“Give! Me! That!” she insisted, reaching for my phone – her Mama Bear mode kicking in. I had told her I was fine. She came anyway – let herself in and found me upstairs in the increasing darkness, sprawled across my bed. In one hand I held my phone, in the other, tissues. I was embroiled in a truly painful text exchange.

“Let ME respond, Bethany. I’ll handle this.”

And she would have, if I’d let her – she seemed simultaneously frustrated by, and in awe of, my composure (I was shaky and tearful, but measured).  She wanted me to find my fire.

The expression that she gets on her face when she wants to give someone a piece of her mind (usually in defense of someone she loves) – it’s priceless.  I would adore her for that expression alone.  

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Technically we weren’t childhood friends, having met at the age of twenty-two, but it feels like a lifetime ago…and it was. It’s hard to remember a time when we weren’t friends.

We met at the preschool where we both worked, sidling up to each other on the playground; sizing each other up much like the preschoolers for whom we were responsible.

I remember being really impressed that she was working her way through college – something I hadn’t had to do.  I wasn’t sure I’d have gone if I had to pay for it myself, to be honest. Maybe I would have, but I’d never had to find out. I found her drive impressive. She seemed like a grown up.

From the beginning she treated me like family…and nothing is more important to her than her family.

She has this amazing duality, though – mess with her family and she’s always going to have her eye on you. Watch out. Mess with her – and her heart is so big she will probably give you a million chances to redeem yourself (though she’d never readily admit that).

She is one of those women who can absolutely light up a room with her smile. She is gorgeous, and men find her irresistible, but…

Who she is as human being is so much more than how she looks. Sometimes when a person gets a lot of attention for being alluring or sexy, they can forget how beautiful they actually are on the inside.

I often want to whisper in her ear…You are incredible.

You are smart, compassionate, fierce, loyal, funny, kind…an amazing mother, sister, daughter, aunt, friend…

My dear friend, don’t ever forget…

You. Are. Incredible.

 

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