Some of us are lucky enough to meet our soul mates. Some of us aren't. Most of the time, we're looking for that soul mate in the wrong person. I think most people look for their soul mate in the spouse/partner. Usually we find our soul mate in a friend.
In the 7th grade I met mine. I didn't know it at the time. As a matter of fact, I didn't like her then. We grew up and changed and eventually bonded over the craziness of our Jewish families and sneaked cigarettes in the woods by her house. We stayed up until all hours playing cards and drinking coffee in our local 24 hour restaurant/hangout. We got to know each other and shared our secrets. We talked of hopes and dreams and heartaches and sadness.
We became as close as sisters and barely went a day without seeing each other until we went off to college.
She is the one who called me out when I was neglecting friendships when I first met an ex-boyfriend. She held my hand and gave me a shoulder to cry when I stuck with the boyfriend too long and when I finally ended it. She never said "I told you so" and she never pushed me before I was ready.
She was the first to meet my husband when we started dating. He was terrified. He knew how protective I was of her and he knew she would be equally protective of me. Luckily, she approved. She was the maid of honor at our wedding and we knew we had every bit of support imaginable from her.
We are a package deal, my friend and I. Both our husbands know this. They knew coming into the marriages that they are getting both of us when they marry one.
She is the first person I want to call when something happens - engagement, pregnancy, birth, jobs, etc.
She turns 30 on Monday and I wish I was there to celebrate with her. To toast her and tell her how much I love her in person. To help her have an anti-climactic 30th bday for the same reason I had one - she's due with her first little one in a few months.
So, my dear friend, I wish you all the best in life. You are as much a part of me as my family. You are the sister I never had and the best friend I always hoped I would have. You have made a foot print on my heart that will never fade. You are the one I know I can tell my secrets to and I will never be judged. The one I know I can count on for the ear I need. The one who knows when something is wrong by the tone of my voice. The only one I miss so much sometimes I want to cry. The one I hope will someday live so close that I can see you whenever I want. The one whose children I will consider my own children's cousins. The one I would trust my children to if something were to happen to us. Thank you for being you and being a part of our lives.
Happy birthday. I love you.