This woman, is my best friend in the entire world. I met her 12 years ago, when Ollie and I moved to Christchurch together, and I went looking for alternative, in home care for Siobhan, while I went to University. Her sister, was the woman who ended up taking care of Siobhan until she went to school, and Aleeya until she was around four. This family, became my family away from my family. They took us in and made us their own. These girls – there are four of them, and two boys, though I really only knew and was good friends with three of the girls – invited us to bbq’s, they shared our lives, we spent a lot of time together while all our kids were young, having picnics, going to the beach, having coffee dates, looking after each other.
All three of them, at one time or another were very good friends of mine. But this one, remained close. I first met her at her sisters house, she was sitting on the couch and she said something that was so insanely honest and rude that my mouth fell open. I can’t remember what it was anymore, but it caught my attention totally. I spent a long time changing my hair colour, turning it to dreadlocks, cutting it off..doing everything possible to it, and she was there with me all the way. She loved everything I did. She started to have a huge impact on me, every time I went to pick Siobhan up from her sister’s. Every time I was there, she made the effort to talk to me, to get -me- to talk back, and I couldn’t resist her – I am insanely careful about who I share myself with, but eventually, she became my very best friend.
Lou is the kind of woman that you can tell anything to, and even though she’ll cover her face and go “TMI TMI!” she will give you a reply, an honest, quirky and helpful reply. She’s amazing. I can’t talk about her enough. She has six children and has raised them, pretty much single handedly. She came to University with me for awhile and did amazingly. She eventually trained to be a midwife, with six children, no husband and she passed with flying colours. She has been places you wouldn’t ever want to think about. She’s seen things that most people will never even know about. And she is, the most generous, selfless woman I have ever met.
Lou would give you the shirt off her back if you asked for it, and then she’d ask you if you wanted her dress too. She is amazingly giving. She has taught me so much about myself. She stood beside me through everything that I did. Every time I fall, I know she’s there to catch me. If I need to talk, she listens, if I need to cry, she doesn’t like it at all, but she totally lets me. She was there when I was at my lowest, and she’s been there when I succeeded. She’s encouraged, and supported every decision I’ve made, no matter how ridiculous or wrong it was. Lou will never tell you that you’re wrong. She will tell you if she thinks you’re making a mistake, she will offer you the sagest advice you’re ever likely to hear from anyone, and she won’t ever tell you “I told you so” when you realise for yourself how wrong you were.
Her life has been full of hardship. There are so many things that have stood in her way, so many things that still do. And she comes out on top, every single time. Having her in my life has been a godsend. I would not give up the twelve years I’ve had with her, for anything. She’s totally my hero. Anyone who can raise six beautiful children, pass a grueling three year midwifery degree and deal with the family issues she has had over the past few months and still be strong, dependable and always there for anyone, is a true hero in my books. I look up to her, and not just because she’s way taller than I am. She’s been the rock for me during the times when the only person you really and truly need in your life, is another woman.
She is the most honest and the most real person I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, I always know that I’m going to get the complete truth from her if I ask a question. I know that every time we meet and have coffee together, I’m getting her, warts and all, that she will give me everything she has to give and more. I know that she will offer me advice that will change my mind. I know that she will never, ever judge me for anything I might say or do. I know I am safe, when I’m with her. I really miss her today, and she will totally kill me, if she ever finds out I posted about her!
I love you Wahna. You’re my VBFF. You truly are my hero. And thanks for The Smiths.