Friday, March 20, 2009

There's nothing like a best friend

Last week I visited my best friend from grade school. We were inseparable in 8th and 9th grade. Then my family moved to Wisconsin, we kept in touch, as friends do. The letters and phone calls became farther apart until at times they were decades apart. There would be an occasional call or card. Then, last spring, we reconnected and vowed that we would not lose touch again.

We had not seen each other in 15 years. I think we were both apprehensive. Would we have anything in common? Would we find anything to say, besides reminiscing about our early teenage years? Would it feel forced and fake?

Then magic happened. It was like I saw her yesterday. The conversation just flowed. Funny stories, stories of hurt and loss, stories of tipped over boats and practical jokes. For four days we hung out on the beach, ate, visited with a few of her friends, walked, and talked. And talked. And talked. We listened to each other's story of life going by, wondering at our different paths, sharing our troubles, our passions and our sense of humor. We still "get" each other. We've known each other for forty years. And for all that we have changed, all that we have been through, we view life so similarly. The love in our friendship blossomed and I could have hugged her forever. She has a beautiful smile, a kind heart, a fun spirit and a sharp mind. She's a survivor, a trooper and a strong woman. I feel so lucky that she was part of shaping my life.

We did more than reconnect. We built a bond that will last until the day we die. Or perhaps beyond.

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