Here’s the Thing: Friends are forever

I have one great friend that grew up with me from childhood into adulthood. She’s very much the sister I never had, minus the sibling rivalry. We were side by side at all times, hanging out every chance we got, and there was literally no secret I could keep from her.

Then she got the black lung. Not really, but it was starting to sound like a documentary and that would have made a great segue way. OK so no black lung, but she lives in Wasilla and see each other sparingly so it’s kind of the same thing. It’s not a bad deal really, every few months we try to meet up. Maybe I’ll give you her address so you can go visit her; she loves it when strangers stand in her driveway.

It’s funny that we were such good friends growing up. Not like, haha funny, but like it doesn’t make sense so it’s ironic sort of funny. Not a belly laugh, but maybe a sideways chuckle. OK, now that we cleared up that, she is like a vanilla bean. Subtle, but very effective. What’s the point of life without vanilla? I’m like chocolate. People that like me, like me. People that don’t like me are weird and confused. But as a team, we grew together.

Adults loved her. Growing up, she was naturally good with kids and enjoyed babysitting. People trusted her. I was more like the last resort for desperate times. I was trustworthy, but you could bet I’d eat all the Cheez Whiz too. She babysat, because she loved the kids. I did it, because I loved the parents. Adults told us having kids isn’t easy and having time off is nice. I supposed I could sympathize long enough to raid their refrigerator and talk on the phone for a couple hours while they enjoyed a date night.

When it came to boys, I was the first to ditch the girl code. I was a real pillar of strength. Instead of slowly go into any adventure, my style was to dive right in like a boss. A good example of that is that I married the first guy I sloppy kissed. The nice part is, she has known my husband as a kid (practically) too and they are quite a bit alike. She also married someone similar to me. On some strange level we can give each other helpful marital advice. Mine is usually, “Tell him he’s pretty, they love that.” Hers was better: “Give him beer, then wait for emotions.” We were both joking. Sort of.

This past weekend an emergency situation happened, so I flew up to Anchorage (with my wings) to be with family. After everything was in control and in good hands, she met me up there. We spent the weekend just like the ones we were so used to. It felt like old times. My kids weren’t with me so I wasn’t saying, “Sorry I freaked out on you guys again,” every few minutes and got to just enjoy her company along with her three kids. It was like bonding with an extension of her, so it filled my heart.

One of our favorite things to do together is eat good food. Right? Is there even any other way to bond?

We both even have the same dietary “rules” if you will, so eating with her was even more like finding a diamond in a pile of poke (marinated ahi tuna). We ordered that and other platters of appetizers, then shared it buffet style. These days I enjoy my healthy veggie drinks and puree my cares away. But I haven’t had coffee in 3 months and it felt like a party so I let her make me a creation from the coffee shop she works at. Two Hawaiian salted caramel iced americanos later (we party hard), I couldn’t imagine life possibly getting any better. But then we found out our favorite store was having a deep discount sale, so in fact, it did.

Here’s the thing, be around those that bring out the best in you, not the stress in you. What could have been a scary, intense weekend turned out to be a peaceful, fun weekend. I finally cried on the way to the airport, because it all hit at once. As someone who cries at everything, it felt good to emote in this way (my husband is a lucky man). It was a big tidal wave of refreshing. My family is safe and God is faithful to us.

When peace offers itself to me in the form of my best friend, it’s an overwhelming blessing in the middle of the storm. A peace that surpasses all understanding. I love this girl. I love celebrating life with her.

Kasi McClure enjoys being a wife and mother of two in Kenai. She can be reached at columnkasi@gmail.com.

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