28 Comments

  1. Tatra

    My best friend and I met in 7th grade because we were the two shortest girls in chorus. Since then we have had our ups and downs like all friendships, but no matter how long we go without taking we are right back to our old routines when we see each other. She flew home three weeks after my daughter was born to met her. That same year, she flew home to spend my birthday with me. Now that we are older, she lives two states away and I don’t get to see her as often as I would like. To let her know how important she is to me, my daughter shares her middle name. She showed me how important I am to her by asking me to be her Maid of Honor this October. She lives this fabulous life in a big city with amazing friends, and I live in our hometown, raising my baby but even though we live so differently, she always knows how to relate to me. She always takes time to talk to me and listen to my little problems. I feel like I owe her my life because she has been with me through everything, without judgment. I was actually planning on buying this book for her when I got some extra money. I I always try to find ways to let my best friend know how much I love her, and I think sending her a copy of your book about best friends would express to her how much she means to me better than I could say it. Even if I dont win, I will still send her a copy! I love my best friend, Ashley, and I cant wait until we can be old crazy cat ladies on the porch together swearing at the neighbor kids, remembering our crazy teen years together!

  2. Stephanie G

    My best friend and I met in our waitressing days. I’ll never forget the moment we bonded–we were laying on the beach together and she told me she’d dated one of the strangest (but most attractive) young men at work. I could only manage to ask how and why, and to her credit, she answered “I mostly just want to have funny stories to tell my kids.”

    Since then we’ve shared late nights and early mornings (equal to countless lunch shifts without sleep), made a lot of mistakes (never so bad when we made them together), and kept many a secret that will go to our graves with us (that road trip to Baltimore.)

    What’s cemented her place in my heart is what we call our ‘blended family.’ Neither one of us loving our own upbringings, we created our own family unit; bringing together those we love, who love us, and who we share genetic code with. We come as a pair, and we work best as a team. When I was contemplating the end of a four-year relationship, she took my boyfriend out with her to give me time and space away from him. When my current boyfriend’s family business was floundering, she went to work there, saving his sanity and sparing him from an unreasonable work week. I’d like to think I’ve done my share of shouldering the burden (my fling with her brother should probably be saved for a different story) but this is really about what she’s done for me.

    My best friend has given me back my father. After several tense years passed without much of a relationship between us, I decided to visit my Dad–and to take my best friend with me. Unknowingly, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Her presence completely altered the dynamic between he and I–having a buffer between us took our time together from volatile to enjoyable. Since then, regular visits to my dad’s house (and several bottles of wine–and maybe some Jack Daniel’s) have brought me closer than ever to the man who gave me half of my DNA, my big blue eyes, and my bigger personality. For the first time, I’ve begun to turn to my father for advice and support. The (sometimes awkward) stories he’s shared with us have helped me to understand who he is, and in turn, who I am. Because of my best friend, I’m the closest to my father I’ve ever been in my life. She’s given me something invaluable, something I may have missed out on if I’d never met her. She has, in a word, given me family.

    She’s my partner in crime, my therapist, my fiancée on Facebook, my roommate, and my heart–she is my sister. My family. My best friend.

  3. Kate

    My best friend and I met freshman year of high school, but did not become close until senior year and really consider our best-friendship to be a college thing. We were roommates in our early 20’s and I consider her like a sister.

    I moved to Japan in 2008, and she decided to come visit me for my birthday in 2009. When she got there, we cried in the airport and were super excited and determined to have an awesome vacation, and then on the second day of her trip where she had paid a ton of money to fly 14 hours to see me, my mother died suddenly of a heart attack. The day after my 26th birthday. So that was a nightmare.

    I spent a couple of hours on the phone crying with various relatives and trying to arrange plane tickets, and when I hung up, Best Friend, who had been multitasking by both crying and cleaning my apartment, looks at me and says “So, what are we going to do today?” and I was like “What the hell? I have no idea” and she said “Well. We’re not going to sit here and cry all day. We’re going to do something and distract you.”

    Every day after, “what are we going to do today?” was the first question of the morning. She kept me together until we left to go home (my amazing family moved heaven and earth to get me on her flight sitting next to her). She held my hand and let me cry and distracted me and made me laugh and basically kept me from having a total sobbing breakdown in various public places all over Tokyo. At one point I apologized for ruining her vacation, and she was like “FOOL, do you think I’d want to be anywhere but here right now? Shut up.”

