I've not had a great many close friends in my life, but many of them have been amazing and still are.
The Tennessee girls (Keely, Kendall, Leah, Tracy) and I share so many precious and ridiculous memories. "Murder in the dark" and a winking card game come to mind. We have so many laugh-until-you-hurt slumber parties. We went to church camp together. They often embraced my obsessions and let me direct wild plays. We all cried the last night I saw them before moving out of state.
Harmony was older than us, but boy did she and I have fun. Riding a Wave Runner, jumping into the lake, crawling around in various forts in the attic, under the stairs, and under the house. We played hide and seek in the dark. She always made me feel loved.
Keely specifically was so clearly my best friend from birth that it seemed predestined. She was there, in person or on the phone, for most of my growing-up experiences. She (along with my mother) was my original definition of beauty.
Melissa and I met when we were 14. We became friends immediately. So many notes, letters, chicken sandwiches, shopping trips, and shared secrets. We have walked through such terrible things together. And we've shared so much laughter and outrageous gift giving. We often kept each other going.
And I'm so blessed now to have a relatively new friend who lives in the complex next door. Bruce and I met at work, and we carpooled for a long time. He has read books about my illness to help him understand and know what to do. We've read books together--a tiny book club. He has helped me sand down the edges of my most painful memories. We laugh so much that Josh says we'll get kicked out of stores. Bruce takes an interest in all I do. I know I could trust him with the worst.
I've been so lucky to have these precious friends.