“Best Friends for Freakin’ Forever…And don’t you forget it!” My birthday card from my BFFF was a treasure just like she is.

Birthday Card

Birthday Card

Signature Friendship

Signature Friendship

We met in 2008 at a Youth Book Club meeting in our church. The meeting was to kick off a mother/daughter reading club and we began by introducing ourselves and telling something about ourselves that our daughters didn’t know at the time. It was such a fun exercise as we began to get to know each other as women – not necessarily as mothers. I was attracted to her honesty and vulnerability immediately. And that was the beginning of the proverbial “beautiful friendship.” I had a Christmas coffee that same year in my home and invited her come and “meet my family and friends.”

We’ve shared many a cup of coffee or glass of wine since then. In the picture below, we were in Blue Ridge, Ga. to celebrate my 50th and my hubby’s 51st birthdays.

Me and Wilma

Me and Wilma

She has so many gifts and talents that I can’t begin to list them all. However, in addition to my “Friendships of Women” post that you can see here, today, on my birthday, I’d like to share what it is that makes a friend a best friend for freakin’ forever.

What is it that you look for in a best friend?

Loyalty. I know without a doubt, that when I share something with this wonderful lady, that it will NEVER go anywhere else. I also know, deep down, that we will truly be friends for the rest of our life. Her loyalty is the kind that could shape a generation. She knows how to make people in her life feel valuable. Anyone can make a person feel important, but, Wilma makes you feel valuable, priceless and irreplaceable.  She has visited my family in the hospital, helped me move TWICE, helped me decorate my son’s apartment in New York City, listened to me gripe about my weight, and been supportive on numerous creative ideas that needed her organizational skills. She has been my partner in crime on numerous projects.

Generosity. There are so many ways to be generous. Wilma knows them all. We made a trip to New York City recently and as an early birthday present, she had Broadway tickets waiting for us to see “Kinky Boots.” It was such fun seeing such a funny play with her. I love laughing with her. And while we were there, she spent a whole day shopping with my son. What value did she get out of this? Giving. Seeing me spend time with my son. She seems to enjoy my family almost as much as I do.

England

England

Common Interests. How many friends do you have that are interested in whatever you are? She is always present. In the moment. If my flavor of the month is antiquing, then we go antiquing together. If it is photography, then she will patiently wait for me to get the perfect shot; if it’s a new blog, she’ll be my first subscriber.

Birthday Card #2

Birthday Card #2

Time. She is my “ventee,” to whom I’ll call and vent about anything and everything that is bothering me. She listens, and understands when I just need a listener, not someone to fix my problems. If she ever tires of my shopping style, she has never said so. See, I’m one of those women who has to touch everything in the store, before I make my decision to purchase. If I change my mind a hundred times, she understands it’s my prerogative.

Resting on a shopping outing in Georgia.

Resting on a shopping outing in Georgia.

Encouraging. On my blue days, it’s as if she knows somehow what is bothering me. If I am in despair, she will show up with a little plaque with the saying,

Christopher Robin

As I write this, I’m beginning to feel terribly guilty that she has been a much better friend to me than I have to her. If you’ve read Gary Chapman’s “Five Love Languages”, she has them all. She gives gifts, encourages with words of affirmation, shares quality time, works in service to those in need of moving, decorating or computer education. And, while touch may not be the gift she is strongest in, when I need a hug, she is there.

So today, on my birthday, I’d like to say thanks to my Father, for one of the most important gifts I believe HE gives to those of us in the female half of humanity. Friendships. And I’d like to especially thank HIM for those that last for freakin’ forever. Love you, Wilma! Thanks so much for my cards and most of all ~ for being my friend. I will not forget it.