Today is Denise's birthday and I celebrate her. We have been friends for ten years and she has helped shaped who I am as a grown woman and mother. We met when our daughters were six months old in a "mommy and me" class. I had signed up with another great friend from my neighborhood and soon we evolved into a group of six or seven moms and kids who rotated play groups from house to house.
As the years went on, at least four of us moved away- that being the nature of life in LA it seems, but Denise and I were still here and still got together even as I added a second daughter to the mix and Denise's eldest went from middle school to high school (and has now graduated college and is heading for grad school). Our girls are still friends and we get them together from time to time. They pick up right where they left off, as kids do, even as they each sprout wings and progress toward who they will become as the years pass. Denise and I, though, seem to manage to get together despite how busy we both are. It is important to us to maintain this great bond and it helps to keep us grounded.
She listens and advises, and has even let me cry on her shoulder when it felt like my world was crashing down around me. We celebrate each other's victories and curse the defeats. She walks with me for exercise and slows her pace to match mine when needed. She is strong in her faith and loyal to the end. She keeps my confidences and buoys me up when I am sinking. We laugh together and have grown older together. We accept each other.
She is my true friend, and I need her in my life. I wish her the happiest birthday today and send all my love. I look forward to celebrating so many more years of her life entwined with mine.