Rachael Martin and I had a chat this morning and she offered me some sound advice. Having tended to Edwina’s needs (and those of many others walking the streets of Birmingham) over the years as the former associate pastor at Church of the Reconciler, Rachael often throws out a solution that goes straight to the problem.
“I want to reconnect with Edwina,” I told her. “What I don’t want is to get into a dialogue about what she wants and needs. I don’t want to feel guilty or used anymore.”
“Why don’t you call her and tell her you love her?” Rachael suggested. “Tell Edwina that you aren’t calling to give her anything but your support.”
That’s just what I’m going to do.
My relationship with Edwina began because we understood one another and had shared many of the same emotions and physical struggles associated with breast cancer. On occasion, I’ve helped Edwina out with a bill or a bit of food to get her through the month. And then there was the decision my family made to “adopt” Edwina and Aubrey for Christmas last year, not knowing that she had been welcomed into far more families than just ours.
I think that a friendship based in giving has to give way to one centered on a bond that doesn’t involve material things. It’s the only way for the two of us to survive this setback.