You may have noticed that this photo is also my most recent Facebook profile picture. It was taken in March at the bridal shower of my god-daughter Allison who is the daughter of my best friend Kate. I just love this photo of Kate and me because it is the perfect illustration to accompany what I wrote to celebrate the 50 year milestone of our friendship:
i thank heaven somebody’s crazy enough to give me a daisy. – e e cummings
I thank heaven that, when I was 12 years old, a new girl enrolled in my school and we became best friends.
I thank heaven that, in high school, we liked walking to school together, and that she forgave me for dating her older brother.
I thank heaven that she has reread The Lord of the Rings trilogy a hundred times and that I can’t hear the names Galadriel or Gandalf or Legolas without thinking of her.
I thank heaven that she knows my history and I know hers, that our shared history informs the advice that we give each other in a way that no one else’s can.
I thank heaven that she thinks my character quirks are endearing, like hanging onto memorabilia from high school (“LOVE lip gloss? Really?”), or my need to hang pictures on every square inch of wall in my home (“let the walls breathe for God’s sake!”).
I thank heaven that she remembers things from our past that I do not (and vice versa) and that she can make me laugh at myself better than anyone I know.
I thank heaven that we have witnessed each other’s first loves, second loves, third loves, divorce, heartache, bad relationships, good relationships, and managed to come out with husbands who love us unconditionally, just the way we are.
I thank heaven that we almost never let men come between us (note “almost”) and that, when we did, it never broke us.
I thank heaven that we have lived to see our children grown and happily launched into lives of their own, and that we have never taken their happiness and health for granted.
I thank heaven that I cannot lie to her, especially at those times when I am trying so hard to lie to myself.
I thank heaven that we can make each other really mad but we both know that we will always be in each other’s corner no matter what we say or do to each other.
I thank heaven that I still have the copy of The Prophet that she gave me in 1971 and that from it we learned, “the deeper sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain”.
I thank heaven that she has tried so hard to better herself through countless self-help books and self-reflection, that she isn’t afraid to unlock those doors in her mind that lead to rooms that might need to be examined and exhumed for ghosts.
I thank heaven that she still says “Lord love a duck” when she rolls her eyes at something ridiculous or exasperating.
I thank heaven I have had someone by my side who truly defines what a friend is, who has shared the highs and lows of daily life with me, who is the first person I call when I have news (good or bad), and who can be counted on to rejoice or condemn or grieve as the situation warrants.
I thank heaven that she can always be counted on to tell me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear.
I thank heaven that she has become the sister that I never had, the North Star in the constellation of my life, and I really thank heaven that we are both still around to share a toast to our next 50, and for the friendship of a lifetime.
Love you, Kate!