December 20, 2010

The best friend a girl could have...

As I was growing up, I always had a best friend, a girl who I’d play with in the early years, shop with in the later ones, and a little of both in those middle school years.  It wasn't the same girl through the years, but there was always one at any given time who had that special place in my life.
First there was Kimmy, my neighbor up until I was five years old and we moved away.  At that age, being the same age is enough to make you best friends.  We played Mickey Mouse Club, pretended to be everything under the sun, and always had fun together.  We were inseparable, but moving half an hour away changed that.  Such is the nature of childhood friendships.
Kimmy and I on our first day of kindergarten

Then there was Shannon, who lived down the street at my new house.  We played dress-up, Nancy Drew, and sold door-to-door our fresh-picked bouquets of Queen Anne’s Lace from our woods.  She taught me how to sew by hand, and I taught her how to play some songs on her toy piano.  She was my best friend until she moved half an hour away a few years later, and life went on.
Playing dress-up with Shannon - I'm the one with the stylish red hat

Along came Kristin, my middle school buddy.  The picture below is from a school project on Egypt we did together when we were about ten or eleven, what I apparently thought was a great opportunity to put on bright red lipstick.  We had lots of fun together through those transitional years of life, from our love of Cabbage Patch dolls to our plans to each marry someone from Duran Duran.  We were good friends for a long while, and though like most childhood friendships it faded away with changes in circumstances, I'll always have fond memories of time spent with her.

Dawn and I, seen below in our decidedly awkward years, met when her family moved to Rochester, New York and started coming to Northgate Bible Chapel, where my family and I had been going every Sunday for my whole life.  I had other friends there too, but when Dawn came, she was the first girl in that small group of Christians who was exactly my age.  As kids, that is enough on which to build a new friendship.  We had our ups and downs, as girls often do, but were friends for years, especially in our teens, and were each other’s maid of honor at our weddings.  We live very far apart now and are only in touch once in a while, but she’ll always have a place all her own in my memories of my younger years.

My high school graduation,
my best friend by my side
Elizabeth was a special best friend I met in my high school art class in my senior year.  (It was reading her blog that I’ve mentioned before, Chandelierious, that first gave me the thought to try doing one myself.)  Elizabeth was a freshman, but that didn’t deter us from discovering we were two peas in a pod: music lovers and fashionistas with everything but age in common.  Her maiden name is West, and mine Westfall, so I’m guessing we were placed next to each other in that class for alphabetizing reasons.  However it began, we hit it off immediately and we were inseparable for my whole senior year.  I have nothing but great memories of time spent with this lovely girl, and was thankful to reconnect with her through Facebook recently.  But twenty years have passed, and we no longer sit in her basement rec room singing favorite selections from musicals or talking about the fabulous deals we got on our new shoes.

All these best friends came and went in my life, as I did in theirs.  But my best friend now is one who has held that spot in my heart since we met seventeen years ago, and will hold that place for as long as we both shall live.  This one knows nothing about fashion, whose outfit is the same on any given day: white shirt, black pants.  This friend can’t distinguish colors from each other, and is definitely no fan of musical theater, decorating, shopping, painting, chit-chatting for its own sake or anything else I like to spend my spare time doing.  We don’t even have gender in common.  He’s a stoic, strong, intelligent, and faithful man, who lately has spent his spare time building an airplane but wouldn’t dream of spending it scrapbooking like me.  On the surface we’re as different as can be, unlike all those best friends of my youth.  But my life would be empty and pointless without him.
I could write for days on end telling you what I love about him and why we’re so happy together, but I won’t.  He knows and I know, and you don’t need to.  I’m just grateful to the Lord for giving me the best friend I’ve ever had, and the only one I need.  I don’t deserve this special man, but I’m so thankful to be married to him, and to have the privilege of walking side-by side with him through life, raising our family, and doing our best to follow our Lord together.

1 comment:

  1. I love the way you write and I LOVE THIS POST! Great job, Laura!!