The Friend Who Taught Me to Flip Life the Bird

I got to thinking today about how the nitty-gritty of everyday life can really wear on a person sometimes. I sometimes hear people say you can’t even help people out anymore because it always finds a way to come back to bite you, like news stories you hear about good Samaritans pulling over to help a stranded motorist, only to be carjacked or worse. Yeah, life can be a pretty big bummer.

Now, some people really let life hammer them into the ground. They give up before they’ve even given it a fair shot, and they end up living a life of bitterness, forgotten dreams, and shallow relationships.

Then there are people who laugh in the face of disaster and flip the bird at everything that goes wrong in their lives because they understand life is too short to let it get them down.

Which one am I? I think I fall somewhere in the middle of the two extremes. However, I’m extremely fortunate to have this amazing friend who has learned how to laugh in the midst of some of the most frightening life situations I’ve ever encountered. She’s not even 30 years old, and she’s already been through more in her life than most have experienced in a lifetime, from abusive relationships, terrifying medical conditions, familial betrayals, and more.

You’d think the biggest lesson I would’ve learned from her is how to deal with life with a little more grace. And I’d definitely agree that’s one of the lessons she’s taught me. But it certainly isn’t the biggest, most important life lesson. No, I would definitely have to say that the best lesson she has taught me is to love like that good Samaritan who pulls over for the stranded motorist despite the risk of bodily injury or death.

I could give you all kinds of examples of how she’s accomplished this, but there’s one instance in particular that really exemplifies the kind of person she is. She had recently undergone a terrifying medical episode — one that nearly caused her to lose her life. She had just gotten home from her hospital stay and hadn’t even recovered enough to leave the house when she called me and said something to the effect of, “Mika, I saw some of your recent facebook posts, and it really looks like something is wrong. Is everything okay? I’m really worried about you.”

She’d nearly died literally days prior, and she was worried about me?!

Take a second to let that sink in. I know I had to.

Now quick, think of one person in your life you know loves you so much they would call you after a near-death episode to check to make sure you’re not having a bad day.

Did you think of someone? Yes? Okay, stop reading this blog post. Pick up your phone. Call them. Right now. Ask them how they are. How their day went. Tell them you miss them. Make a date to see them, even if it’s just for an hour to have coffee.

Rinse and repeat.

Life’s too short to take our loved ones for granted, especially the ones who have wiggled their way beneath our protective shells and found a comfortable spot right next to our hearts.

This one’s for you, Potato. Thank you for never giving up on me.

Love and the best damn Potato ever,



~ by Mika Doyle on February 25, 2011.

4 Responses to “The Friend Who Taught Me to Flip Life the Bird”

  1. I totally agree with you sweetie. Friends are so important in life – and I’m so so very glad to have you in mine. You’ve certainly taught me a lesson or two. I don’t know what I’d do without you. Love you.

  2. Really sweet post, Mika! I hope to be that friend for people, but I think I fail miserably 😦 Family is important, but there’s something really beautiful about true friends – they’re in your life because they WANT to be, not out of any sense of duty or blood.

    • Thanks, Tricia! And I agree — there is something really special about having true friends. I feel really lucky to have a handful of friends who have been more family to me than some of my own family members.

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