Friends. In my list of life blessings, they are pretty high. I've had a number of them over my lifetime but only a few have made the "list" of best friends. (And yes, i believe you can have more than one best friend . . . ) Let me introduce you to them.
The first one is my husband. You've heard plenty about him over the course of these blog entries, of course. I truly cherish the man (even when I'd cheerfully throttle him) because he is the kindest person I have ever met. He has more integrity than anyone I know and I still wonder how I was lucky enough to nab him almost 27 years ago. I can be totally myself with him in ways that I know other couples haven't yet discovered. He truly has seen me at my best and my absolute worst and he is STILL HERE. Whew.
The second is my daughter, Nicole. I once was very close with my oldest daughter, Jasmine. I lost her somewhere around the age of 16, I think. I miss what we had every single day and harbor the hope that one day we will rediscover a fragment of it. However, I am incredibly lucky because I also have Nicole. She is almost 19 and she still likes me! We share secrets, laugh to the point of crying, and generally adore each other's company. She reassures me, by who she is, that I must have been a decent mom because wow, look how she's turning out! If I am gonna hang out with another female, she is my first choice. We 'get' each other in a unique and special way that I had in some ways with my own mother--another best friend whose loss I mourn.
But guess what? I'm lucky enough to have TWO more incredible friends. One used to live two blocks from me and now lives 2000 miles. The other lives 10 minutes from my house and I hope she always will.
My Indiana friend . . . . anyone who knows her is blessed. She is the heart of compassion and gentleness. She loves her family with a passion I admire. She is strong, determined and if you hang around long enough to really know her, you find out she has a wicked sense of humor under the surface. She is one of the most ethical people I have ever met. I used to call her my "ethic barometer" and seek out her advice and thoughts on the issues that mattered most to me. I can't tell you how many hours we spent sitting across a kitchen table talking about everything from the mundane to the ridiculous to the profound. I miss those times terribly. Almost 8 years after we left our Indiana lives behind, I cling to our friendship and write letters and emails because she is the epitome of a forever friend to me and I never want to lose what we have developed. I just adore that lady.
My Oregon friend. . . . just thinking about her makes me smile. She has the best, quickest sense of humor I have ever known. I would never, ever want to get in a verbal joust with her because I would lose big time. (And if I ever get on her shit list, I am just going to pack up and move to a foreign country.) She is clever and witty and makes me laugh every day. Under that ironic, sarcastic sense of humor, however, is one of the gentlest hearts in the universe. She has been there for me too many times to count, whether it's a last minute birthday cake for one of my kids to a loan when she knew I needed one to teaching me how to do crafts (kicking and screaming) because she knows I can do them even I happen to disagree vehemently. Stashed in between our joking and our almost nightly instant messaging are thoughts about life, love, marriage, men, children and other deep subjects that we trust each other enough to confide in about. I love my life in Oregon and moving here was one of the best things I have ever done . . . and this friend is one of the reasons why. I adore this lady too.
My life is so much richer for the amazing people that share it with me. I try to count my blessings on a regular basis and you can bet that everyone I mentioned here (and yes, a few more along the line) are top of the list. I hope you're just as lucky in your life. And if you haven't found that best friend yet, keep waiting. You just never know where they are hiding--hoping to meet a friend like you.