Valued Friend #3: Will B.
So first, I have to say that the greatest thing Will brings into my life is laughter. Yes, there are times that I want to smack him upside the head. Yes, there have been times when actually have smacked him upside the head; but in my defense, he almost always deserves it.
Will was the Athletic Director this summer, and was one of the counselors of the oldest boys’ cabin (along with Andy. While K-Rex & I were the counselors of the oldest girls’ cabin), so we hung out a lot. I guess I should also include the information that Will and I used to date. Although it was difficult to get used to at the beginning of the summer, we were able to get over any residual awkwardness very quickly. That’s really fortunate for me, because I consider Will one of my best friends.
How can I describe Will being concerned for me? Well, it’s like Bill, plus more teasing, and being able to see through my “tough girl” act and call me out on it without anyone else knowing. The fact that we both know ASL (though he’s much more fluent than I am) probably helps this situation. Though it irritates other people sometimes. Whoops.
Will was another one of those people who always made sure I got a cup of coffee in the morning. And besides that, he was a good person to vent to and to bounce ideas off of when it came to programming and counseling. Since I wasn’t as familiar with the dynamics of the boys cabins and the counselor interaction and the kinds of issues at each stage, I had a few discussions with Will and relied on a lot of the information he gave me about personality types of the counselors working (especially considering that two of the other male counselors were relatives of his).
When it came to my migraines, next to K-Rex, Will was probably the most supportive and helpful. One day when we were sitting in the office doing work - me with my sunglasses on - he walked out and returned in a few moments with a cup of iced coffee he made me because he “could tell [I] need[ed] it.”
I did tell him that he was giving me a headache though the first two Fridays. After Cabin Clean-Up, we went right to the Olympic Relays, and as AD, that was one of his events and something for him to run. Those first to weeks they started super late and we had to cut out another programming element (which was okay and not a big deal), and had to hold our staff meeting during Lunch. He drove me NUTS with that. The third week though, we somehow finished right on time which led to excessive celebration.
Although I joke about such things, he got me coffee, gave me his sunglasses for awhile the one time I forgot mine, let me sneak 15 minute naps in the back office, he drove my car when we were all going out to the Chinese Buffet over the weekend but I had already taken meds, and various other little things like checking to make sure I was drinking enough water or gatorade. One night he even offered to do rounds for me. I would have taken him up on the offer if I wasn’t sure he would have stayed out past curfew. (He was the only counselor I had to tell to go into their cabin because it was after 1 AM. He told me “I figured that if you came down here, I would go inside, but I was hoping that you wouldn’t make the trek down to 8 at the bottom of the hill from A at the very top”. Needless to say, I sent him inside.)
When we had a problem camper situation, we worked out a solution together and he volunteered to split up patrol sweeps during evening activities with me so I wouldn’t have to do them by myself.
This summer was just more of the same. Two summers ago, I was sick one morning and stayed in bed through breakfast. When I came out of my room, There was a bowl of strawberries on the floor (apparently Father had sprung for a load of fresh strawberries that morning) with a note that he wanted to make sure I got some of them. Last summer when I was super stressed because I was running the Friday Activity and had very little assistance in setting it up and was basically having a meltdown, he literally picked me up, put me in my car, handed me his gatorade and turned the air up at full blast. Chances are there was heat stroke involved (and last summer was really an awful summer for a multitude of reasons).
When I had the horrible migraine day during the third week, Will was the first one to tell me to go back to bed. I told him I would be fine, and then during the meeting I had to walk away because I got super nauseous and knew I wasn’t gonna be able to make it through the whole meeting. However, I just excused myself and tried to leave the meeting in a nonchalant way while Will went over sports. Katherine & Will were the only ones to call me out on it later. They both knew I was sick and prooooobably had something to do with Father sending me to sleep for the afternoon.
After the camping weeks were over, a few of us stuck around for awhile. On the last Sunday we were all around, we were having Vespers because (New Calendar) Transfiguration was on Monday the 6th. I started to get another headache and took my Fiorinal. I then headed over to the staff cabin where we were all watching the Olympics. I fell asleep with my head on Will’s leg, as most of us were napping until Vespers. I was woken up by him carefully trying to not wake me up as he slid a couch cushion under my head where his leg was and covered me up with the blanket he had been using. I slept for a bit longer and then went to Vespers. He was not all that happy with me for waking up to go to Vespers instead of continuing to sleep since I had a headache, but oh well.
Although he lives about 300 miles away from me (he’s in Seminary in Johnstown, PA) he’s conscious of the fact that my migraines happen during the year on a consistent basis. For example, he sent me a text message yesterday morning and when I said something at one point about taking something for my headache and trying to find a place to lie down, he told me to get an ice pack and more rest. When he knows I have a migraine, he’ll check in on me every few hours. He’s done the same thing when I was having kidney stone issues about 2 years ago.
I also give him a hard time about/have finally gotten him to take some proactive action about his shoulder (He dislocated it while in HS [I believe] and subluxes it on a regular basis because the muscles around the shoulder are just too loose. For instance, he once dove into a pool and subluxed. He also did it twice during one of the staff/camper basketball games this summer and was miserably in a sling for about 2 hours. I’m pretty sure he would have buried that sling if it weren’t from the nurse’s station.)
Point I’m trying to make here is that we both give each other a hard time about our injuries/sicknesses, but in the end really just want the other to take care of themselves. But neither of us does it in a way that makes the other person feel babied. More of in a “Will, if you find a way to sublux your shoulder again I’m gonna pop it out the whole way and smack you with it.” or “Rachel, you have a migraine? If I step on your foot or hit you in the kneecap with something hard, will it take the focus off of that pain?” kind of way. We function by giving each other a hard time and mocking each other.
Have I mentioned that we have a weird relationship? Especially for people who used to date? And we have upfront discussions about such things? haha
Okay, that turned into more of a personal thing at the end rather than why he’s such a great person to have around with my migraines, but I think it all ties in. Having that rapport with him makes it easier for him to remind me that I have limits and need to sit back and take a breather every once in awhile. Especially when I’m in a stressful position and don’t need a migraine.
I really do love my friends.
…And thankfully for me, Fr. Stephen, the Camp Director is a preeeeeetty sweet boss to have when you have migraines…