I've never been all that great at having friends. I'm insecure, clingy, aloof, selfish and all together obviously confused and confusing.
There is one shining anomaly of this inability of mine and her name is Mindi Lynn.
I should remember how I met her but I do not. It was a very, very long time ago and she had crimped and kind of long dirty blond hair and was often swathed in tie-dyed Grateful Dead t-shirts and jean shorts that were frayed above her knobby knees and thin calves.
I do know we became friends easily and over time through many over fraught teenage trials and tribulations and later over my many pregnancies and her many moves far away from me, back again and then far away again we have remained close despite our few and far between text messages and missed encounters during home visits.
Sometimes I find myself pining for the days when we were bored and had nothing to do but think of ways to get into some kind of mischief, of telling the same stories to each other and gossiping, of me lying my round dark head on her bony shoulder and whining about some boy I was oh so very much in love with.
I find myself missing the time before we had our own cars and our parents bussed us to each others' houses and around various parts of our home city, miss the innocence of cuddling when it was good enough for us two girls to be alone and comfy without the want of a male counterpart.
I enjoyed the wildness of her, how much she loved animals and how careful and kind she was to them. Although I always shrugged her interest off because I did not share her love of animals whatsoever, I was always jealous of her easy way with them, the way her eyes lit up and glowed when she was dealing with them. She was so much more comfortable in the woods than I was and I would follow her on long walks with slight trepidation, spurned on by her obvious wilderness knowledge.
I also was jealous that she was essentially an only child being that her brother was grown and out of the house before we became friends. I wished with every bit of me I could have my parents all to myself like she did and was silently angry at her when she complained about them.
Last week when I was on vacation something hugely tragic happened to her and she being the awesome and unselfish person I have never been able to be didn't want to bother me while I was away and thus I found out about her tribulations today. When I spoke to her and heard the pain and misery in her voice it took all of my adult-ness and all the reminders of my children, my home and my work not to pick up and drive to where she is, many hours away from me.
I have a real friend out there and she is in pain and there she was consoling me, of course she was.
I wanted to take a little sliver out of the internets to thank her for being the amazing and wonderful person I have loved most of my life on this earth and will continue to love until my dying breath. To thank her for being strong for her mother during the tragedy that has befallen their family and to further thank her for being the wonderful and excellent daughter she will be into the future. I want to thank her for impacting me in many ways, for sharing part of my childhood with me and for being my shining star in the distance through my many ups and downs as an adult.
I also want to thank her for the memories that we shared and the memories we will make as time goes on.
I love you Mindi, I always will.
“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”
-A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh