The government has finally granted that I’m disabled by chronic illnesses such as POTS and CFS. I frequently spend days in bed because I can hardly move, and I break down in tears usually once a day or more mourning the loss of my health. My permanent address is a P.O. Box, but I’m still incredibly lucky because I also have a Fran. Everyone would be better off for having a Fran of their own but not everyone is as fortunate.
Our friendship really started off how any good relationship should with me giving her money to spend time with me. Best investment I’ve ever made. Because of her incredible cheerleading and maths skills, she was somehow able help me survive maths so I could graduate Santa Rosa Junior College. Then we continued our education together briefly at the University in Davis. I conned her into helping me take over the Agnostic and Atheist Student Association when it was almost completely dead. We were 2 of 3 members still showing up when we took over. I always had grandiose ideas, but she somehow always made them realities.
I asked for her assistance at Freethought Day in Sacramento. She said she would help a little, but of course she ended up doing most of the work, and let me network and get books to auction off for the Light the Night Fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. A charity I support through the Foundation Beyond Belief that is very dear to me. Eventually I was overwhelmed by the heat and exhausted from the days activities and laid in the shaded grass, but then remembered I wanted to say goodbye to one last person since I realized I probably wouldn’t get to see them again, so she helped as I struggled to get back up and offered to walk me over for support but I refused. I was foolishly trying my best not to show weakness when I walked away because I didn’t want my friends last memory of me to be of how broken I was, but when I made it to him I was delirious and could barely stand. He immediately recognized I was crashing fast and offered his arm to me one last time and walked me back to the safety of Fran. I curled up in a ball and cried but knew I would be ok because she was there. She went and got her car and pulled up as close as she could knowing I should walk as little as possible. She drove me home, walked me to bed where I collapsed, but not before I was able to ask for food for the next day. I knew there wasn’t much food where I was staying, and that I was only going to be able to leave the bed to go to the bathroom. Yes, there are actually days that I’m so bad off that I can’t even make ramen for myself. She dropped off the other three people that were with us, and then went and got me food and brought it back. She didn’t ask me what I wanted her to get, because she knows if I’m asking her for food that I’m desperate, can barely talk, and making decisions makes me more stressed out. This is only one of many times I’ve asked her for an emergency food run. I never have to tell her what, she just always comes back with delicious food.
This week she set the bar even higher on just how awesome you have to be to reach her level. She agreed to take me grocery shopping. This is such a mundane task too most people that they can’t grasp how difficult it is for me to spend more than ten minutes in a store. I usually end up leaving with food for a meal instead of the week because I’m too overwhelmed and exhausted and want to get out as soon as possible. She asked me basic questions about what I wanted but would make the decisions whenever she could tell I was getting overwhelmed. She’s kind and generous, but knows how to take charge so that the end goal is achieved. She’s so generous in fact that she wouldn’t let me pay her for the groceries because she knows I’ve been hard up as I’ve been waiting for my first disability payment to come through. She drove me home and helped put things away and then left me to rest. I can’t even describe how amazing it was to wake up the next day and know there was real food in my house to eat because of her. I didn’t have to eat ramen another day, and it was a good thing too, because I only had one package left. I was really excited to get to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich again!
I could write many pages about the many amazing things about Fran. She’s incredibly smart, sassy, puts up with my bullshit, lots of fun to laugh with, an amazing cook and baker, but for me nothing matches her incredible friendship. She does all of these amazing things for me, knowing I am not able to give much in return. Everyone could improve the quality of their life, with a Fran in their life, but find one of your own! I’ll fight you to the death for this one!