friend needs it.

****To my other amazing friends who’ve made me feel so loved through this whole thing… I love you and appreciate you, too! I plan to write about all of you at some point!****


2 thoughts on “You Gotta Have Friends

  1. Dear Carly,
    I loved your story about Kacey; our wedding, almost 54 years ago now, was on the hottest day in August in Iowa, with of course no air conditioning in the church. One of my bridesmaids, my “little sister” in my college sorority, notified me the week before our wedding that she had broken her leg while water skiing. Her white cast blended nicely with her knee-length dress in our all-white wedding. The only comments I heard about it regarded how nice it was that she was able to participate. You’ll be lovely in the wedding!.

  2. Kacey is a keeper! True friends are hard to come by – It sounds like you’ve got one for life! Wonderful blog. Your progress is remarkable – keep up the good work!

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