It’s A LASAGNA Damn It!

Photo by Dương Nhân from Pexels

I wrote that title for one person and for one reason. It’ll make her laugh. That’s it. That’s the only reason I did it. I want her to read this, shaking her head, and chuckling. If she mutters, I can’t believe you did it? I’ve earned some bonus points, and I’m patting myself on the shoulder. Job well done.

Have a good day. That’s all she wrote! Except for the next six dozen paragraphs because, apparently, a title alone doesn’t make a blog. Go figure, right?

When my dear friend said the words, it’s a LASAGNA damn it, I told her I had to turn it into a blog post. It was too funny and too perfect to ignore. Did I know what I would write about? Not at all, but I knew it would make her chuckle so, here were are. 

It is a ridiculous title fit for the moodiest of Mondays. Would any other title do the job? Would any be as fitting? Well, of course, there are a hundred word combinations that would offset this feeling of impending doom. Would they make that one special person laugh? No, they would not because that one person deserves a good giggle.

But if you read the title with a quizzical look, a mild chortle, and called me a weirdo? My secondary mission has been accomplished. I just want to make someone smile today. Is that too much to ask for? Go on, smile if you feel like it. You deserve a moment of happiness. It’s been a rough ride, you’ve done admirably, so sit back, relax.

Preferably with a good friend! Which is my incredibly subtle way of moving from one topic to another. I’m a magician! Sleight of hand and words. Poof. Is that a bunny rabbit? No, it’s a skillfully crafted transition.

This friend, the one who’s shaking her head vigorously right now? We’ve known each other for a long time. I don’t want to do the math. Numbers scare me, but, by my estimation, we’ve been friends for most of our lives. It feels like we’ve been friends for a hundred years, and I swear, we’re not that old. 

Somedays, I feel that old, but that’s another story. 

When I look back at our meeting, I believe it was designed by destiny and orchestrated by fate. It wasn’t enough that we were divinely designed to meet. No, we were always going to be the best of friends. It was beyond our control! God, the stars, or Santa Clause (pick your favourite spiritual entity) brought us together, and there was no point fighting. Not that we tried, mind you.

I knew, within the first few minutes, that there was something special between us. Have you ever met someone and just connected? You’re drawn to each other, pushed together, by forces beyond your control. You know, you just know, that something and someone extraordinary has just entered your life.

That’s how it was when we first met, and our friendship was guaranteed. It was written in the stars. Soul friends? Is that a thing? It’s like a soul mate but without any of the complications and added layers of romantic entanglements. Two people brought together for one reason: friendship. The kind of friendship that borders of familial. Sister-friends? Yeah, that works.

With that sisterhood comes an unconditional love and support that’s unwavering. We bicker, but we rarely outright argue or fight. Oh, but we do know how to poke each other’s buttons. Most of the time it’s accidental! Rarely, we’re trying to get a reaction.

We might call each other ridiculous names, but if you tried to do the same? Oh, it’s on like an old school video game. You said what about my friend? That’s just not on, and now we’re going to have a problem. A passive-aggressive problem because confrontation scares me. But we will have issues! Grr.

We have each other’s backs, no matter what, but we can call each other out on our bullshit. It’s a privilege that’s been earned and a trust that we worked hard to forge. When we call it out? We do it because we want each other to succeed. We know each other’s potential, and we’ll do whatever we can to help the other reach that goal.

When she tells me I’ve taken a wrong turn, I know she wants me to get back on the right path. A path that will lead me to happiness and a better sense of who I am. She wants the best for me, and she’s invested in the outcome. She will walk beside me. She will help me pick up the pieces. I can trust her to tell me the truth because I know where her heart is, and that’s a special thing.

Am I spoiled rotten? Absolutely!

I think someone out there knew that we’d need each other to act as a counterbalance and a support structure. They knew that our lives would be hard, and we’d need someone who’d could help us keep going. More than that, we’d need someone who would take as we are in any given moment. Someone who’d accept us no matter how broken, scared, or grief-stricken we became. 

And she’s not just there for the negative things. She’s there for me when I succeed, as rare as that is. She’s cheered me on and celebrated my triumphs with the same passion she would celebrate her own. She’s also made sure those moments didn’t go my head because, wow, my ego gets out of control sometimes.

