A good friend is like your favorite grey tank top.
It always makes you feel comfortable, whether you’re dressed up or down. It brings out your best even if it’s not the main event. It will be with you for years. You wish you could wear it every day, but sometimes, you have to wear work cloths, maternity shirts or nursing tanks. Whenever you’re ready, it’s there for you, like you never had to leave.
It’s not the loudest, brightest, craziest color in the world, but it doesn’t need that kind of attention. It’s your favorite color, in the least depressing way. It makes you feel less alone, like you’ve been wrapped up and rocked like a baby. It gives you permission to cry, but always makes some sarcastic comment to make you smile. It is just there for you when you want to blend in on a rainy day. If you want to stand out in the summer, you may throw on a fancy necklace or scarf, but when the make up comes off and the hair gets pinned back, you always feel most comfortable in your tried, true and forgiving tank.
A good friend eats everything you bake and doesn’t make you feel unoriginal for your compulsion to put cinnamon in everything. A good friend comes over to tie-dye all of your bed sheets when your high school boyfriend dumps you on the phone.
She camps out with you, your dog, and a million ticks and shares her granola with you as the rain comes pouring down. A good friend hikes the highest peak in vermont with you when your plans shatter, your world started to crumble and you just needed a victory.
Years later, that good friend doesn’t tell you that your mom-hair is flipping out and your eyes have bags under them. She doesn’t mention the fact that you’ve had to change, she loves the new you just the same. A good friend still goes out to lunch with you even if she has to drive her hippie wagon an hour away just to hear your toddler tell her all about her princess dress the whole time. A good friend brings you honey and workout DVDs and doesn’t mind that you both end up taking a nap instead of doing anything fun. A good friend will read you the same recipe ten times when you’re baking together. A good friend orders something sweet when you order something savory and you split it in half. A good friend is always up for a french press. A good friend grows with you. Ebbs and flows with you. Always knows that with you, she can be herself, and you’ll be you. A good friend speaks highly of you. You tell her all of your secrets and she saves up all of her secrets to tell you in person. A good friend knows the home you grew up in, and you know hers too. A good friend loves your mother, and you love hers. A good friend doesn’t try to convert you to vegetarianism, and you don’t force her into your faith.
A good friend will meet you. Will text you back at any strange hour that you finally remember to hit send. Will drive to you when your kids scream for every car ride and you can’t stomach the thought of driving to the store, let alone across the state line. Will stay the night when your husband is gone and doesn’t mind that your kids wake her at the butt-crack-of-dawn as long as you bring her some strong black coffee.
Happy birthday to you my good friend. Sorry that I’m a year and 21 days late. I’m sorry that to me, we’re always turning 22. Thank you for being there for me when I felt so alone and unworthy. Thank you for being so generous and kind. Thank you for being so funny. Thank you for letting me be myself and always reminding me who that is. Thank you for all of the coffee,tomato sandwiches and peanutbutter. Thank you for the turbo jam and bike rides, the longboards and the camping, the kayaks and the nook books. Thank you for last minute, competing in a triathlon with me a month after my miscarriage and making me feel strong. Thank you for the netflix marathons the early mornings and the late nights. Thank you for remembering me when I feel like I’ve fallen off the face of the earth. Thank you for loving my kids. Thank you for loving me. I swear, I don’t deserve a friend like you.
If it’s the thought that counts, then I thought about taking you to iceland. We’d bring our hiking packs and a small tent. We’d wander around and eat trail mix and peanutbutter cinnamon sandwiches until we found it. That wide open field in the bottom of a valley where the band would set up and we’d all wear matching wool sweaters. We’d hear the sweetest sounds and we wouldn’t understand a word. We’d sleep under the stars with all of the other enchanted souls we stumbled upon and breathe the cool, sweet air. The next day, we’d travel on in silence, because for us, that is just fine. We’d check something off of our bucket list and we’d never be the same.
I couldn’t think of what to get you. You have everything. At least, it seems like you do. So I got you a grey tank top. And a grey v-neck, and a grey sweatshirt dress. When I can’t make it to you, can you just put them on? Feel comfortable, dressed up or down. Feel less alone. Have permission to cry. Blend in on a rainy day, and stand out in the summer. If you have to, shove them in the back of the closet, but know they are always there when you need them.
I love you Heika. You are a true friend. You’ve stuck with me through everything. I’m so thankful I have a Heika. I’m one lucky gal.