Thursday, July 16, 2009

I Love You, friend. Have you said this and why lately?

Please do this. I love my best friend so very much. It brings tears to my eyes when I think of how special she is. I first met Heidi my freshman year in college. My friends, Lea and Laurie and I needed to find 3 more girls to live with our sophomore year. We were introduced to 3 volleyball players and immediately hit it off. Heidi, Piper and Dani were the perfect fit for us.

Heidi and I became close initially because we wore the same size clothes and shoes. We told each other that we had an “open closet” policy. If we needed some clothes, we could venture into the other’s closet at any time and borrow anything. From there, our friendship blossomed into a true sisterhood. She helped me through the stress of my pre-Olympic schedule. She actually came to the Olympics and sat with my family. I will never forget looking up at her after my first medal. I won the bronze in the 400 IM. I was on the podium and I saw Heidi crying. It was a pretty special moment.

From the Olympics, we shared a room that was no bigger than 250 sq ft. We traveled and grew up together. We saw each other through boyfriends and graduations for her and divorce and geographical changes for me. Life has happened to us and I am grateful she has known me and supported me the entire time.

We have turned a corner in our friendship now with our families becoming closer. Being a mom with your best friend is extremely special. I had the good fortune of living right down the road from her and her family for a few months this past year. She has a wonderful husband and 2 kids that I adore. We got to spend so much time together. You know, that spontaneous, neighbor fun time.

She has since moved a bit further south. We knew this past year that the fact that we were moments from each other was a rare treat and took advantage of it. We had dinner together as much as we could both as families and with just the adults. After we left California, I tried to tell her how much I cherished the time we all got to spend together. I know she got it as tears were rolling down my face. But today, I am going to write her a letter reminding her how special she is to me and how much I appreciate her friendship. Why not do the same?!

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