All of my girlfriends call me their Olivia Pope because I fix things. Relationships, careers, personal conflicts, whatever. I love Scandal and everything Kerry Washington so it’s like the ultimate compliment for me. I live for those moments where I can yell, “it’s handled,” and queue my fierce walk off.
One day, my dear best friend told me that her daughter, who I adopted as my mini BFF, had narcolepsy. I remember like it was yesterday. I froze because I didn’t know what to say; I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how narcolepsy affected children besides making them sleepy. I was sad for my best friend but even more sad because I couldn’t run in and “fix it.”
This news changed my best friend’s life so naturally, it changed my life too. Since I couldn’t “fix this,” I vowed to be there for my BFF and mini BFF no matter what. The first thing I did was squash my ignorance of narcolepsy. My best friend sent me information and I read more on my own. One thing I won’t do, is let my big sister go through this alone. During my daily devotion, I pray that I can be everything my mentor needs me to be. And yes, I call her my best friend, my mentor, and my big sister because she’s all of that and then some. She’s everything to me and I can only pray that I’m equally as valuable to her.
What this life-changing event taught me was to be there. Just be there. I admire my sister for her strength. I really do. She may not realize it, but she, alongside my mom, set a model of what great mothers look like. Through this experience, I learned the true meaning of being supportive. It’s more than texting petty jokes to each other every day. It’s asking, “how are you doing today,” and expect more than the cliche responses of “fine” and “ok.” It’s looking for signs and asking what’s wrong before your friend has to tell you. It’s celebrating her achievements as if they’re your own. Hell, they are your own.
My best friend’s daughter is on my prayer list. I live for her mom sending me pictures of her horseback riding, modeling, and studying. My mini BFF’s wins are my wins. This isn’t her journey. It’s our journey.
So to anyone who has a friend going through something life-changing and you’re left wondering what to do, or where you fit in this new equation, just show up. Be the proactive friend. Be there. I may not be able to channel my inner Olivia Pope in this situation right now, but I vow to have equally as much passion to support my favorite family as I do fixing other friend’s lives.