Wednesday, April 23, 2008

ode to Michelle

Cabin 3426 experienced a very considerable loss two weeks ago. Michelle, my bunk mate and good friend, was unexpectedly needed at home. The phone call came on Sunday and i had transported my pillows and photos to the bottom bunk by Wednesday.

I wonder what Michelle was thinking last August when i willfully announced I would moving into the back of the cabin with her. Michelle is very calm and smart. She spent 15 years designing software programs. She is naturally organized and yet very laid back.

And then there was me. A rather reckless and mildly disorganized ball of energy and constant excitement who has been waving the self-proclaimed banner of "free spirit" since high school.

I wonder what she thought when I moved my abundance of colorful clothes, headscarves, and scattered photos into the back nook of our six berth cabin. She must have been a little nervous; maybe a little scared.

I don't know that Michelle needed me but I feel quite certain that God knew I needed her to be my bunk mate.

I didn't think that my highly independent self would come to West Africa to learn that I crave stability in relationships. But I guess it's something you realize when you are far removed from the people you have spent your life loving and have over 20 roommates in one year. There is a freedom and security in knowing that someone knows all the worst parts of you, but you know they will always love you anyway. You can relax. You can let your guard down. You can be yourself.

One of my biggest fears in coming to the ship was wondering about who I would live with. I knew I needed it needed to be a non-rigid laid back type or a distaster might ensue. Apparently God was in agreement, so He sent me Michelle.

Michelle was a wonderful, stable friend; a good substitute family member. Someone I could trust. Someone I could let me guard down around and simply be myself. I will highlight a few reasons why Michelle was a great friend and all round wonderful person:

1. When she woke up to a stream of coffee dripping onto her and her bed at 3 am one Saturday morning she found the scenario humorous. And gently suggested I not keep full coffee mugs on my bed.
2. She bought the scariest looking doll I have ever seen for 20 dollars from a Liberian women because her heart is soft (this softness also resulted in a collection of hand woven goods).
3. She let me hang children's artwork on our walls.
4. She didn't take me or my "verbalization's" at face value.
5. She loves the Word of God.
6. Michelle never got mad and is extremely patient.
7. It's nice to have someone who enjoys your cooking (by cooking I mean my ability to make a peanut butter sand which on the weekends)
8. We regularly contemplated "what the heck are we going to do with our lives" and were in agreement that we'd both consider being a barista at Starbucks. Michelle actually put a "what should I do with my life" poll on her blog.
9. She thought our room (which was filled with primarily my belongings) looked "cozy" when most people probably would have said "cluttered".
10. She encouraged me that some day "fictional character called husband" might stop hanging out on that far away island with "Ben's hypothetical children", Elvis, and the Lochness monster.

I really love Michelle. She's great. She's missed. But I am sure God has countless joys and blessings upon each step the future may hold.

and she promised to visit Philadelphia.

1 comment:

cheryl said...

Sweet ode, Meg. When she reads this, I know she will feel so loved! Crazy to think it's been nearly a year!