Posts Tagged ‘friend’

‎Yesterday my best friend got on a plane and flew almost 3,800 km from here. And by here I mean here where I am, away from me.

I know it’s almost 3,800 km because I googled it. When your best friend tells you she’s moving away, return date unknown, there’s actually very little you can do, or at least very little I felt like I could do, except determine exactly how far away “away” actually is. For some reason it made me feel better, to know the number

She’s only technically been gone a day but already it feels different. Even when we lived much closer together, physically, we still did most of our communicating electronically. The pace of our lives didn’t leave much time for face to face but still there was the idea of it. The idea that if we needed it, wanted it, there could be a quiet cup of tea across a kitchen table, a bag of cookies open in front of us.

There is no doubt in my mind that our friendship will continue. I believe in my heart that it will and that’s really all the guarantee I need. I also have no doubt in my mind that she will one day return, not necessarily because it’s true but because sometimes we need to have ideas to hold onto, whether they are the truth or not.

I know I will miss her, miss her at get togethers when normally she would be in the next room or the next seat beside me on the couch. I will miss her when August turns into September and we don’t celebrate our birthdays together. I will miss her in December when our annual holiday party doesn’t include a few stolen moments to do our own little gift exchange. I will miss her in February when the Academy Awards are on and I will miss her in the summer when we used to sit on the grass and solve the problems of the world.

But mostly I will miss her in the quiet moments when I feel alone and need to hear her voice or see her words written on the page. Fro so much of my life she has been the voice inside my head telling me, contrary to what I may think, I can actually do it; whatever it may be.

And the good thing is, the thing that I am holding onto in these first days as I adjust to the new normal, is that I know she’s still there when I need her. I can still send her an email or a message and she will be there to tell me exactly what I need to hear. If I need to hear her voice, I still can, through the wonders of technology I will be able to see and hear her on a little screen and we can still sit across the table and have a cup of tea. Only this time we’ll each have our own bag of cookies.

She is 3,800 km away from here, away from me. But I know in my heart we are true friends and no distance can change that.

And that means 3,800 km is not really that far after all.

Almost 3800 km

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Because she taught me not to apologize for who I am.

Because whenever I’m around her, we laugh louder than I ever thought possible, and I don’t even realize it until someone leans over to tell us to keep it down.

Because I don’t have to explain myself to her; I don’t have to give the background or the context.  She gets it because she gets me.

Because she doesn’t realize how a room changes when she walks into it; how everyone is instantly drawn to her.

Because she cheers me on when I need it; and calls me on my shit when I need that too.

Because sometimes I still feel like she’s too cool to be friends with someone like me, but I know she doesn’t think so.

Because she believes I am better than I have ever believed myself to be.

Because she knows that accessories don’t make the outfit, accessories are the outfit.

Because she remembers things I said long after I forget ever saying them.

Because no matter how exhausted she is from taking care of a feisty little girl, she always has time to listen, to answer a text, to reply to a message, to pay attention.

Because she never lets me off the hook.

Because whenever I tell her Jann Arden is coming to town, her response is always “are you getting the tickets, or am I?” even though we’ve already seen her a dozen times.

Because she knows the four best places in the entire world are the library, Michaels, Chapters and Shoppers Drug Mart.

Because she believes in the power of red lipstick.

Because she admits to watching the Kardashians.

Because she sends me little gifts in the mail when I’m feeling down.

Because she makes me want to do great things; and makes me believe that I actually can.

Because she has changed almost everything about her life and yet still stays true to who she is.

Because she knows that celebrity gossip is just as important as world events.

Because she reads amazing books and then tells me about them.

Because she understands the healing power of a cup of tea; and the important role that chocolate should play in everyone’s life.

Because she is an amazing mother who makes no apologies for talking about how hard it is.

Because I can’t ever imagine a day when we will run out of things to talk about.

Because she doesn’t try to smooth over the rough stuff; instead she reaches out her hand and tells me we’ll get through it together.

Because I know she will cry a little when she reads this.

Because I can’t imagine who I would be without her.

Because even though we were born two weeks and hundreds of miles apart, sometimes it feels as though she is the other half of me.

Because she is the best.

Because today is her birthday.

Because I’m thousands of miles away and can’t give her a birthday hug so for now these words will have to do.

Happy birthday my bosom friend.

Because you are special to me every single day; today just seemed like a good day to make sure you know it.

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my friend

We met by chance on a VIA Train heading from Ottawa to Toronto. We were both getting off at stops before Toronto so we ended up on the same car. As luck would have it there was an empty seat beside me and she politely asked if it was taken. It wasn’t, and invited her to sit down. We did that thing where we looked at each other, trying to place where we knew the face. We went to the same university, were in the same program, had a couple of classes together. We exchanged pleasantries and settled in for our long trip.

It could have ended there. It could have been but a single moment in our lives, quickly lived and then just as quickly forgotten. Instead, for some reason, unknown at the time, it turned out to be not an ending, but a beginning.