    That particular time in my life would have been infinitely worse if I hadn’t had her by my side both supporting me and kicking my ass to make sure I took good care of myself. I consider her my sister at this point and I am really lucky to have her in my life.

  4. Jen

    My best friend started being my best friend in first grade. We are nearly 50 and still talk and crack each other up every day, though we live across the country from each other. Over the phone and through visits, we’ve helped each other through infertility, miscarriages, divorce, remarriage, kids and currently her second bout with breast cancer.

    What cemented our friendship (though it was pretty firmly cemented already!) for me was an unthinkable tragedy that happened a few years ago. My wonderful parents, married over 50 years and completely devoted to each other, ended their lives in what had been a pact that they had made years ago, that if one became sick they wouldn’t travel the road of nursing homes and downward health spirals. Despite our compassion for their situation it was still sudden and devastating.

    I flew in from my end of the country, my friend flew in from hers and together we endured the aftermath of reporters staking out my parents’ home (for various reasons it became a news story) and cleaning out every last drawer and folder. We sat together for days in that empty house of my childhood, sifting through their lives…and she knew what to keep, what to throw away, what needed to be discussed, what didn’t. Having her there made the unbearable survivable for me, and I will be forever, beyond-words grateful.

    Plus she’s just awesome, kind and hilarious. And is kicking cancer’s butt.

  5. Cynthia Williams

    My best friend and I kept meeting each other in various places before we met and became best friends in 8th grade. We figured out that we had met before and were meant to be friends! We have been through everything together! We have grown apart at times but always find our way back no matter what, and pick up right where we left off! 9/11 was the last time we reunited and have been so close ever since! We have been maid/matron of honors at each others weddings, been present at the births of each others children, and so much more. Both of us have brothers, but both of us feel like only children, so we are a surrogate for each other when a sister is needed! I can’t imagine my life without her, and both of us would do anything for one another! I can call her about anything and she will ask, “Where are you?”, and she will be there when she knows I need somebody but may be too proud to ask… she reads me better than my husband ever will! She is my BEST friend!

  6. Kelsey

    My best friend and I met when we were just 2 years old. Her family moved into the house next door of my family’s on her brothers birthday. During the friendly neighbor introductions our parents found out we were the same age and thus the playdates began. We grew up together as real partners in crime. She and her brothers went to a local magnet school while I attended the local public school so we weren’t in school together, but I remember going to meet her bus when she got home and us walking home together so we could start playing immediately. We pretty much lived outdoors exploring everything we could. We lived on a dead end street so there was minimal traffic and everybody around the neighborhood knew us. As we grew up, kids in the neighborhood came and went as families moved in and then moved away, but we always had each other. Her dad was pretty strict about making his kids do chores, while my dad was more lenient. So even though she wasn’t supposed to be playing because of her chores, I always ended up at their house helping her finish her chores (towel folding was her primary duty and, man, did we fold TONS of towels) so we could get back outside to explore and run the neighborhood. We made up some of the most ridiculous games that we both still remember and reminisce about today. We even made our own little mailboxes out of Pringles cans and stuck them in the fence between our houses to communicate. I’m pretty sure we had some kind of flashlight morse code between our bedroom windows, too. And, both of us being animal lovers and having lots of pets growing up, we had all kinds of games with the dogs and cats in our lives. Her family always had Dachshunds and we made a couch cushion fort one time (when we were probably too old to still be making couch cushion forts – but, come on, that is STILL fun) and named one of their dogs Captain of our fort. We also dressed one of her kittens up in doll clothes and took pictures like she was “modeling.” Certainly we had our spats and fights and just swore we were never going to talk to each other again. But the next day, we’d wake up and realize how ridiculous that was and go back to begging her brothers to roll us around the front yard in empty refrigerator boxes (seriously – so much fun), strapping a radio to our bikes and taking off for the park singing at the top of our lungs Now & Then style, making butt prints on the sidewalks after going swimming, zooming down the stairs in sleeping bags, running as fast as you can and throwing your body at the couch to flip it (pretty sure my parents weren’t too happy about that one), or watching the old Mary Kate & Ashley adventures and then writing fan letters (that never got returned – don’t think we forgot about that one. Olsen twins – you’re still on our shit list!)

    When we were 11 my dad got re-married and we moved across town, but that didn’t end our friendship. Even though we never went to school together and didn’t see each other every day or even every week we still kept in touch. I remember my first birthday party after my dad had gotten re-married I was a total mess. I was in a new house, at a new school, and trying to make new friends. Of course, my best friend came to my party. I don’t remember exactly what happened, but something really upset me and I ended up locking myself in my bedroom crying like a big baby. My best friend was the only one who could get through to me and make me laugh like no other. She’s always been like that – we’re kind of an odd couple that way – me being the more serious one and she’s always been a big goofball – but it just worked.

    We moved again right after high school. We had both just turned 18 and my dad’s job got moved to a different city 2.5 hours away. She was going off to college and I was still trying to figure out what the heck I wanted to do, but my dad moving meant I had to move, too. We saw each other even less after that – maybe two or three times a year, but we always kept in contact and even if we hadn’t spoken in a while it was easy to catch up. We both admit to being some of the most awkward people probably ever to grace this planet so it’s amazing that we can catch up in no time.

    We’re 25 now and live 850+ miles and 5 states apart, but it still seems like no time has passed when we get to talk. I was able to go visit her back in March and that was probably the best vacation I’ve ever had. We did lots of touristy things in her city, but we also spent a lot of time talking about our childhood and then what we’re doing with our lives now. We both graduated college recently (me with my Bachelor’s and she got her Master’s) and were stuck in that limbo of not being able to find a job and then trying to find out what the hell else to do with our lives. She’s got more guts that I probably ever will moving out to a city 800 miles from home with no potential job just because she thought that’s where she needed to be – and so far it’s worked out.

    Needless to say, I hope we can have another 23 years of friendship and maybe if we’re really lucky another 23 more on top of that. I admire her in more ways than I can count and can say without a doubt that she (and our friendship) is irreplaceable.

  7. Sara

    When I lived in LA I dated a very low level celebrity. He dumped me leaving me heart broken. He was on Love Lines (with Dr. Drew!) one night. Without telling me, my friend made up a fake story and called in. She got by the screener and got to speak with Dr. Drew and my ex. When they started asking her questions about her sexual “issue,” she said to my ex, “Just so you know, that new girl you’re dating, ‘Angela,’ well, she is a whore!”

    That was it, right there.

  8. Angela

    I met my best friend one day on the bus to kindergarten. We connected immediately, but it wasn’t until 20 years later that we truly became best friends.

    I had never been abroad, but I was a month away from moving to Japan. It was a scary time, and she was the one who stepped up to help calm my nerves and figure out just how many pairs of shoes I could cram into my suitcase. I stayed at her apartment the night before my flight and we stayed up chatting and packing the entire time. When it came time to leave, I realized how much I was going to miss her.

    Five years (and two countries) later, we’re still best friends, even though we’re literally halfway around the world from each other. She’s the one I turn to whenever I have something to share, whether big or small. When the earthquake and tsunami hit northern Japan in March 2011, she was the one who organized care packages and kept everyone posted on the situation. When I decided to apply to grad school abroad, she volunteered to read my application materials. When family members became seriously ill, she offered to visit them in the hospital on my behalf.

    This year, we both turned 30, and she surprised me with a card that had an itinerary enclosed. She’ll be here in two days and I can’t wait to talk to her in person and do all that best friends do together (which, it turns out, is both everything and nothing). I couldn’t ask for a better best friend, and I just wish we had figured out how much we need each other earlier in our lives.

  9. Elizabeth Kiker

    My best friend’s name is Julie — we met at college, through a third person that neither of us is close with anymore. It’s been almost 20 years since we met, so it is hard to pick just one moment that cemented the bond — our trip to Japan ten years ago was amazing, our firstborn children being born just one week apart was really cool, and our connection staying strong all these years is awesome. My favorite bond with her changes each year — right now, we very much share the difficult parts of parenting, listening without judgement and lending helping hands. Sometimes raising children (especially very young children) feels very isolating. Seeing Julie, just meeting her eyes, tells me that we’re in this together, and that all of our (1,000, or so it seems) children are going to end up just fine. She has the same calm, funny presence she did in college 20 years ago.

  10. Sharon

    I met my best friend in grade 8, but we truly become best friends in grade 10. I can’t pinpoint a specific moment that caused our friendship to grow to that level, but it was probably our similarities in personality. We look NOTHING alike, but as far as personality goes, we could pretty much be twins. That was even our nickname in high school – the twins, because we’d go everywhere and do everything together and we’d always have a blast.

