Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies. ~ Aristotle
It is true. Finding Amber when I was eight was like finding a missing part of myself. We knew each other before we were born, there is no question in my mind about that. She saved my childhood from so many side street and back alley decisions.
When we were together we were inseparable. I saw her once a week at church and whenever our parents let us get together on holidays. We didn't talk about boys - not really. We didn't spend hours on the phone either. If we phoned each other it was to confirm play dates. We spent all our time doing something that ultimately made us laugh. We spent hours playing with her Barbies -hours. We recorded murder mysteries on cassette tapes, orchestrated dress up parties, ate a scary amount of salted crackers with margarine, drove her father crazy listening to the Yentl sound track, celebrated our birthdays together and we never missed ringing in the New Year with each other.
I adored Amber and I adore her still. I hate that I can't think of the right kind of words to describe her. She is the most forgiving, long suffering, patient person I know. She always believed in me and because of her I felt lifted into myself and the person I was meant to be. That isn't a cliche comment or a trite one. It is really what she did for me. I honestly believe had I not met Amber my life would be very different. I believe my life would be sad and empty. I think I would have lost myself to temptations and bad examples. Her example has always kept me straight.
It's coming on 30 years of friendship (wow! some marriages don't last that long!). Amber Emma Mary is a very special person in my life. Her name is quietly revered in our home among the children. I named my 4th child after her. When the moments are just right for reminiscing I tell the children stories about two girls wrapping themselves in a string of balloons and chasing each other with pins. I tell them about the darling duo tying sheets to their wrists and feet and standing out in the wind. I tell them about how truly blessed I feel to be given such a gift from God.
Now that we are grown ups we do more mature things like...spray paint from water guns onto canvas or watch Angelina Jolie videos and laugh at the melodrama ("Oh my, Dr. Peters, she's in the cotton fields!") or try to dry our hair using an oscillating fan.
There are days when I want to pack up our house and move closer to her. Distance can be a bitter barrier for kindred spirits. If I know my husband, he'd uproot this family and scramble his barrings and give me my way if I pleaded enough. For now he puts away money so she and I can take trips to tiny Canadian islands. My hope, when the family is grown, is to move closer to her. I cradle that notion in my heart and nurture it in my dreams.
Let's become old ladies together-
We'll stay up late looking at old pictures, telling 'remember when stories', and laughing til our sides ache.
Let's become eccentric together-
The kind of old ladies who take long walks, wear silly hats, and get away with acting outrageous in public places.
And if anybody should ask how long we've been friends, we'll say, 'Oh forever-since before you were even born'!
Let's become little old ladies together because a friendship that's as special as ours can only grow better through the years.