I don’t even know where to begin. I could write about when we met (biology, McQueen) or when we became friends (listening to “Rockabye” on the way to and from that youth conference in Sparks, which at that point, seemed SO far away) or even the times we visited each other in Santa Barbara and Folsom and Fayetteville and Seattle. I could detail the future plans we have to visit each other in South Africa and Japan or the plans we are making for our “sisterchicks” vacation in 12 years. I could reminisce about the times we have commiserated over school and family and friends. I could even wax poetic about all the big decisions we had to make over the years, many of them coincidentally occurring at the same time. Our “big” moves to Fayetteville and Seattle and then our even bigger moves to Misawa and Capetown. Our frequent talks on the phone about visas and customs forms and passports, where one of us calmed the other down, only to switch places the next day. Those days I thought I would collapse from the stress, only to feel better knowing that you were facing the same situation and that I wasn’t alone. Yes, I could talk about a lot of the memories I have, some ancient past and others more recent.
Instead of writing about all of those things, though, I decided instead to write about how I feel about all of those things. Despite moving all over the world, changing jobs, graduating, making and losing new friends, our friendship has been one of the few constants in my ever-changing world. I always know that even if we haven’t talked in a while, you are my best friend and sounding board and venting buddy and prayer warrior and fellow world-traveler. I know you’re only a skype call (or facebook chat) away and that I’ll soon have a two hour conversation with you that will inadvertently make us both laugh, cry, and then laugh again at our crying.
I feel so lucky to have been a significant part of your first 30 years and am excited to continue in that role during the next 30.
Happy birthday, friend.