My son Q is best friends with A. Q and A have been friends since they were little boys. Now they are both 18. Their relationship is built on brotherhood and the real question of mortality.
Q and A were raised in male dominated households. Q has four brothers and one sister. A has three brothers. Q lives with both of his parents and A lives with his single father. They both feel secure, loved, and protected. I think this may be why the vulnerability that exists between them is so natural to all of us.
When they were about 9 years old, A got sick. Their days of playing outside and riding bikes was transformed them into couch potato gamers. I didn’t know why A’s body had an aversion to protein, but I do know that his medicines and steroids made him swell. And grow really tall lol. He was probably going to be tall anyway; however, his 6 ft stature at age 12 was pretty astonishing.
When I look back, I am glad that Q was being homeschooled then. A had to miss a lot of school, so they both understand responsibility and freedom. Alternative solutions are available to every problem when we seek them. Q asked me to give him recipes for veggie pizza, veggie spaghetti, black bean burgers, and fettuccine Alfredo with mushrooms and roasted tomatoes. From what I heard, he mastered those and more. A knew then that he wanted to grow up to be a chef.
By 14, A was taking dialysis twice a week. I suspect that he slept more during their visits than interacting. Q was over there so much that I was afraid A’s dad would sue me for child support. But I let me son go whenever he wanted and he’d let Q come over as often as he needed to. Just hanging out together seemed to help them both.
Oh they had quarrels though. Q would get mad that he had to call A more than A called him. A would be upset, because he couldn’t get Q to understand how hard things were for him physically, emotionally, and spiritually. As young teens, how could they communicate the ways that A’s health dictated the responsibilities within and the duration of their friendship? Especially boys. Their dads and their brothers didn’t call them names or shame their need for this friendship. Then Q started to visit on days that A had dialysis. He would go with him; sit with him as the hours passed.
Q was only 16 when he asked us if he could donate a kidney to his best friend. What does a parent say to that? We had concerns, but ultimately we did not presume to know God’s plan for either of them, so we said yes. Look either they were going to be a match or they weren’t. That was something that none of us could control or dictated. Q told A. We told A’s dad. Love flowed and everyone was increased.
A didn’t want Q’s kidney, unless there were no other options. He dodged his questions on where and when he could be tested. I think A did not want a part of his friend’s life just to save his own. But time went on and no family members were a match. Q told me nonchalantly with a shrug, “I told him again I’d do it”. One night the call came that another young person had lost their life and was a good match. We sincerely prayed for the family that thought of someone else’s child at the earliest moments of losing their own. Love abounds.
It’s been 6 months or so. This summer the boys went fishing, swimming, camping, and hanging out with other friends. I think they’ve been to escape the room three times (and never get out lol). A told me all his plans for culinary school, getting a driver’s license, and a part-time job. He said that now he feels like he can actually plan ahead. Wow.
Q just came in my room and told me…..