MY SWEET PUNKIN
“After David had finished talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king’s son. There was an immediate bond between them, for Jonathan loved David. From that day on Saul kept David with him and wouldn’t let him return home. And Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, because he loved him as he loved himself.” 1 Samuel 18:1–3
I still remember the day that I met the new girl from Georgia. She came into our classroom wearing Nike athletic shorts and matching shirt, her blond hair pulled up high into a pony tail and her bangs perfectly positioned on her forehead. I knew from the very beginning that we would probably never get along because we were what appeared to me to be polar opposites. She was athletic, where I was in baggy jeans and a Nirvana t-shirt that was at least 3 sizes too big for me. I later found out that as we were signing up for new elective courses that day, she purposefully copied down Art Class after seeing it on my paper, because she thought that we may be able to be friendly with each other.
I don’t remember our first conversation. I don’t remember the first time that we ate lunch together. And, I don’t remember the first time that she made me laugh. But, I can tell you that Heather Cox was the very first best friend that I ever had. Where everyone else was busy trying to fit in with certain cliques, Heather was a breath of refreshing air. She was real. Once we realized the special friendship that could be shared, she and I became inseparable. At some point, in the eighth grade, she started calling me “Katiey Bean” and she of course, became my “Punkin”. Little did we know at the time, but seventeen years later, we would still lovingly refer to each other using those same innocent monikers.We would spend our afternoons singing Disney songs and daydreaming over Prince William. Heather was convinced that he was going to marry an athletic blond and that since she was both of those things, she stood a pretty good chance.
One afternoon while exploring nearby woods, she and I discovered an abandoned house and decided to take it upon ourselves to clean it out and decorate it. That was one of the most dirty, dusty, dank and fun times of my life. We organized the 5 room house and even put an ashtray with an old pipe in it on the rickety old coffee table that we dusted off and set up in front of a wooden mantled fireplace. After finishing our home renovation, we decided to raid her Mother’s refrigerator for a couple sticks of butter, which we promptly took outside and smeared all over our undeveloped fourteen year old bodies and “tanned”. Pretty sure that our bubble bath in her Mom’s garden tub afterwards was a terrible idea and that Deborah is probably still removing bits of the grease that we unknowingly left behind.
Somewhere along the way, amongst the countless sleepovers on her bedroom floor, innumerable hikes on her parents mountainous property, hundreds of Disney tunes and untold shared boy crushes, Heather got a hold of my heartstrings and tied them around her very life. She was the first person that was my age that made me feel accountable for my actions. I grew up in a Christian home, but the way that she and her family implemented Christianity and praise music into every aspect of their lives was beautiful to me.
“The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.”
After our eighth grade graduation ceremony, my parents bought a new house and as Heather went on to one high school, I transferred to another. I wish that we had stayed in touch, but life has a way of getting complicated and as she was staying faithful in her church attendance and her relationship with the Lord, I was looking for comfort through promiscuity, drugs and alcohol. My teenage years were hard for me, but through an unplanned pregnancy at the age of 20, God refocused my life on Him and I returned to the church that I grew up in. I gave birth to a son soon after turning 21 and becoming a single Mom changed my life for the better. In April 2009, the month before my son turned 4, I married Clint and we settled into married life with his 2 children from his first marriage and my son. Being a blended family was difficult at times, but I was where God wanted me to be.
I don’t know how we got back in touch, but during Heather’s second pregnancy, we were reunited at her baby girl’s baby shower. What a glorious day that was! My dear sweet friend and I were once more in each others lives. After the baby shower, I discovered that it had been a tough pregnancy for Heather, as she suffered from migraines and seizures and had been hospitalized several times. Now, Heather is battling a Pineal Gland Tumor (the source of her illness, seizures, migraines and constant headaches). She is needing life saving surgery, which at this moment in time, is not being offered. Please lift Heather and her young family up in prayer, as she is a beautiful soul and hasn’t complained about her situation, but is showing others that anyone in any situation can bring glory to God. I love you, My Sweet Punkin, I know that God will provide a way. He always does.
“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” – Revelation 4:11