The year was 1966. On April 3, a baby girl was born on the Lower East Side, the firstborn for Maria. One month later on May 29 of the same year, another baby girl was born in the Bronx, the youngest child of Lydia. These two baby girls had no idea their lives would cross paths and forever change each other’s trajectory.
Here in lies the love story of a friendship that has stood the test of time.
It was 1980, I was a freshman in High School. I walked into my typing class and sat down, and she said hi. We immediately became friends, and we have walked the rest of our days as soul sisters. Upon graduation, our lives would take two different paths, extreme some would say, but never forsaking the bond that was made when we met. Our lives were full of ups and downs, sharp curves, incredible detours, but we always found each other. With each experience, we held on to what we knew to be true
…our friendship, our bond.
It was May 1998, the call came early Saturday morning; it was time to go. I needed to go be by the side of my very best friend, who at that moment was experiencing the loss of her husband, her partner, the father of her son. She loved, cared and traveled the long road of til death does us part. Her journey of caring, and loving her dying husband had come to an end. I knew that when the call came, I needed to fly across the country and sit by my best friend’s side and just
No words were required at this time. Everything had been said during the 11 years of this journey. Every tear, every anguish, every moment of desperation, we had spent in conversations. There were many days and nights of her crying, while I quietly listened, encouraging her and just letting her be. She wept many times bitterly, yelled in an anguish of the inevitable. So you see, I had heard it all, all that was needed at this moment was to be by her side and be her “Silent Witness.” It was a long week of grieving, planning, shopping for an outfit, long walks in the City, dessert, and coffee, eating out and just taking it all in. The homegoing was standing room only, and as I had done for their union, I sang.
All I remember of the events was
Her grace and strength during this experience were admirable. When it was time to come home, I cried bitterly, knowing that the long journey of change that awaited her and her young son was a painful new reality.
The year that lied ahead demonstrated her grace and resilience through it all and God’s beautiful blessing soon to come.
Seventeen years later…
Spring of 2015…She looked beautiful, she walked out with incredible confidence – “Please help me welcome – Nereida Rosario.” She was walking onto a National Platform, unlike anything we could have imagined. She was sitting on the set of a National Talk show – where one of the Talk Show hosts was honoring her for the season in her life in which Nereida was an incredible influence and inspired this host to be better. The host said, “Thank you, thank you for inspiring me, for loving me when no one understood me, and for making it cool to love God.”
As I sat in the Green Room, watching the taping of this show, I cried, I cried tears of joy. I knew the weight of those words. I understood more than anyone that was watching this exchange, the power of those words and how important this was for my friend.
It was a moment of redemption in the most unimaginable way. God saw it fit to publicly say “Well done my good and faithful servant- You did Good. I saw every tear, I was there each sleepless night. I saw the struggle of faith and hope and moment of joylessness. And you DID WELL. You did the right thing in spite of what you were going through.
I cried, I cried, you see, once again I was her Silent Witness. I was by her side at this moment, on this most momentous occasion when the Nation would get to know Nereida Rosario. I again, am her Silent Witness to affirm that everything that was being said of her was, in fact, all true.
What a privilege is it to be a Silent Witness. Every person needs a silent witness. Some who will stand by your side, hold your hand, hold your life in their heart and stand in silence when words are just not enough. That’s what I was to my friend,
I needed to add nothing to this experience. Only watch the beauty of it unfold……
and it did!
Your pain is someone’s lesson. Rise up and be strong. Someone is watching.
Your Silent Witness.