They say timing is everything. I don’t know that it’s everything, but it does play a big part. Take friendship. People come in and out of your life. The friend I needed in fourth grade, (Cindy Lanigan) to help me survive my first sleep-over (or survive my not-completing my first sleep-over), was not the same as the friend (Colleen Abrahamson) to whom I told secrets to on the volleyball bus, or the same friend I trusted to make me laugh in the darkest times (Lisa Widmark). And none of these are, of course, the same as the way-beyond-lifelong-soulmate friend (my mom).
I think there are a million shapes in a heart, each needing to be filled. And we are so lucky (or blessed) (or very smart to recognize) when someone comes along to fill that space. And whatever time we are given, is a gift, a perfect gift. Perfection knows no time constraints. It lasts a day, it lasts forever.
There are many friends I don’t see anymore. So many reasons can separate us. And even though the time may no longer be filled together, the spaces in my heart remain complete. For this, I am eternally grateful. For all my best friends, my childhood friends, my college friends, and grown-up friends, my work friends, my art friends, my related friends, my new friends… This book is for you!
I really like who I am with you…
I hope that doesn’t sound bad to say…
I mean it more as a compliment to you, more of a “thank you” really.
You free me to be this person who laughs and
cries and feels and enjoys and loves.
What a relief to be myself,
without performing, or worrying…
just being and becoming who I am…
That’s some gift…
I hope I’m returning it…
because you know what,
I really like who you are with me.
You – in a world filled with so many people,
living so many lives – it’s you.
It’s amazing that your one life can mean so much to mine.
It’s wonderful how much your life matters.
It matters to me if you’re excited or scared, or looking for something.
Out of all the billions of faces, I see you.
I feel your strength, and it helps me feel my own.
I hear a laugh in a crowd,
and I smile, because I know it came from you,
and it makes me feel special to recognize the joy
that comes from your one life.
Out of all the countless drummers,
I hear you. What a beautiful noise.
And yet, we can say nothing, and know exactly what the other means.
We’ve seen each other through beginnings and ends.
You are a constant in this impermanent place.
Thank you for all of it…
and the peace
and the fun
and the calm
and the strength.
Thank you for making car rides shorter.
Thank you for being the person I go to when I need to start the conversation,
“OK, but don’t tell anybody…” and I know you won’t.
And thank you for entrusting me with the same.
Thank you for your ever willing hands,
that are just there to help me,
and not trying to fix me.
Thank you for nodding, when even I know I’m not making any sense.
And thanks for telling me about that thing dragging from my shoe.
Thanks for abiding by the unwritten rule that only one of us can freak out
at a time…and for allowing me the extra turns.
Thank you for the inside jokes
and for laughing at my repeats.
Thank you for knowing things –
with no exhausting explanations needed.
Thanks for being around on Tuesdays,
and not just special occasions.
You’re really good at all the little things,
and that’s a pretty big deal!
Thank you for giving me a part of you, and bringing to life a part of me.
I think that’s what a true friend does,
not only gives you a part of themselves,
but gives you more of yourself –
lets you be yourself.
I know you’re thinking, “anyone could have done it,”
and you’re right, everyone can,
just not everyone does…
But you did, you do…
And for this, my friend,
I make you a promise,
when the daring others look at me,
really look at me, on one of my best days,
they will see you…and they will know,
I am only better for having such a friend.
It makes a difference, you know,
the goodness created between friends.
It grows and it travels, between and beyond.
Some might say, “All of this goes without saying, doesn’t it?”
Maybe it does, but I don’t want to take that chance.
Every day, you need to know how special you are to this world,
and thankfully, to me!
Not to be all dramatic…
We’ll talk tomorrow about nothing and everything.
But before we get deep into conversation
about how cool it is to be like us,
I wanted to tell you that
it’s great to be your friend.