Today is Katrice‘s birthday!!! Happy Birthday, Sugar. Go over there and wish her goodness. Wait! Read the rest of what I have to say about her and then go. OK? OK!
Katrice and I are friends against all odds. She grew up with my Ex. I met her and her husband, Kwesi just before they got married and for the most part, they were Ex’s friends who I just saw from time to time. We were both young couples in ministry, so church and related functions caused our paths to cross from time to time. We hung out as couples a handful of times. But for the most part we only really saw one either when one of us was preaching at the other’s church.
Katrice isn’t much of a socialite. She exists happily among a small circle of immediate family and very few close friends. She’d rather be with the teenagers in her life than with the huddle of soccer moms who make her want to scream. So, since I am the consummate extrovert, and she the consummate introvert, it would stand to reason that we wouldn’t really hit it off of friends. But that wasn’t really the case.
It’s almost eerie, but there has always been a bond with us that we couldn’t exactly put a finger on. When we would see each other, we knew we were kindred spirits and that there was something we were supposed to do together. We never talked on the phone or hung out just the two of us, but this inkling would be renewed whenever we were together. This went on for the better part of 10 years.
During the last couple of years of my marriage we started to see each other more and declared as couples that we really needed to spend more time together. I never could have imagined then how right we were about that. I never could have imagined the reason. Until one day at Fuddrucker’s.
One of the reasons I felt that we needed to hang out more was that I was beginning to drown as a pastor’s wife. I felt like I was expected to be there for the world, but then there was no one for me to talk to when I needed an ear. I knew I was nearing a breaking point that afternoon the 4 of us had lunch at Fuddrucker’s. The guys were chatting at the table about a problematic minister on staff at our church. Kwesi couldn’t understand Ex’s rationale for not disciplining him. Katrice and I walked away from the table to get dessert and the dam that had been holding back the truth that was killing me burst open. I spilled my guts to Katrice right at the cookie counter at Fuddrucker’s. I told her everything that was going on in my marriage and how miserable I was and how totally helpless I felt. She had the most comforting words of assurance for me, “I’ve been there. You need to talk to Kwesi. You’re not alone.”
That was the beginning of what has come to be one of the most precious friendships of a lifetime. I love this woman like she were my flesh and blood. She has been there for me as I agonized over detail after detail of past abuse and betrayal. She’s listened to me cry, complain, curse and scream. She was patient through all 4 of my cycles of trying to leave my marriage. She has given me a place to sleep many, many nights. She’s fed me, prayed for me and prayed with me. She’s stood right beside me while I’ve considered if I still believe in God. She’s been patient as I’ve walked through the process. She’s listened to my rants. She knows all of my dirt. And if I can’t say this of any other soul in this universe, I can say with confidence that she has never judged me. Not once. Even when she’s disagreed with me. She has been the truest of friends.
She has no idea how powerful her strength of character has been for me. She’s been my rock when she didn’t even know I needed her to be. She’s an absolute angel and I love her to pieces.
I admire the wife and mother she is. I’m telling you, this woman needs to write a book. She and Kwesi have survived in a marriage against all odds. And believe me, it’s not just holding it together for the sake of holding it together. I can spot a fake a mile away. They have loved each other well in the face of every possible obstacle. I am so proud of them. Her relationship with her kids is something to behold. To have half her patience and firmness. She’s mastered striking the balance between the two. Her kids are the wonderful products of the beauty and character of their parents.
And the girl can cook! I don’t mean “yeah it’s pretty good, I can tolerate it” cook. I mean “bitch slap yo’ mama” cook. I am always good for a hot meal when I don’t feel like making it myself.
Today’s her 33rd birthday. I love her. Go show her some love too.