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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

There is just something wonderful about a Best Friend

I think, all my life, I have made sure to have a best friend. Elementary school, Kindergarten and first grade,  her name was Sharon. She was a year older, she came from a wealthier family, she was the youngest, while I was the oldest. The only thing we probably had in common was our neighborhood. Then we moved away. I moved a lot as a child. My father, being the drunk that he was, guided us through many adventures. Moving, being kicked out of rentals, all that stuff of an alcoholic life.  I, of course, was too young to realize that we were different, in any way. I made friends easily. I have always been lucky like that.

With every move came a different school, in our city. I can count 6 elementary schools, all in the same city. Yes, I knew how to make friends. I was always the new kid.

In fourth grade, I met my best friend, Lynn. She remained someone I cherished throughout High School and beyond. Though our friendship was brief to start, we reunited in junior high, and became fast friends, again. Her household was completely different than mine. She was the youngest child, an afterthought of sorts. Her brothers were married and had families of their own by the time she was a fourth grader. Her parents were older, and she always feared that they would die. The thing is we had more in common. Our sense of humor was compatible. I grew with that friendship, and I think she did too. Then we grew apart. It broke my heart to realize that our friendship was over. It took years and years for me to really even admit that we were no longer friends.

As an adult, I continued to make friends easily. I am proud to say that I have met some wonderful people on this life's journey. While my children were small I related to people with small children. When I divorced,  I surrounded myself with single parents. Our struggles and experiences were similar, and we related to each other without feeling judged.

 One friend, Lori comes to mind. She was bold, and out there. She had three young girls. Her house was always chaotic, and fun. She was bigger than life, bolder than any man, brave and vulnerable at the same time. I remember the day after my husband left me, she knocked on my bedroom window with two mugs of coffee, and got me out of my funk. She knew what to say, where to go, and guided me through one of the toughest times my young life had ever encountered. Through her eyes I began to see myself differently. I was now a single parent, and I had to step it up. We remained friends for years. She finished college and became a teacher. She moved to a small town in northeastern Wisconsin.  I moved back to the city of my birth. She was the maid of honor at my second marriage, to my Jerry. Eventually though we lost touch. I haven't spoken to her for many years. I miss her. I didn't even realize it until I started writing this.

After I moved back to Duluth I became closer to my Mother. She and I became more than mother and daughter, we became best friends. She deserves more than a paragraph, here. She was an amazing woman. She was an artist, and an adventure. I was lucky to have such a relationship. I will compare our friendship to all others. I know that none will ever measure up. Then she died, suddenly. I have written about this before, my terrible time. I was left alone, completely. My house was empty, and I lost my mind for a while.

Something happened, then. I became afraid to get close to anyone. My heart was shattered. Jerry and I repaired our marriage, slowly. He sort of  filled the void. He is in fact a good friend as well as a Husband. But obviously, he is not a girl. It is not the same.

I have a best friend as I write this, although I fear that our friend time is growing less and less. She has had to take on the responsibility of raising her granddaughter. She has no time for friend stuff, now. I love her, dearly. I understand that our friendship will have to take a backseat to circumstance. I will mourn the loss of our time together. I will make an effort to stay in touch. She is worth it, and so am I.