But oh! the blessing it is to have a friend to whom one can speak fearlessly on any subject; with whom one's deepest as well as one's most foolish thoughts come out simply and safely. Oh, the comfort - the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person - having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.
~Dinah Craik, A Life for a Life, 1859
It was the first day of eight grade. It was a first step into a new middle school. It was a scary morning. It was a venture from years of a comfortable private school to an unknown land, a new public school. It started with stepping up onto a bus.
She was in the back. This had always been her ride to school. She knew all the people. She never thought to be scared. She shouted from the back of the bus to the new girl, "My mama told me to tell you hi!" And then she grinned really big and sat down.
She was my future best friend, and I was mortified and shocked. I hadn't ever really lived out of my bubble before. I had never been forced to meet new friends. I was shy and somewhat skittish to new people. But, none of that mattered to her. She just wanted to say hi in her own way.
To this day, that's how she rolls. She always says hi (and everything else) in her own way with a big old grin. She's one of the most comfortable things in the world to me. She knows all about me, my family, and my idiosyncrasies. There' never really a reason to explain my thoughts to her, as she already knows. I don't have to apologize for geeking out on her in a middle-school kind of way, as she was right there with me.
You can always tell a real friend:
when you've made a fool of yourself,
he doesn't feel you've done a permanent job.
~Laurence J. Peter
A best friend is cheaper than therapy.
It is called true friendship and it makes the world go round. It soothes the heart. It eases an insecure spirit. It's the old oak tree in the back of the yard that offers shade on a sunny day. You don't have to question the love or doubt the care. You know it will be there in times of sorrow and sadness. You don't have to call every day to know that she's there for you, unless you just need a new giggle.
Our friendship makes me smile as I think of an inside joke or hear someone say something familiar to our kinship. It is like a piece of old silver that is cherished and placed on the nicest shelf for display and gentle care. It is a rite of passage. I wish for it every day for each of my boys. The Committe has a friend just like mine. When our boys meet someone with potential, I tell him how maybe this might be One-of-a-Kind's friend forever.
In the quiet of night, when you think of all that might be wrong in your life, knowing that you have someone that knows all of your secrets and loves you tremendously, makes looking for the early morning light a little bit sweeter. New friends are great, but that aged old friend might be one of the nicest prizes you get in your life.
The best kind of friend is the one
you could sit on a porch with,
never saying a word,
and walk away feeling like that was
the best conversation you've had.