In year 19xx I was a 5th grader, I had just moved from the elementary to our Middle/Junior High School in my small New Jersey town. I had braces and always with the prodding of my mother was updating to a perm. A very bad perm. I was awkward. The only thing socially I had going for me was my newly found love of playing basketball, and my friends. I had a tight knit group of friends. We hung-out at each other's house, did sleepovers, had each others backs, had funny (at lease we thought) inside-jokes. A few of these friends I still keep in touch with.
I had one friend that people always mistook us for the other. I am not sure why. We both did not think we looked like eachother. She had just moved from the next town over "the Township" and with one playdate in my backyard, we became friends. I remember her favorite color was purple, she was artisitic, very unique and smart. She laughed at my jokes or laughed at me, I am not quite sure which one. During high school everyone had their acitivity band, sports, smoking pot, boys, etc. We grew apart.
She went on to college in PA like me, but PA is a huge state. She managed to hitch a ride with someone from her school to visit one year as a surprise. She still lives in PA as I live in MA, and I have been to visit her 7 years ago. She, however, has come to visit me a about five times. This feat is brave because I share a home with three energetic kids, four cats (which she is allergic), a dog and a wife.
The most important thing she ever did for me was when I was going through a disasterous time with my divorce, she sent me a card. She filled it (in her neat handwriting) with inspirational quotes. The quotes all pointed toward sayings of hang in there, and keep going. She included a picture of her and I. It was a picture of me with my blonde hair. She was the only person from a distance (who was not in close proximity seeing me fall apart), who reached out to me during this hard time. I was at rock bottom and that card was a stepping stone to help me pull myself off the rocks.
This June she drove about 6 hours from her town to my town for my wedding, reception and then that next morning drove back. It meant so much to me that she was there.
Friends from 5th grade to forever.