    The funniest story about us would have to be at our high school graduation. Both of us went dress shopping separately, and in totally different cities. We chatted about our outfits in the lead-up to the event, but when we showed up on the evening of the ceremony and saw each other, we saw that our dresses were IDENTICAL. LOL. We tried to explain to people that we hadn’t planned it, but nobody believed us. The dress design was SO unique, but we’re so damned similar that we both picked the exact same thing. I laugh every time I look at the pictures of us from that night. I framed one of them, where we’re both looking at each other and laughing hysterically. It’s one of my favourite memories, despite the embarrassment at the time.

    We’ve gone through some tough times in our relationship and of course in our personal lives, but both of us have been there for each other through thick and thin. She knows exactly what to say/do to make me laugh if I need to lighten up, and I know she’ll always be my cheerleader (and vice versa). She’s the best friend I’ve ever had, and I’m so lucky to have her in my life.

  11. Jamie

    I met my best friend in junior high, but we didn’t become good friends until the end of high school, when she called me one night and said she was bored, and did I want to go do something? Thus was the beginning of one of the best relationships I could ever imagine. We have seen each other through college difficulties, problems with parents, dating troubles and triumphs, career shifts, marriages, infertility, babies, you name it. When good things happen to me, besides telling my husband, she’s absolutely the one person I think of to share it with.

    When I had my son 20 months ago, my husband was working a job that took him out of town five or more days a week. I went in to this thinking “It will be hard, but I can do it!” but the actual experience of raising a newborn practically on my own, while trying to manage a household and work 40+ hours a week with no family in town to help, was enough to just simply drain the life out of me. My best friend drove 3+ hours at least once a month, if not more frequently, to spend the weekend with me and my son, helping clean the house, cooking meals for us, and just making sure I didn’t lose my mind. One night my son decided to wake up at like 3 a.m. and could not be consoled, and I’d only gotten about two hours of sleep prior to him waking up. I was up with him for more than an hour, and then I just snapped emotionally and was like, “I have nothing more to give right now.” I woke my friend up and said, “I really need you to take the baby from me.” No questions asked, she got up at 4 a.m. and took care of my son while I retreated to my room to get my head on straight. When I came out about an hour and a half later, the morning looked a lot brighter and I was able to resume life as usual. I’m so lucky to have a friend who can so fully support me and loves me enough to do something like that in the middle of the night. I don’t know how I would have made it through those months without her.

  12. Aarika

    I met my best friend in third grade. I was brand new to the school and ended up being paired with her on the first day for some sort of drawing thing in which you had to identify objects out of the scribbles you’d made. I found a leg and explained it had to be tan because it was wearing pantyhose. She thought this was hysterical and correct and, twenty-some years later, we’re basically sisters. We went through a hard time a few years ago when someone close to her passed away and she basically cut everyone out of her life for a while. But when my father passed away, one year after her loss, she was one of the first people to come over and we hugged like we were eight again. I think we are closer than ever now and there is no one else with whom I can speak in only half-sentences and movie quotes and alienate everyone else.

  13. (I have a copy, Pamie, so no need to add me to the contest. I just wanna share!)

    Homeroom. 8th grade. New school, new town. Sit with the pretty, nerdy brunette because she has cool glasses.

    We ended up at different high schools, and she went north while I went south when it came to college, but we have been friends for 17 years, through eating disorders, depression, suicidal tendencies, insomnia, acquaintance rape, x files marathons, theater sports, school dances, her wedding…every triumph and every fall, she’s the first person I want to talk it over with, and the first person who calls.

  14. Ten years ago, when I was 25, I lost my hearing overnight. Aimee, my best friend since we were 14, met me at the emergency room and never left my side the whole day. Later, when I thanked her for being there, she wrote – because I couldn’t hear her say it – “I wouldn’t be anywhere else.” I still have that piece of paper.

  15. English class, freshman year of high school, Tucson. We sat next to each other because her last name started with Ma- and mine started with Mc- and the teacher thought alphabetical was the best way to seat us. We spent the first couple of classes asking each other, “Where do I know you from…?” Turns out, nowhere, we just recognized kindred spirits, I suppose. (Not to get all mushy.) By senior year, people identified us as a unit, moreso than with any of the boys that flitted in and out of our high school lives.

