We have been friends for over a decade, but what I remember most was her kindness towards me eight years ago. I had been emotionally distraught after charging my next-door, six-foot-two neighbor with assault. I had secured a restraining order, and my court date was imminent.
My friend insisted that she come to the courthouse with me and serve as my attorney.
"But, Risa," I quipped. "You are not an attorney."
"Ah, but I have a briefcase."
The judge accepted Risa’s non-credentials because of her determination to defend me. And defend me she did! The judge ruled against my neighbor and continued the restraining order until three months later, when my neighbor and his wife left our condominium complex unceremoniously.
When I walked into Risa’s room, she smiled, pressing her pain-relieving button.
She admitted her discomfort, but as she spoke her face and body softened beneath my watchful gaze.
Three doctors walked in to explain the surgery’s results and procedures.
I listened and wondered how I was going to defend my friend from further physical and emotional harm. I offered her a sip of water while chanting a prayer for the recovery of her body and spirit. I clicked the pain-relieving button for her so she wouldn’t have to use her energy to do it herself. We blessed each other. We defended our friendship with words of endearment.