If you missed part 1, go read it here.
She came to lunch the next day. I think it surprised her as much as it did me. I fully anticipated being stood up. She later told me that she had been glad it was at my house so that she could leave as soon as she finished eating. I was afraid she would say nothing; she was afraid that all I'd talk about would be poop and childbirth.
It was four hours of the best conversation ever. We spoke of politics, religion,current events and painful memories. She wasn't a hermit or unfriendly, just a Yankee gal in a foreign land where the sky was too big, the people were odd, and she knew no one. She had arrived in Oklahoma City two weeks before the birth of her daughter, a birth which can be best described as harrowing. She'd almost died, the baby had almost died, and then 9/11 had happened and we were at war. She lived daily with the fear of her husband being sent to the Middle East, and because she wasn't on base, she didn't even have the support systems in place which military wives depend upon in times of upheaval.
She is the best friend I have ever had. Four moves, six deployments, and my ever increasing family have done nothing to dampen the friendship that began that day over a pan of home-made macaroni and cheese. My only regrets are that I didn't wander up the street sooner and that I wasted my morning making it from scratch. I now know her well enough to know that her second favorite comfort food is the stuff from the blue box. Her first favorite is the pan of cinnamon rolls I make for her when things are tough, made from the recipe her expert palate helped me to perfect. Rolls the size of dinner plates and her own bowl of icing so she can slather on as much as she pleases are all that she wants. Mine has become a hot cup of tea, fixed “the British way” just as she taught me, with milk and sugar, piping hot and sipped as I curl up on the couch with my feet tucked under me, and chat with the woman who is now a part of my family.
God didn't send her to me, but gave me the courage and the kindness to walk up the street, knock on that door and overcome my nerves long enough to order her to come to lunch. It was just what both of us had been praying for.