    22 years later, she’s in Minnesota, I’m in Rhode Island, but she’s still the friend I can tell everything to. We’ve fought and made up, we’ve been roommates and travel buddies. We email almost daily, and when we talk on the phone it’s like we’re in the same room, hashing out the latest in our lives. The topics of conversation have gone from boy crushes to parties to college to living in new cities to marriages to babies (for one of us) and infertility (for the other).

    There isn’t one magical moment that solidified our friendship, just a string of moments confirming that we are in each others lives for the long haul.

  16. My best friend is a nervous flyer. She’s an engineer by trade so she has, of course, studied all about planes and the various ways they can fail in different conditions. She’s not shy about asking a pilot as she boards what sort of mechanical situation delayed her flight.

    I live in New York City and on 9/11 I walked several miles home with friends to my apartment in Brooklyn where you could smell the burning for weeks afterwards. I had been working a temp job and my last day of work was scheduled for 9/12/01 so from the moment the explosions happened I was unemployed. Once the phones were back up all sorts of friends and family called and almost all of them urged me to come visit, to come “home,” but in reality to come away from what I call home. At the time (and even now to some extent) I felt as though I might be barred from returning if I left. More than any other feeling there was a desperation to stay put, to cede no ground.

    In October of 2001 my best friend had an opportunity to come visit New York for work. She didn’t have to go but she could dictate who went on the trip and choose to take a spot for herself. She went on the trip and she took full advantage of all the tourist deals that New York had to offer back then. We ate a couple of ridiculously fancy meals for not enough money and we had a good time doing it. We sat in midtown with white napkins dabbing our lips and pretended that this was the old normal, not the new one. By coming here she showed she understood how important my home is to me as well as she understood how traumatic the whole experience had been.

    She was the first person to come visit me after the bombings. Over the 30+ years we’ve been friends she’s done a lot of great things for me but that trip is, by far, the very best thing.

  17. 105SaintLouis

    She knows the worst and thinks the best of me, and always has. We met at 5 a.m. ice skating practice for our daughters, bonding over hot coffee and cold feet every morning. When I was the “newbie” in the Moms’ group, I horrified everyone by proposing that we meet some night for Margaritas … that was how I learned that my new best friend was in AA. She took my gaffe in stride, and I proudly attended when she received her 10-year chip AND her 20-year chip! Our girls are grown now but we continue to share every celebration and heartbreak. She’s truly the best!!!!

  18. Annie G.S.

    My best friend became my best friend when we were in our mid-twenties. By a twist of fate, all our other close friends moved to Europe all at once and she and I stayed behind. That spring, my grandfather died, I started having panic attacks again after many years without them, and I was suffering from anxiety every night. (There were fun times too! I will say, she and I used to watch The Incredible Hulk at her house every weekend and provide running commentary. We ate lunch together every day and frolicked on the lawn of the college where we worked.)

    The moment she became my best friend, though, was when I called her one morning after a particularly bad night: I was CONVINCED that someone was hiding out in the side yard to my in-law cottage, waiting to murder me. (It was a really hard time in my life, okay?) I called the next morning and was like, that was the worst night ever! And she asked why I hadn’t called, and I was like, Well, duh, because I didn’t want you to overhear me getting murdered! And she was like YOU CALL ME NEXT TIME!!!!!!

    I did call her next time, and I never got murdered, and I stopped being so afraid.

    We are now best friends and also married to each other, because I could not imagine spending the rest of my life with anyone else!

  19. Tarn

    We met at slumber parties in 3rd grade, sat next to each other in 4th grade, and are still best friends at age 35 and counting! In 6th grade she changed schools and we spent hours on the phone every night, much to our moms’ dismay. In 10th grade, my family moved, school boundaries changed, and we unexpectedly ended up going to high school together. It was meant to be! Going through those final difficult years of teenhood cemented our lifelong friendship. Since college, we have mostly lived on opposite sides of the country, and still do, but when we get together we are still those silly bestest friends. She calls me her memory bank, storing random bits of trivia of our life together and bringing them up at the most opportune (and sometimes, inopportune) times. When she came to visit a few months ago, my friends who hadn’t met her before or seen us together asked if we are related because we act so much alike.

