I love angels. I love my friends. This saying seems to bring it all together so simply and elegantly.
I am very careful about labeling anyone a "friend." According to Merriam Webster's Dictionary, the definition of friend is: 1) "Attached to another by affection or esteem." I find the term friend to be over used. I have few friends and I am proud of that. I have a diverse group of friends. I'm proud of that too.
I have had a friend in my life for all of my 52 years. Pretty lucky aren't I? She baked cookies with me when I was little and took me on dates with her when I was a tween. I was her Junior Bridesmaid when she was married. I babysat her children when she was a young mother. I watched her children grow, her marriage grow stronger through thick and thin and most recently, watched her face life as a pre- liver transplant patient, a liver transplant patient and a post operative liver transplant patient. I have watched her go through all of the highs and lows she has experienced and have observed the grace and courage she has demonstrated through all of it. I have learned from her, my friend, my sister.
I have a friend that I met at work. She trained me in and stuck by my side as I rose through the ranks. She helped me through my oopherectomy at the age of 26. She made me feel safe through the severe panic attacks I suffered from. She celebrated the adoption of my first child with me. We spent some years apart, both physically and emotionally but we came back to one another like good friends do. We both lost our parents together. I watched helplessly and from afar as she went through not one, not two, but three major heart surgeries. I learned what a survivor is from her. She has been my friend for 30 precious years.
I have a friend that I met when our girls were only 2 months old...nearly 17 years ago. We shared and are still sharing the important milestones of raising daughters together. She has been my creative partner! I've learned beading and how to make stepping stones from her. We took our girls to South Dakota together. She and her husband were at my Mom's 80th birthday party, with lilacs in hand. She rescued me from the only car accident I've ever had in my life...an accident that totaled my car. I'd be lost without her in my life.
I've developed a wonderful friendship through a website for rubber stampers! We are many, many mile apart and I was fortunate enough to meet her once, although it was brief, it was long enough to feel her hug to this day. We've shared many years of our lives through our emails: our children growing, struggling, graduating and some of them becoming adults. We've shared the health crisis of our loved ones and often lifted them in prayer for each other. We know each other's fears and dreams. She's wonderful and I cherish her.
I worked for a teacher that became my friend. She has the energy of Wonder Woman and works miracles with her grade school classrooms. I spent many years as her "right hand woman." We bonded over children and divorce. I admire her drive to always learn, to always take risks and to smile through it all. No moss grows under her feet! When she went from teaching Kindergarten to second grade she said "It's the kindergartner in me that wants a change." I just love that about her. Never afraid to dive into the next exciting adventure.
I met another friend while working at a school. We shared a special bond in our love for the "Special Needs" children we serviced. It didn't take long to see that we were where we were for the same reasons. Little did we know that our friendship would be a lifesaver for us both. We have witnessed many injustices and cruelties over the last few years but it has bonded us like nothing else ever could. She is truly "Grace Under Fire" and I have learned a lot from her.
To all of these women that I am fortunate enough to call my FRIENDS, I thank you all. I only hope that I can be half the friend to you that you have been to me.