"To 20 years." Our glasses chinked.
I've thought about this post for way too long. A couple of years actually. And even now I falter as I sit here trying to think of words to describe friendship that runs so deep. A girlfriend and I discussed friendship over lunch today. She said, "You know, those friends who you know you could call in the middle of the night." And I smiled.
I do know. I know exactly.
I met Amy during my 7th grade year. She lived next door and she and I and Amber from across the street would meet up each morning to walk to school together.
After 8th grade our family moved to the other side of town and our paths went different ways. But then our Junior year in high school we reconnected. Picked up where we left off. And isn't that how it goes? Those friendships that don't know time or space.
Amy and Devita invited me into their grandiose plans of moving out of our parent's houses and renting an apartment together. And while those plans never came to fruition, our friendship did.
More than 20 years later would find us reminiscing about the past, dreaming together of our futures... this time, instead of math class, we sat on a balcony in Park City, taking in views of the surrounding Rocky Mountains.
We visited shops along Park City's Main Street, meandered over to the Olympic Park where we watched people acrobat off the end of the ski jumps, stayed up late looking at pictures and yearbooks, remembering, pondering, looking at past events through the lens of 20 years of experience and insight.
Our times together are magical. I don't know how else to put it. We're three unlikely friends, so different in our perspectives, so different in how we come at life... and yet, there's something enduring about our friendship that not only transcends time, space, and differences, but weaves together a work of art.
On one of the evenings we met at Amy's house she fixed Devita and I a salad that was pure culinary art. She served us Italian Wedding Soup with it. And the part I found so endearing -- romantic, really -- is that Amy's two daughters joined us with their fish sticks, green beans, and grapes. They conversed with us, sharing their stories and funny antics. When dinner was over Amy cut and colored mine and Devita's hair. After the little girlies were tucked in bed, the three of us watched the "Ya-Ya" movie, sipped wine, stayed up until 2 AM talking, crying some, and laughing.
Our friendship... it's the stuff great movies are made of.
Amy, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! You've taught me so much about what really matters in life. Truly, I am a rich woman to have you as my friend. Your deep love for life and family and friends never ceases to inspire and challenge me. It is because of you that I see the world as a place to explore and learn and grow and try new things... all those long conversations during which you would tell me about history, art, music, people... I can trace my interest in visiting the world back to those times with you, where we'd each have a steaming mug of chocolate, you curled up in the armchair, me on the couch. It is because of your influence in my life -- you consistently, constantly, knowing all the perfect ways to touch me to the core of my soul -- that I've learned to value the sacredness of moments... especially with those I love in my life.
I love how you always seem to know the perfect food, place, music, gift, drink, event, people, conversation... for every moment. I love the way you love your husband and your girls. The way you live your moments deeply and profoundly. Transparent. Thank you for always believing in me. For seeing more in me than I see in myself. For showing me what it looks like to be brave. For challenging me to look deeper, ask more questions, and be true to who God made me to be. For teaching me not to wait for "special occasions"... to always kiss my husband hello and goodbye... that each day is a special occasion. I treasure every conversation, every laugh, every tear that you and I have shared in our friendship.
Again, happy birthday, my dear girl.
May you always be blessed;
with walls for the wind,
a roof for the rain,
a warm cup of tea by the fire,
laughter to cheer you,
those you love near you
and all that your heart might desire.