    I can’t count the many ways we have been there for each other or the many unforgettable moments we’ve shared, but something that always stands out to me is when I told her I was considering leaving my verbally abusive husband. She invited me to stay with her on the east coast for a couple weeks to sort things out. As I slowly warmed to the idea and told her when I could maybe take off work to do it, she said that she had already purchased tickets to Europe for that time, but then immediately said “Come to Europe with me!” At first I laughed it off. But with her encouragement (both emotional and financial) I did. We had a blast, and I finally felt free. When I came home I took the necessary step toward divorce, and she was with me the whole way through the hardest, but best, decisions I’ve ever made.

  20. JeniMull

    I met my best friend her first day in college ( I was a lofty sophomore). We met because I needed a ride to Target – I had managed to drop my toothbrush down the bathroom sink. Impressive, I know!

    At Target, I stopped suddenly and she crashed into me. It was the first of now 24.5 years of being buckled over, laughing until we cried.

    Until then, I had spent my first 19 years always feeling slightly out of place. Suddenly I was home.

    I remember us crying together when our boyfriends dumped us within hours of each other, in college.

    I remember us saying farewell when a mutual friend died of cancer at age 24.

    Five months after she got married, her Dad died suddenly. I had the flight booked and vacation logged before I even called her back – and stayed a week.

    Four years later, I got married. Six months later, MY Dad died suddenly. Her Grandma died the next day. Her Mom, aunt and uncle held her grandma’s funeral a few days later because they wanted to ensure she could be there for me. She was my only friend who made the frostbitten trip to my hometown for Dad’s funeral – and she stayed as my support for a few days.

    Two months later, I called to cleverly tell her that I was pregnant. Wouldn’t you know it – she was trying to also cleverly tell me that SHE was also pregnant? Once we figured it out, we were laughing and crying. Our kids were born 3 weeks apart.

    She is more than a friend. She is my soul-sister, and I cannot imagine a life without her.

    Thank you for letting me share our story. I have to go call her now & tell her how much I love her.

    To friendship! 25 years in September!

  21. Alexa J

    My closest friend will–and has–dropped everything to see me and talk through things when I was going through a rough time. She is also there for the fun stuff (crazy adventures at 2AM, road trips). Asides from my mom, she is my biggest cheerleader.

  22. When my boyfriend and I split up several years ago, I had left dramatically in the middle of the night after many awful fights and was broke as a joke, living in a craptastic little apartment and suffering the aftershocks on my own. My best friend from high school made me weep by giving me a card with 200 bucks, a massage gift certificate, a referral to her therapist, and an offer to come stay at her place if I just needed to be in a pleasant environment. All that was on top of the emotional support.

  23. patrick freeman

    well lets see i once new a girl that i called my best friend. Hmm was it third grade, cant remember. You know it better than i do. We lost contact with each other and 25 plus years later we connected again. And im so happy and proud of the success she has had. Its made me think back at all the wrong things i have done and try to correct them and make them right. Thank you pamie, dale

  24. Meg

    I’ve had many best friends (Pamie, I’m sure you can relate — frequent moving makes for frequent friend changes!) but I think the most dramatic example of friendship was with my best friend in middle and early high school, who told my parents about my severe depression and insisted that they take it seriously. I have no idea what would have happened if she hadn’t stepped up and helped.

    (Incidentally, one of my best friends in high school is now my significant other and will hopefully be my spouse in the future. How’s that for lives coming together?)

  25. Stephanie Tshappat

    My best friend Tawny and I met in 7th grade science class. I was new to the school, and she had a crush on my best guy friend and wanted the inside scoop. We had our moments of “breaking up” and “making up” throughout middle school and high school but underneath all our pettiness, we knew our bond was ultimately the stuff that lasts a lifetime.

    Four years ago, the year Tawny turned 25, she went through what we now call her “Quarter-Life Crisis.” When I found out about what she was going through, I took the rest of my vacation time plus unpaid leave from my job as a 911 dispatcher, had my sister watch my son, and made the four to five hour drive from our hometown to the city where she lived to be there for her. That weekend involved getting her released from the medical facility she had signed herself into, which we now refer to as “The Break Out.” The medical personnel tried to say she couldn’t leave without a doctor’s consent, which I knew to be horse shit; since I worked at a police department I knew they needed a court order to keep her there. When I vehemently communicated this to them, and that we would leave regardless, the release process sped right up; although we did tell them I was her half-sister to make them feel better about releasing her to my care. We then packed up her life and drove back to our hometown, where she stayed with me for a month. In all this, I only did for Tawny what I was sure she would do for me.

