Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Happy Birthday, BFF

I was nearly a full week late with my Thanksgiving post. And now, my BFF's birthday has come and gone. I am a lousy friend.

But my message is heartfelt, and I know she'll read it. And it won't matter to her that it's a day late or a week late or a month late, because she'll know that the words I write today are the same ones I felt about her yesterday, when her real birthday happened.

I think everyone ought to have a very best friend. Not your average run-of-the-mill best friend, but a VERY best friend. The kind of friend you can call in the middle of the night when you've been out and have had too much to drink. Or the kind of friend you can call in the middle of the day when you need to go out and get too much to drink.

I have that friend, and her birthday was yesterday. So, today, I will honor my friend Jimz. Not her real name of course, but it is her real nickname, one of many we have accumulated for her throughout our friendship.

Jimz and I found each other in 1991 after I graduated from college and moved home. We were in a group that purported to be a leadership training organization for young people. I realize now, in hindsight, that it was just a bunch of twenty and thirty somethings who liked to get together and par-tay like a rock star. But that's how we became friends.

I have to give my friend credit for the biggest things in my life. Not once, but twice, she somehow managed to land me a job where she was working. The first time it happened, I met MrG. The second time it happened, I found a job that truly makes me happy. I would hazard a guess that my life would have taken a profoundly different turn without her presence in my life.

In all of these years, we've squabbled occasionally, but we've never drifted apart. We only argued once over a boy in all of this time, and he turned out to have been a lousy choice for both of us anyway.

She has been there for me through thick and thin, and I would like to think I've been as present for her as she has been for me. We have cried together over loans we couldn't qualify for, and celebrated when we finally got our mortgages. We've been there for each other when our parents have been sick, and through the heartbreaking loss of pets we loved so dearly.

She knew before probably anyone that I would marry MrG. And she stood with me when it happened. She cheered me on when we tried so hard to get pregnant, and she was with me the day LittleG joined us.

We have been together through lousy jobs and horrible bosses and broken relationships and hard times. And we have been together through the celebrations of life - marriage, babies, degrees, career changes, and finally the peace that being forty something and reasonably established brings.

Kahlil Gibran said, "a friend is your needs answered" and that is certainly the case for me. Jimz is the Yin to my Yang, the Introvert to my Extrovert. She seems to know just what I need, whether it's just to sit and listen to me, or to reduce me to giggles like a schoolgirl over something stupid. She's talked me down off the ledge a time or two, and she's called me on the carpet when it's in my best interest. She is gentle with me when I'm not gentle with myself, and she's strong when she needs to be strong.

I could get all Jerry Maguire on you and say that she completes me, and it wouldn't be far from the truth. I'm like a crayon box, and she's like a purple crayon. All my pieces just don't fit together right unless the purple one is there to fill up the box.

So for my VERY best friend who helped me find my place in this world, and who has made that place a happy one, Happy Birthday, Jimz.

And many more.....

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