My friend, Harvey

Sometimes life smiles upon you in a very special way. When I was in college, I met my friend Harvey. She goes by Mary these days, but back then she preferred to be called Harvey. To say she is funny, witty, and gloriously outspoken only begins to describe her. She is deep, loving, kind, and always has her friends’ backs.

She was an English major. At our college, that was the most difficult major. The comprehensive exam that they had to take senior year was SO far beyond rigorous that I cannot find a word to describe it. She, of course, would deny that ~ and defer to the incredible intelligence of her daughters. One of them is a nurse, the other is in college and majoring in nursing. She loves her daughters and husband beyond measure. She is devoted to being a voice for the small, helpless, and unborn.

To this day she is a wordsmith. She is passionate and in love with life and truth. She is one of those friends of mine who can argue effectively and passionately. Her views back then and now are authentic, passionate, and life-affirming. Her intellectual curiosity motivates her to explore the issues of the day at a deeper level. That always inspires me to try to take the time to not just “call it in”. Friends do that for you, don’t they?

She and I discuss many things over the internet–we live far away from each other. We did get the chance to see each other for a glorious evening with our families this summer. The joy of being together face-to-face left us at a surprising loss for words. We got the chance to meet each other’s children and husbands for the first time.

She and I have both struggled over the years–sometimes with our faith, sometimes with other crises. But it is ever so lovely to know that with each other we always find TOTAL acceptance. There isn’t anything I would be afraid to discuss with her. For some lucky reason, she accepts me as I am ~ warts, shortcomings, and all.

This fall, her oldest daughter will marry the man of her dreams. He is already part of the family ~ everyone is welcome at Harvey/Mary and Brian’s home. Mary’s humility in the face of life is touching. She, of course, would also deny that she is humble. But she is. She argues, she hollers, she writes, she hugs, she laughs, she loves ~ and her motivation? To eradicate the wrongs in life, protect the innocent, stand in the trenches with the embattled, stand up for what is right…. and always to love. She and the rest of the family will weep tears of total joy at the wedding. But Mary’s ever-expanding heart will be filled with new love and the family will grow.

Do you want to hear a cool coincidence? When she and I spent our semester in Rome during college, her folks came to visit. When her parents arrived for their visit, Harvey introduced them to us. She said, “This Doris and Maynard”. I shook their hands, and said “Nice to meet you, Mr. and Mrs. ___ (and said their last names)”. Her mom laughed and said “honey you can call me Doris”. I said, “Oh, I couldn’t do that. My folks don’t want me to call grown-ups by their first names”. She said “those aren’t our first names ` so it’s ok”. Yep, Harvey gave people nicknames. {I was always called Kate or Katie, though — as far as I know!}

Ok here is the coincidence. I found out a few years ago that my mom and her sisters went through a stage where they called their parents “Doris and Maynard”!

So you see, Harvey (Mary) and I were meant to be friends. I am lucky. She is one terrific lady. and as Paul Harvey would say…. “Now you know the rest of the story”. She is one of my touchstone friends. I am blessed.

About Kate Kresse

I love to write, I love to talk, I love to uplift people when I can. I am a woman in love with life. I am a wife, mom, tutor, writer, and I am a perennial optimist. (OK not every single minute but you get the point! :-)
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