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Sun, Oct 05, 2014 at 10:30PM

 

I think there's something like a National Friendship Day, right? In August?

I missed it.

It's something of a sad statement anyway, that we need a National Friendship Day. Friends  - genuine ones, which are just too rare - are ridiculous creatures, aren't they? They love you when they have absolutely no incentive to do so. They forgive you when you let them down or miss something important. They somehow find the best in you, and they ferret it out. And they demand that you find the best within yourself.

I really should have written this sooner. I tend to be way too busy, always distracted by a project, always running to get somewhere. I miss important dates all over the place. More than that, I lean toward whiny when I'm frustrated, snarky when I'm overtired - and since I rarely get enough sleep or down time... Well, you know what I mean.

But there's this amazing, beautiful person who sits in the middle of my life, taking up a big chunk of my heart. We were already pretty good friends before the day I called her, upset over something I'd said to a boss at work, and I told her about it and waited for her to rebuke me for sassing a superior. 

I knew I was right, and I wasn't sorry for what I'd said to my boss; but I'd never had a friend - or anyone, really - who would've had my back on that. Who would take my side. As a result, I went through my life rarely being bluntly honest with people.

But I told my friend straight-up what I'd done, and the likely consequences of what I'd said to my boss, and her response was this:

"Good for you, lady. Good for you. She had it coming."

From that day on, I relaxed into the blessed reality of the love and acceptance of a real friend.

Sometimes, she sits in front of me with an annoying grin on her face, daring me to drop pretense and get real - like she's waiting for me to stop venting and start talking. Then, she walks with me through the realities of life until I'm centered again. She forgives me my failings. She knows all my secrets, and I'm glad for that - and therein, she reminds me of not only the goodness of other people, but of the potential within myself. 

We work together, dream together, hurt and laugh and cry and celebrate together. When something good happens, I blow up her phone; when something goes wrong, I reach for her first - and she's there, and she loves me through every moment of life. Her presence in the back of my mind gives me a confidence that only one who has been blessed by the miracle of a true friend can understand.

I hope I'm somewhere near as good a friend to her as she is to me. I doubt that I am. And again, I wish I would have written this sooner. 

The thing is, I know that she forgives me for not doing so, because she forgives me for everything - which is how she frees me to be my authentic self. That I can be who I really am, and be loved anyway...? It's absurd. A real friend is, truly, a ridiculous and miraculous creature.

If you have a friend like that in your life, tell her that you love her back. Something like this:

I love you so much, L. You're truly the best, and I don't know what I'd do without you.Thanks for sitting in the middle of my heart with that annoying grin on your face, reminding me that the best of life is found in those rare people who, for no reason at all - except for the beauty within their own souls - love you right where you stand.

More than anything else, thanks for loving me anyway.


=================
Jenna Brooks is the award winning, bestselling author of the critically-acclaimed novels October Snow and An Early Frost.
Find her online at her website: Jenna Brooks

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