Thursday, January 7, 2010

Forever Best Friends

Best friends play paper dolls and dress up with you. Best friends love you when no one else does. Best friends get in fights with you and love you anyway. Best friends stand with you when you get married. Best friends share their children’s love with you. Best friends share your grief when you lose a parent. Best friends are still best friends when you don’t hear from them or see them often. Best friends come to your child’s wedding. Best friends are forever.

In one week my childhood friend, my best friend, my friend from Neff Road will come to Oregon for my son’s wedding. Along with her will be two of her daughters and families. I sit on pins and needles waiting for them. Brenda has been a ‘mom’ to my son James. If I listen closely, I can hear them laughing together. The smiles are that of a mother and child.

Brenda and I have lived apart since we were 18. Most of that time, we have been years and states apart. It has not always been easy. I have longed to have her with me when my marriage failed, when I was so alone. But just knowing she cared, brought her home to me once more. I have a strip of pictures of us on the frig taken in a photo booth in Dayton when we were in our forties. We were older yet the same love and friendship we shared as children show in our faces. One week and those girls on Neff Road will be together again.

My sisters are my best friends, too. No, they are more than best friends. They are the other part of me. My sister, June, will arrive for the wedding in six days. If I were a puppy, I’d piddle on the floor with excitement. Despite the days of our youth when she loved to torment me, we have become very dear to one another. She is my pillar, my strength, my hero. With the holidays, traveling from Florida home to Indiana and now to Oregon, she has taken on much. She will save me from the stress I am experiencing and make me laugh and enjoy the week. I am aware of the sacrifices my ‘best friends’ are making for me and my family. I am blessed.

When James went to school at Northwestern in Chicago, he would go to June’s for breaks and just to get out of town. She gave him a home away from home. She gave him a mom away from mom. When James graduated, we both were there as his moms. They formed a bond of friendship and family that I wish all of the nieces and nephews could have with their Aunts.

I will crawl into the nest once more next week, when Neff Road comes to me. My best friends, those who know me best, will once more come home to that place that waits in my heart. For my son, his mom’s best friends have become his and more.

I know for a fact: Best friends are forever.

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