We met in the middle of a hot July. Both in our early twenties, married a day apart, same flippy blonde hair, and beginning our jobs at DaySpring.
I remember taking a walk in the park a little bit later. It seemed that early awkwardness of building a relationship was never there for us. We just started talking and haven’t stopped since.
I also remember the moment, briefly after, when she said something and I thought, “We’re friends.”
We shared our hearts over coffee, almost fell on the floor laughing as we sang old Amy Grant songs, played cards with our husbands until late, late at night.
For so long, our lives were so very similar. Our paths, parallel, seemed destined to keep us in the same place always.
God had His plans. I struggled with infertility. She had two kids. My career ramped up. She felt the beautiful calling to stay at home. We both wondered, silently and out loud to each other, about the changes in the roads of our lives.
Today is her 32nd birthday. This morning we had an early breakfast and talked on the shaded patio of a local cafe. Her little boy giggled while her sweet girl slept.
We shared about what was going on in our hearts, what our families did to celebrate birthdays when we were kids, and what the future might hold.
I looked at my lovely friend–full of light and life, so kind, talented, good and true. And I felt so glad just to be there.
When I hugged her good-bye in the parking lot, I cried. Those tears surprised me because they don’t come often. And as I got back in my car I considered them.
I realized they were tears of gratitude. Because almost ten years later our paths may have gone in different directions yet we will always find our way back to the place where our hearts intersect.
And this, for me, is the meaning of friendship.
Happy Birthday, sweet Heather. It’s your day and yet I feel as if I’m the one who has been given a beautiful gift.