2 sweet 2 B 4 gotten.



Remember those notes between friends back in the 80s? I have a collection of them between me and my best friend, MeLissa.

Just being ourselves, circa 2004 maybe
Just being ourselves, circa 2004 maybe

My friend MeLissa and I have been friends for forever. We met in first grade at Rose Hill Elementary School in Rose Hill, Kansas. We rode the same bus for a while, but I’m  not sure if that’s how we became friends or not. All I know is that before long, we were begging our parents to let us have slumber parties together, making board games together out of big sheets of butcher paper, and practicing our gymnastics skills in the yard.

At first glance, we’re not really that similar. MeLissa is quieter than I am, more introspective, and more likely to listen than talk. She prefers the background rather than the limelight, and anyone who knows me knows that I have an extra large ham bone somewhere inside me. When we met, MeLissa lived with her dad in a nice, suburban neighborhood. My family lived in a trailer park, and we were on welfare. But despite all our differences, we managed to create countless fun memories together.

After my family moved out of state, I was worried I would lose my best friend. On the contrary, we became closer. We began writing letters. Real letters, on actual stationary and notebook paper, that required envelopes and postage stamps. In the days before email and Facebook, we kept in touch the old-fashioned way, and it worked. Through the awkward years of junior high, the trials of hormonally charged high school years, and the exuberance and adventures of college, we kept on writing. We’ve tried to be there for each other for the most important times, good and bad. We’ve laughed with one another and cried together, too. We’ve prayed for each other.

I’m beyond grateful for my best friend because of the joy, comfort, encouragement, and sense of calm our relationship brings to my life. I know I can pick up the phone, after not talking to her for six months, and start right where we left off without any pauses or awkward silences. There’s something to be said for forever friends. I wouldn’t trade mine for the world.

I love you, MeLissa. Happy birthday and hope your day is filled with that contagious laughter I love hearing every time I talk to you.


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