Friday, February 4, 2011

Best Friend #1

As I have 2 bestest best friends in the world, I'm going to be doing 2 letters for the first topic on the list...

Dear Best Friend,

As I was laying in bed last night, trying to relax and go to sleep, so many things began to run through my mind. The letter to you I composed in my head was full of profound phrases and sweet memories...but wouldn't you know, this morning, I couldn't remember a word of it! So, since the emotions behind the forgotten words are the same, I'm hoping that this letter will at least touch and warm your heart.

From the first moment we met, I knew that we were (as Anne-with-an-e Shirley would say) "kindred spirits." I honestly, really and truly, believe that God coordinated our meeting and that we were destined to be best friends for all of our lives. Maybe it's because the other 2 people in our grade were already best friends, or maybe it's because I had only just started that year at that school as a new student myself, but from the instant we first introduced ourselves, I knew two things: 1) I was comfortable with you and could always be myself around you, and 2) we were more than "fair-weather friends." It was a friendship that would stand the test of time, again and again. Even still, we can go months and months without contact, but the moment we see each other again, it's as if no time has passed (except for the amount of talking we have to catch up on!), and we immediately fall right back into that safe haven, that comfort zone. I thank God often for the day he brought you into my life.

I do have to confess, though, that while I tended to be the louder one of our pair, and the one that loved to claim the spotlight, I was always in awe of you. In my mind, there was nobody as amazing as my best friend. (And looking back at how I used to be as a child, I still often feel that way, realizing how much you had to put up with from me! LOL) You talked to adults like equals (though still always with respect), and you used "big words" like "basically." To me, that was huge. It didn't matter that I was 5 whole months older than you, you were the one I looked up to and wanted to be more like. You have always had a grace and poise that I wish I could achieve but have always been too brash, loud and headstrong to accomplish. And your joy is pure. I know you love to dance, but do you want to know something? I love to watch you dance. You are so sincere and full of happiness and peace that you just radiate it onto everyone else around you that's paying enough attention to notice. I felt beyond honored when you let me go with you to a dance class once. I still remember how to do "the grapevine" step.

And I want to apologize. When your dad passed away, I know I wasn't there like I should have been. I wanted to be, and I tried to be, but I didn't know how. I had never before known anyone who's parent had died. You say that knowing that I was there was enough, but I still wish I could have done more. I wish I could have said the right things, what you needed and wanted to hear. To have given you a hug at just the right time. It was an awkward subject for me, but I can't even imagine how hard it was for you. I'm not sure how many 9-year-old's would have known how to act, but I have mentally kicked myself for years over handling it all as poorly as I did.

From writing notes on "cow-tongue paper" to swinging on the swings together at recess. From overnight stays at your place where we had to talk super quietly or we'd be heard through the thin walls (and I'm sure your mom realized we were talking, even at our quietest, because, let's face it...my quiet is not that quiet and your mom is one smart lady!) to dancing with sleeping bags at 3 a.m. From baking food-colored chocolate chip cookies to playing a silly game with a carrot taped to a baseball cap. From belting it out as loudly as we could in choir class to participating in a community musical (to which I still remember some of the lyrics!). From melodramatics to growing into adulthood and realizing that what seemed earth-shattering as a child was really only overreacting. From glasses to braces. From dressing up in prom dresses and going out with the group to swing dancing. From giggling about cute boys to first kisses. And from first kisses to me getting married and having my own kids. You've been there through all of that. I've never really understood what it was that you got out of our friendship, and looking back, I see myself taking so much but not giving nearly as much back into you. But whatever the reason you hung around, I'm grateful for it. I know that, as cliche as it sounds, I would not be the person I am today if not for having you in my life. I've learned so much from you and your example. I may not have been right in placing you on the pedestal that I did when we were younger, mistakenly thinking that you had it all together, that your world was perfect, and that you were what I should aspire to be, but I am eternally grateful that you stuck around me as long as you have. I love you and I am blessed to call you my best friend.

~ Your "Little Donnetta"

1 comment:

Jenny said...

That was wonderful!!!! I laughed and cried. I’ve missed you a lot lately. Whenever there are important thing happening in my life or deep things having to do with my heart esp from my childhood - I miss you! You definitely don’t give yourself enough credit!!! As far as my dad dying, well we were 9 and noone knew how to deal with it or how to help me (not even any of the adults). I was head strong even then and didn’t really know if I needed help or if I was willing to trust anyone to help me. But ya know what’s interesting whenever someone in my family or who I have history with dies, I miss you. I have this innate belief that you will make it better or will understand it better than the next person. I don’t know if you actually would “understand it better” but do know that you would let me cry and cry and cry and then get me kelenex. And then cry with me.

My dearest, I wouldn’t have made it through with out you either. I would have had no one to make mold colored chocolate chip cookies, sing carols, or talk about boys with. No one to still laugh at “BBB”, horsey, appreciate DC Talk, Steven Curtis Chapin songs, smile when you see the name Mrs. Lemmons or Elliot. Laura Ingles Wilder wouldn’t have such a special place in my heart and I wouldn’t like Nancy Drew at all with out you. In fact I like reading because of you! I was always jealous that you could read at least twice as fast as me, good grades seemed to come easily to you (except w/ that crazy 4th grade teacher and math). I think I was too consumed in my own little issue to realize that your good grades weren’t always as easy as they seamed. But you had beautiful hand writing and could spell. I learned how to really read b/c I wanted to keep up with you and the Box Car Children. Oh and then there’s Nancy Drew and our need for adventure and mystery. Do you remember that tree we named? And listening to the church bells wondering if they were mysterious? And cow tongue!!! Wow, I can’t believe you remembered cow tongue. Goodness! If we have daughters can you imagine what they will be like?!?! :) Oh the incredible imagination. If our daughters got together Anne would have nothing on them. But man we would have a handful to deal with :).

My Dearest, there is a special piece of my heart that only you can have. There is so much rich history between us. 17 ½ years!!! That’s a whole lifetime in its self. WOW.

Thank you so much for sharing such a sweet letter w/ me. It really ment a lot! I love you so much!