My gorgeous friend that I've known since she was born came to visit. She and my father share a birthday. Our parents were out to dinner celebrating my dad's birthday when her mom went into labor. So when I say we've known each other since birth I'm being literal.
She has come to visit me in every state that I have lived in. No small feat considering I've lived on the Gulf Coast and the Gulf of Alaska and in between. Many many miles she has traveled to see me. She's one of those lifelong friends that has helped me get into trouble as many times as she has helped me get out of trouble. She's the one who convinced me that her parents were ok with us smashing all the eggs from the chicken coop. Really, we could throw them against the wall of the coop to see what happens, she says. We found out what happens.What happens is that her parents were not ok with that.
But she is also the one who bought me a pregnancy test and forced me to take it and held my hand and let me cry and drove me to the health department when I found out I was pregnant in college. She told me everything would be alright. She was right. Now I have the most beautiful family in the world.
I flew home six months ago to be in her wedding. I've never been more excited for a wedding than I have been for hers. I'd never seen her happier in my life. Her joy was my joy and no one deserves that happiness more than she. We are very different. We spent much of our childhood arguing the way sisters do, but we have the common bond of shared childhoods, joys, and heartaches. She conjures up a fierce sense of loyalty in me that I have reserved only for family. Which makes sense because she is not just a childhood friend. She is Aunt Lori to my kids. She is family.