    Two years after “The Break Out” I found out my father had terminal liver cancer. He passed away two months after we learned his cancer was terminal. The day he passed away, I was working and had to page the ambulance for him twice: first for a lift assist because he had fallen, and again for his transport to the hospital. In the ER, after the doctor told us the damage to his liver and kidneys was too great for them to do anything more for him, I had to call my sister and brother and tell them this awful, awful news. Thankfully, we were able to have enough time with him for us all to say goodbye, even our kids. When he took his last breath we were all in the room, and at that moment I discovered what a broken heart truly feels like.

    I had been texting my friends and family since I arrived at the hospital to keep them updated on my daddy’s health. When Tawny received my first text, she told me if I needed her, she would be there, and I told her no, it was fine, because we weren’t sure of much of anything at that point. Still, she packed up her SUV and got her and her son’s suitcases packed so they could be ready to hit the road at a moment’s notice. Later in the day after the decision had been to take Daddy off the blood pressure machine, which was the only thing keeping him alive at that point, I texted her again, and she said she was on her way. She made it there two hours after Daddy passed away. She stayed with me for about a week, helping me with my son, comforting me, letting me cry and vent and scream. She made me eat and donated her Xanax to me so I could sleep. She did my hair and makeup for the viewing and the funeral, having the foresight to use fake eyelashes to avoid running mascara. She even went to the cemetery for the graveside part of the service, which I know she wouldn’t have done for anyone else because of how much she hates cemeteries. If it had not been for Tawny I don’t know how I would have survived that time in my life.

    Prior to this, I had been in an off and on relationship with a man who couldn’t decide what he wanted in life. Tawny saw how he failed to be there for me during this time when I needed him most, and so after the funeral, she said a prayer to Daddy that I would find a nice man who would be everything I needed, everything my son needed, and treat us the way we deserved. I am not a religious person, but I know when I reconnected with the man who is now my boyfriend and is the man my son calls Dad, it wasn’t an accident; it was because of Tawny’s conversation with my Daddy.

    Last August was the one year anniversary of my Daddy’s death and Tawny mailed me a care package with magazines, homemade cookies, chamomile tea, honey, hot cocoa, chocolate, and an incredibly heartfelt card. She knew I would be having a hard time and wanted to do anything she could to help me through it.

    As I started writing this, my phone rang and it was Tawny. I told her I was writing this, and teared up just talking about these things we’ve been through together. Some people say, “I would do anything for you,” but when Tawny says it, I know she really means it, because she’s done it. Fifteen years of friendship, and still going strong. She is one of the main loves of my life and I can’t imagine it without her.

  26. Mel

    The day I finally finished grad school, I literally collapsed on the floor the second I got home because I was so thoroughly exhausted. My brain was DONE thinking and used its last strength to instruct my eyes to stream tears until seemingly forever. My best friend came over to me and licked my face until I stopped. That would be really weird if she wasn’t a cat. Okay, fine, it’s weird anyway, but it was the sweetest thing anybody could have done for me.

  27. Vicky

    I’ve been relying on my BFF Gill a lot over the past few months for emotional support. She’s so fantastic and smart and funny that I kind of forgot how draining dealing with someone going through a crisis point can be.

    A while ago, she sent me the kindest, most polite email that basically said that she loves me, but she doesn’t have the skills to help me anymore and I need counselling. She said she’s committed to helping me find my smile again, but with jokes and kitty pictures, and the *occasional* shoulder to cry on, but I have to make some serious efforts to get better.

    I was really proud of her for telling me this, and horrified that I did in fact go to that well one too many times. I’m taking real steps now that I’ve been made to realize that my depression has relapsed. I’m well enough to start taking the steps to get better.

    It had to be so hard for her to speak the truth and I’m so grateful she had the courage to do so.

  28. Anonymous for this

    A is my best friend since the first day of college when she took my elbow and declared us to be bosom friends (the first of many cultural/literary references that endeared her to me).

    Lately she reiterates her place in my heart and by my side by telling me all of the things I am too afraid to acknowledge myself. That, yes, I should keep this baby and, no, I am not f**king it up for everyone.

    Important lessons and hoo boy at 38 was I having a hard time admitting I wanted to hear them.

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