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December 29, 2020

An open letter to my friend

You are the coal that keeps me burning, quiet and unassuming in the background but always there when I need your spark to light my dying fire.

You are the calm in the chaos, the anchor that holds me steady when the world shakes me to my core, spinning just a little too fast for me to keep standing.

We aren’t Hollywood friends.
We don’t spend every moment apart gossiping on the phone, nor do we message a great deal. Hardly ever, in fact. Our lives glide smoothly alongside each other, crossing occasionally, when there is a need; joy or sorrow.
And there has been a need, more than once.

When there was no one else I could turn to, it was you that shed a river of tears alongside me. You didn’t tell me it would be ok, that I would get through it, because you knew almost instinctively that there was a journey of pain – a road I had to travel – but you didn’t set me off alone. You were there to travel with me and cry your own tears, your hand squeezing mine.
Traipsing through the unfamiliar territory of raising a tweenager, you guided me through the rough patches and spared me the red face so that I could keep my sanity and she could keep her dignity.

In the face of a fractured relationship, I didn’t tell you what you wanted to hear. I told you what you needed to know and made sure I was the safe place you could come to when the wave of a new relationship threatened to sweep you away before you could find your feet.

Our words are few and far between now, because life takes us on different paths. But I know my thread is connected to yours.

You are my coal, ready and waiting to light the fire of our friendship whenever it’s needed and I hope that you know I am yours.

The silences between us can sometimes be long, but they are never heartfelt. We fit together like jigsaw pieces buried in a box, slotting together when needed and drawing strength from each other to make a beautiful picture.

Shifting, ever changing to give what the other needs. This is true friendship.

This is us.

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