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This Is What It Means to Have a 'Corner Friend'

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On this unique journey with our son, I’ve met some incredible people. I frequently refer to them as my “corner friends.”

A few weeks ago, I was talking to a dear friend and I said to her, “I remember talking to you in the corner of the classroom when our children were in first grade, and it was then I realized how special my corner friends are to me.” You see, corner friends are the people I meet sitting in the corner of the doctor’s waiting room, the corner of the hospital cafeteria, the corner of the surgery waiting room, the corner of about every place a person can travel — a church, a school or a restaurant. Because my life is often filled with overwhelming noise and news, I tend to migrate to the “corners” to detox because I often can take in no more noise or news for fear it will not be good.

The corners rarely fill up with large crowds of people. They’re a safe place to sit back to take it all in. What I’ve found along my path is that there are so many people looking for a corner friend — a friend to talk to without all of the noise and clutter. They need someone to listen without asking the “How,” “What,” and “Why” questions. They need a friend in a quiet and introspective place.

We all tend to travel and meet in the corners of life, seeking companionship in sometimes tough and painful situations. The most beautiful and genuine conversations happen in the corners of life with friends and strangers alike and always at just the perfect time. Sometimes, conversation is not shared in the corners of life because life can be sad and talking about the diagnosis of someone we love can be unbearable. Sitting next to one another in solidarity becomes all the comfort we really need.

I looked up the Webster’s definition of “corner.”

noun: a place or angle where two or more sides or edges meet.

My definition of “corner” is a bit different.

noun: a place where two or more strangers meet to start a beautiful friendship.

To my corner friends on this journey, I admire you. You are strong. You are courageous. You are warriors. You are heroes. And, above all, you get it. I know you at some point have been tucked in a corner. You’ve been wrapped in a jacket, trying to catch a quick nap, waiting to hear if your child has come out of surgery safely and successfully. You’ve been in a corner of the cafeteria trying to read a book to take your mind off things or scarf down food because you haven’t eaten all day. You’re in the corner of a classroom trying to survive when life seems unfair because your child cannot do the basics of what the other children are doing. You’re in the corner of a physician’s office trying to cope with hearing more bad news.

I get it, too. I’ve been there often. The corner is a protected place. In the end though, if we keep our eyes open, we will meet some beautiful people in the same corners. When it’s right, we will invite one another in to hear our stories. And, we will embrace one another with love, kindness and without judgment, knowing the battle we’re all fighting is not an easy one.

Cheers to courageous corner friends! I’m so thankful for all whom I’ve met on this confusing yet glorious walk of life, standing where the edges meet.


This post originally appeared on Hope.

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Originally published: January 26, 2015
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