31 Days, 31 People

When I was about seventeen years old, I was a waitress at the one restaurant we had in our small town and I waited on these two ladies in their eighties. One introduced herself and her friend and we talked a good deal. I think about this thing she said every now and then. She said to me something along these lines, “I hope you’re lucky enough in your lifetime to find a friend like this. A friend who knows everything about you and you know everything about her. A friend you could call under any circumstance and know she’d be on her way to help you, no questions asked.”

Sunshine and I met in fifth grade and while maybe not fast friends, we were always friendly. And yes, Sunshine is her real name. By the time we hit ninth grade, we were officially Laurel and Hardy. Or Tom and Jerry, or any other fun-loving duo with one really tall character and one really short character. Some of my fondest memories are of us singing songs by The Cure and Erasure at the tops of our lungs while racing down the streets of our tiny town on my little red scooter. And we had the most awesome scary dads. Even though we found other friends to spend more time with, in eleventh and twelfth grade, here we are twenty-nine years after first meeting, gearing up to meet for lunch on Friday.

I feel like the people I would say are my friends, are really good friends. But I have to give Sunshine the additional credit for knowing every single thing about me that there is to know and I am pretty sure I’ve got the same intel on her. And we’re friends anyway. Where many friendships drift into a sea of distant and infrequent contact as the waves of life, family, and work build, our friendship is like a tiny, sturdy little tugboat that just won’t quit.

We’ve grown, laughed, cried, we’ve fumbled through relationships, created little human beings, we’ve become adult-orphans, we’ve changed, and we’ve not changed a bit in all our years.

I’m grateful for the gift of true, gritty, to-the-core friendship I have with Sunshine. I’m grateful for her honesty and my ability to be perfectly honest with her. Even when the truth sucks she doesn’t get offended or angry.

I think those ladies from the restaurant all those years ago would be proud of us. When we’re in our eighties, we’re going to say the same thing that woman said, and hope it resonates with whoever takes our order.

Sunshine is absolutely, the friend I know I could call under any circumstance and know she’d be on her way, no questions asked. Twenty-nine years, my friend!



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