That kind of friend

I have a very dear friend here in Spokane. The other night she stopped by for a brief visit with us, and it was so great to reconnect and reminisce. As often happens when we get together, we traipsed down our own very quirky and amusing memory lane. We happened to live together during a very strange time, filled with unusual circumstances, remarkable experiences, and as a result, many delightful and amusing memories. As we sat in my Grandma’s living room, I remarked that it had been a while since I laughed so hard that it hurt. She is just that kind of friend.

After she left, I realized that there are not many people in my life in L.A. who make me laugh until it hurts. I realized too that I have been so fortunate that every city I have lived in has been marked by exactly those kinds of friendships. Maybe it’s the life stage in L.A.–it’s most often the kids that have Doug and me laughing the hardest.

As I thought about missing those kinds of friends, I realized something: my grandma who just passed away was one of those people. I had the opportunity to live with my grandparents here in Spokane for three months in my mid-twenties. It was a random time in my life, and because I intended to only spend three months in Spokane I really did not seek out relationships or involvements outside of my work. As a result, my grandparents and I were quite the little family that summer. We ate our meals together, we played games, we watched TV or read. My grandma used to watch out her window as I would go jogging around Franklin Park after work to make sure that I was okay. And every weekend we would pack up our things and head out to Newman Lake for rest and projects around the cabin. I remember quite clearly assisting my grandpa, who by then was legally blind, with his very large table saw. I remember climbing the roof to clean out the eaves and hanging out windows to scrub them down, all per my Grandma’s careful instruction. I remember so many days and nights that were filled with that deepest, most gratifying laughter.

As a family we are doing a lot of remembering this week. As I think about my Grandma’s life, I am so grateful for those three months. I am grateful for that once-in-a lifetime chance to live with my Grandma and discover in her the friend who makes you laugh until it hurts.

I miss her.

Categorized as Family


  1. Grandmas are so special. They make a huge print on your heart and it is one that never leaves. Just the name “Grandma” is special-isn’t it?

    I think friends that make you laugh until it hurts are rare. I remember laughing so hard when I was younger that I would even cry. I now hear young neighbors doing the same thing. I wonder if it is something we lose gradually? I hope not. Won’t you just die laughing when Mercy gets to be that age when she is laughing out of control with her friends??! I cannot wait for that day!

  2. Ericka,

    Thanks for sharing that. Those memories are so precious. The first one I think of, after meeting Jesus someday, is to meet my grandfather. And the laughter. He was a good one for that.

    We do share some of that kind of laughter where I work. We can get away with it, in our big factory space (too big to be called a room, it seems).

    Glad for your experience with your grandparents.

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