Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
Whenever my kids suffered the indignities of being rebuffed by a friend group or excluded from a social event, I would tell them that being popular is overrated. It is much better to have a close circle of true friends than an impressive but ultimately hollow number of followers. And my Exhibit A for reminding them how valuable and meaningful a close friendship can be and how much it can enrich your life was – and remains – Lorrina.
We were neighbors when our kids were small (in fact, Lorrina only had one of her three kids when we first met) and our families have intertwined ever since then. We carpooled together for middle school and it was during that time that Eliza, the only girl among the three middle school passengers, started thinking of Lorrina as her own friend. (It was also on those rides that Lorrina distinguished herself as just as bad a singer as I am.) When I got sick, Lorrina took on the role of point person, coordinating our meal deliveries (and the hassle of removing folks from the list when the outpouring of generosity grew overwhelming and we asked her to cut it back) and running interference on anything we needed. She accompanied me to many a doctor’s appointment and chemo treatment and, even more importantly, she stepped up to make sure that the kids were covered (even organizing an impromptu birthday celebration for Eliza when I was unexpectedly hospitalized on Eliza’s birthday).
One of the things I most appreciate about Lorrina is how she keeps it real. When she struggled with the parenting challenges that seem to be par for the course these days, she did not try to sugarcoat or hide what was happening on the home front and she did everything she could to address any issues that surfaced. She is a great mother not in spite of some of the difficulties she has encountered but because of them. She works her butt off to give her kids a great life but also keeps them grounded and, as a working mom with a consulting job that keeps her on the road a lot, she is the poster child for quality time over quantity time. And I appreciate that she prioritizes time with friends too, understanding, as I do, that the best mom is a happy mom and we need to nurture ourselves just as much as we nurture our kids.
Her generosity and thoughtfulness know no bounds (she is incapable of showing up anywhere emptyhanded) and her gifts take many forms. When she learned that her work trip to California overlapped with Eliza’s stay in the treatment program there, she flew out a day early so she could visit Eliza, something I was unable to do. It did Eliza so much good to have Lorrina come visit her (shout out to Todd Lieman and Eliza’s friend Nathalie, who also drove out to Moss Beach for a visit) and, as such, it was as much a gift to me as it was to Eliza. She recently took Hannah out for dinner in New York City while there for the weekend, and it is a testament to the relationship my kids have with Lorrina that I did not even know the get-together was in the works until they sent me a photo from the restaurant!
But most of all I just love having someone who is in my corner, who is there to celebrate my successes and cheer me on (like coming to Philadelphia when I was on The Moth or showing up for family events or performances) and provide the solace and support I need when life throws me its inevitable curveballs. It is not that she fills a void. David could not be a better husband or friend, but sometimes you just need a girlfriend. You need someone with whom you can vent, giggle, confide, and revel in the decades of shared experiences and memories.
Everyone should be so lucky to have a Lorrina in her life.