We balance each other out and keep life in perspective. As someone who lives in extreme emotional states? I need someone that will pull me back to the middle, and she does that so well.

I’ve done things in my life that I never would’ve tried if her faith in me didn’t outpace my own estimations. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, I can’t do that. With her encouragement, I proved myself wrong. Whenever I voice my doubts, she comes back with a simple question: why not? Why can’t you hike that trail? Why can’t you travel the world? Why can’t you write a blog about your life and your random thoughts? Why can’t you use your voice to say something even if that voice is written on a page?

Oh, I have plenty of reasons why I can’t do something, and some of them are legitimate. But that one question gets me thinking about the possibilities I’ve overlooked. I get lost in everything I can’t do. The list is so long! There as so many things that trip me up. Things like my broken body and my bruised mind. How could I, this chronically ill cripple, possibly overcome all of those obstacles.

Why can’t you?

Travelling, for example, is something I love to do! But it’s a bit more daunting when you have a disability and a chronic illness. I have medications and medical supplies I have to take with me everywhere I go. Talk about a packing nightmare! Then there’s the issue of mobility and access. Most countries are structurally set up to favour able-bodied people because it works for the majority of people. That inevitably makes it less accessible to those of us who can’t climb ten flights of stairs to get in and out of a subway station.

That’s not a criticism or bitterness! It’s just the way the world is set up. What works for the many will always take precedence over the few. It’s just the way it goes.

It does cause hesitation when trying to turn a silly dream into a once in a lifetime experience. These obstacles become overwhelming, and I quickly turn the seeming-lies into cold hard facts. I start saying things like if only or I wish. My vision narrows, and the fun, silly dream vanishes. The once in a lifetime experience is saved for another lifetime.

But I have this friend who forgets that I’m a cripple because she sees the version of me that exists beyond the illnesses and the disabilities. When she looks at me, she sees someone capable of doing what she wants despite my physical limitations. To her, I am a person who just happens to have a bit more going on, but those things are the least interesting thing about me.

Because of her, I’ve changed a few of those seeming-lies into why not’s. I’ve lived some of those once in a lifetime moments. Okay, yeah, they didn’t look like the pictures in the brochures. I had to figure out other ways to explore the world, but I did it. I climbed those steps slower. I swallowed my pride and asked for help. I found ways to work around my body because I asked why not, instead of saying I can’t.

When I do that, I become the person my friend sees and a version of myself that I like a little more.

Here’s a strange dichotomy! I don’t like it when all you see is my illness or disabilities. It frustrates me, and sometimes it infuriates me. So, why do I wear the same tinted glasses? Why do I just see my limitation? When I look in the mirror, why do I see my illness or disabilities and not the person underneath? 

This friend of mine doesn’t see it! She sees me. Just me. The person, not the illness or the limitations. She sees me, and yes, I already said that, but to be seen for who you are, who you could be, is life-changing. There are no words that could adequately express how much I need to be seen by someone. Do you know what I mean? Have you ever felt seen on a deep, almost spiritual level? 

When it happens, it is magical. It’s electrifying, heart exploding, fireworks are going off in your brain. You stand a little bit taller. You feel stronger. When someone sees you for who you are, or could be, you start seeing yourself differently. Your world opens up! The can’t’s become why not’s, and you do things that you thought were nothing more than dreams.

A little advice? Find yourself a friend like that, and your life will be immeasurable better. If you have a friend like that? Never miss a chance to tell them how much you love them and value their existence. This kind of friendship is a precious gift, so don’t take them for granted. Cherish them. Protect them. Hold them close to your heart and thank the stars, God, or whatever force you believe brought them into your life.

I can’t express how grateful I am to have this one person in my life. There are no words! But God, thank you so much for arranging that meeting. Honestly, she’s saved my life and my mental health more times than I can count.

Oh, if you’re wondering about the lasagna thing? We were sleep-deprived, and, I’m guessing, the joke wouldn’t be that funny in the light of day. But at night, overcome by exhaustion, it was hilarious. I laughed so hard my ears popped, and tears streamed down my face. I can’t remember the last time I laughed that hard, and damn, I needed it.

It’s LASAGNA damn it! Ah, good times.


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