I write this with tears in my eyes.
Bittersweet tears, really. There are happy tears that come when I think of my best friend getting married tomorrow–on my birthday, too! And then the tears that come when I remind myself that I won’t be there with her. I won’t be able to see her in her gown–I won’t be able to see her smile when she leans over an altar of white. I won’t be able to shake her husband’s hand and tell him he caught the perfect girl. None of the things she was able to do for me.
So tonight, I’m writing just for her–because that’s all I can do from where I am.
Marijke is a special girl and I loved her from the second I met her. With big vibrant eyes and an infectious laugh, it took maybe five minutes for us to decide we’d be best friends. I met her my sophomore year in college and I’ll never forget the sign over her bed stitched with her name and the way I tried my hardest to pronounce her name correctly before I met her in person that day–but I didn’t. She just laughed and then I laughed and from that laugh on we’ve been laughing ever since. Because Marijke just IS happiness.
I never knew what it was like to have a best friend until her. I mean, sure, I had elementary school “best friends” where we’d play in the tires at recess or put on plays in the backyard. But I’ve always been a girl to have a huge group of friends surrounding me, each and every one close to my heart in very different ways. But with Marijke, I think we just instantly melded minds somehow.
We’d eat the same things and laugh at the same things and cry at the same times. We’d know exactly what the other was thinking before we could even glance at each other. We’d wear each other’s clothes and be so transparent with each other that we always listened to each other’s advice. And who needed boyfriends when every Friday night we’d find some funny memory to make? 😉 And this isn’t just past tense (well, the boyfriend part is), even after I’ve moved away and we only have the phone lines to keep us connected.
But the thing I regret is not being there for her like she was there for me, for all the monumental events in my life. I know if she’s reading this she’s rolling her eyes about right now. She’s thinking, “You stinker…of course you’re there for me!” But seriously. It’s not the same, Marijke.
Yeah, we went through heartbreaks together and laid in the same bed, staring at a dark ceiling and crying over our pitiful lives at times. Yeah, we went to parties where we were the first to leave and put on parties where we were the only ones having fun. Yes, we pulled all-nighters while complaining about everything ranging from our stupid finals to stupid boys. Yes, we went through a lot. But then there were the big things..
She was there when I met my husband. Like at the SAME table–and she was giving me these looks the whole time and I tried not to smile. And she was there for the first double date Matt and I ever went on, too.
She was there for my first dance with Matt–and we bought our dresses together.
She was there with a camera, hiding behind a wall, when Matt proposed to me. And I’ll never forget the way she ran up to me, tears on her face, as I flashed my ring and squealed.
She was there when I found my perfect dress. And she cupped her hands over her mouth and hugged me tight as she whispered, “You’re beautiful”.
She helped put on my bridal shower, making cupcakes and printing invitations, and getting mad when not everyone showed up. *Oh did I mention, we’d never forgive the people who hurt the other?*
She was my maid of honor at my wedding. She calmed my nerves and held the train of my dress and caught the bouquet. She cried when she saw me come out of the temple and she laughed when it started to rain and we both looked like drowned rats.
She was at my graduation–my looooong graduation with speeches that made her fall asleep. But she was there.
She was always there.
And I’m sitting here now, reminiscing over the old days when she told me she’d never get married and we’d die as room mates still with a hundred cats. But that pathetic story just made us laugh because deep down inside we knew–marriage would come. Babies would come. Life would change.
And now, life is changing a lot. But I’m so proud of her–and I’m happy for her change. I’m happy she found someone who sees everything I’ve always seen. A laugher. An encourager. A crazy, over the top, sensational burst of light in a room. A nurturer. An artist. A dancer with more energy in her pinky toe than the sun in all it’s glory. A thinker. A smiler. A dreamer with ideas and sketches and plans.
In my mind, even while I’m hundreds of miles away from her, I see us again as college students and I hear us chattering on and on and I see us making a mess of the vanity with our makeup and hair ties and ten thousand curlers. I see us again making macaroni and cheese in our cramped kitchen and laughing til we snorted when I fell down an entire flight of stairs and had to sit on a donut. It hurt–but boy it was funny. I see us taking awkward pictures–like the two times we proposed to one another and realized how creepy we must look.
And I see us playing in the leaves and jumping into random shopping carts in a field.
Things like that I’ll always remember. Things like that remind me that no matter what or how life changes–Marijke is simply a part of who I am now. Simple as that.
So, congratulations my amazing best friend. You changed my life–and you’re about to completely change his. You are so many things to me, and now–you’ll be a wife.
A darn good one at that.
Love you always!
Love, your crazy partner in crime