That was, if I can do the math correctly, just over 16 years ago, in October 1996. So much of our lives have been lived since then and, because of that chance meeting, so much of it has been lived side by side.

She is my friend.

Today is her birthday.

It amazes me how some friendships start, like an ember burst from nothing, and continue to burn, seemingly without end. I don’t know what brought us together that day, on that train, but some larger force knew that I needed her in my life, then and now.

She is, without a doubt, the best person I know. She is the kind of person who you can call in the middle of the night, no matter how late, no matter if she just went to bed half an hour before and has to get up two hours later. She will answer your call, convince you that no, you didn’t wake her up and yes, of course she has some time to talk. She will listen to your problems. She will probably even ask if she should come over. Do you need a hug? Can I bring you a cup of tea. She is that person. If there is a bed and a couch, she will insist that you take the bed and make it seem utterly absurd that you would even consider the alternative.

I don’t think I could ever be that person. I think mean things about people and I’m not very good at hiding them. I’m moody and sarcastic and if I don’t like you, you probably already know it. However, the mere fact that she sees fit to be my friend makes me feel like maybe there’s hope for me.

I don’t know a single person in the world who has met my friend and doesn’t love her, almost instantly. She is the kind of person who greets you with a hug and tells you that you look great. And she means it; she really does. And because she says it in such an honest way, she makes you believe it too, even if you’re dressed in sweats with your hair in a ponytail and wearing no makeup. She thinks you look great, and you believe her, because she would never lie to you.

She is the most trusting person I know. Her openness and willingness to throw herself out there have always amazed me. She has written a novel; and has actually let people read it. She has run a marathon. She has weathered storms in her life and continues to get back out there, continues to try, continues to find the best in people and, in turn, they seem to give it to her. She is the kind of person you don’t want to disappoint.

She has amazing taste in books and desserts. She is always accessorized to perfection, is a wonderful cook and is the most patient and loving mother I have ever seen. She is perfect in her imperfections. She never makes me feel like there’s anything wrong with me (which, at times, there definitely is) and she never acts like she is a better person than me (which, as outlined above, she usually is). She is funny and witty and makes it all seem easy, although I know it’s not. She has struggles and difficulties and problems just like everyone else and she is not afraid to share them, to admit she doesn’t always know the answers and that makes her real, and human, and accessible.

She is a better friend than I probably deserve, and I consider her a gift. A gift from someone out there who knew that I need her in my life; that I need her there as an example of how to treat people, how to find kindness and joy in life and how to be a better person. She allows me to be her friend, and not just in name, she lets me earn it. She asks me for help and listens when I offer it. Some friendships travel through time without tests, without work, without earning their keep. Our friendship expects more from us. It expects phone calls, cups of tea, glasses of wine and legs folded on couches. We have talked through the problems of the world together and made them better for no other reason than because it confirmed that we are not alone.

We are a long way from being those two girls, forced together by a chance meeting on that train. We both now have husbands and kids, responsibilities and jobs, houses and to-do lists that are way longer than we can ever actually tackle in one lifetime. We have said many goodbyes since then, to relatives and loves, and also to dreams and expectations of what we thought our lives would be like.

But we are still friends. We have seen each other through a lot in the past 16 years and I have leaned on our friendship more times than I can count. And each time I have needed it, it has been there. No matter how much time has past, no matter how much it has been neglected due to busy schedules and conflicting calendars; it has remained. Willing and able to jump up when it is needed, to provide the support and strength that is lacking and then to settle back, a constant.

I don’t know what I have done to deserve a friend like her but I appreciate and never take for granted all that she has brought to my life. And today, on her birthday, I struggle to know what to give her to show her all that she means. It’s not something that can be wrapped in a box and tied up with a ribbon, although she deserves that and so much more.

And so instead I give these words, in the hopes that today of all days she will read them and realize she is special, and loved and thought of, not just today but every day of our friendship.

Happy birthday my dear friend. I don’t know what I would do without you.

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I promise that tomorrow I will be excited for you. I will have a huge smile on my face and give you a big hug, delighted by all that is going right for you.

I will tell you that you absolutely deserve it, that you have worked so hard. I will be supportive and genuinely happy for you. I will be appreciative of all I have in my own life and will know that one day soon it will be my turn.

Tomorrow I will do all and be all.

But not today.

Today I’m going to be the exact opposite of all of that.

I’m going to be angry that you were given something you weren’t even looking for, something you didn’t even ask for. I’m going to be bitter and wonder why the good things always seem to happen to others while I’m left to pick up the pieces, to make do with the scraps that others leave behind.

I’m going to focus on the negative instead of the positive. I’m going to dwell on the belief that good things are going to continue to pass me by. Forever. I’m not going to be able to see all the good things I have in my life; I’m going to be too busy wallowing to appreciate the gifts I’ve already been given.

I’m going to be sad, and angry, and disappointed, and depressed.

So if you’re smart, you’ll leave now and come back tomorrow.

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