Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Something to Celebrate

Do you have a friend who has been a part of your life for longer than she hasn't? I do. Her name is Elizabeth and today is her birthday. We've been friends since the days of braces and bangs. This is what we looked like when we were thirteen:

We met in middle school in the sixth grade. By seventh grade we were spending every single Friday night together. It was like growing up with two sets of parents, being us. We went to the same high school and spent enough time together that we were frequently asked if we were twins, despite the fact that we looked as alike then as we do now. We also fought like sisters when we were younger, as two people who are inseparable often do.

We went to separate colleges, but that didn't change anything except the frequency of our in-person conversations. She called me at 3 o'clock in the morning the night she met her husband.

I was there three-and-a-half years later when Lofton proposed:

And twelve months after that when they got married:

When I met Hugh, in the way that your truest friends do, Elizabeth knew there was something special about him. So when I brought him home to meet the family, she and Lofton drove home to meet him and make sure he was a keeper:

Three years later she was there, as the world's cutest mama-to-be, when I married Hugh:

She called me the morning she found out she was pregnant with Reese. In my excitement, I knocked everything off my bathroom counter and spilled my coffee. And when he was born, I loved Reese not just because he was completely lovable, but because he was hers:

So, all this to say Elizabeth is just part of who I am. Our phone calls over the years have changed from boys and clothes and lipstick and when we would next go to the mall to husbands and cooking advice and clothes and chatting with Reese, but they are still never more than a few days apart.

In the drawer in my bedside table, among the random assortment of pens and spare keys and extra watches, I have a letter from Elizabeth. It's the note she gave me the day we left for college. At the end of it is a quote, "Like soul sisters, they filled their days with easy conversation and comfortable silences." And that's what our friendship is like. Just easy, like being friends with someone you can't imagine your life without.

Today I am sending her the wish of a very happy birthday and a fabulous twenty-eighth year. And a thank you - my life is so much better because of you, E. If I were there, I'd make you a balloon bouquet. Love you forever.

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