Lent Letter #5

Dear Justin,

I’ve been thinking of you often lately, and finally seeing you this weekend, brief as it was, has brought you to the front of my mind. So you get to be next. What can I say to you, old friend? I’ve known you for about 13 years, but it feels like forever. Sometimes I forget that we didn’t know each other in high school. It seems like we’ve always been friends.

Sometimes it’s funny that we’re so connected, it’s pretty rare between a girl and a guy, I think. But we make it work. We are just meant to be friends. In the time we’ve known each other, we worked together then you moved away. A couple years later, I moved away. We lived on opposite sides of the country and still we stayed in touch. Still, we stayed friends. Then, in a stroke of coincidence we both moved back in with our parents within a couple months of each other.

We’ve bought houses, watched our siblings marry, celebrated nieces and nephews, talked each other through friendships and dating, job changes and life challenges. We’ve done triumphs and tragedies and we’ve always been there for one another. It’s amazing really. Even if we get busy and don’t talk as much as we should, I know that I can pick up the phone and say that I need you and you’ll be there. And I know you know the same about me. This past year you’ve endured more than your fair share of tragedy and you know that I am here. Whatever you need.

Mostly, just for those hugs. You gotta admit, we’re pretty excellent at hugging. If there were a hugging Olympics, you and I would have gold medals in the pairs competition. No doubt about it.

Just the other day, I was thinking about how you taught me to drink. I don’t know that many people realize that you are fully responsible for the way I drink. Remember when we met and I was a newly minted 21 and all I drank was Rolling Rock? And then, one night, you said that I was going to learn how to drink properly. And every night, after work, you’d make me try a different drink. Martinis, Manhattans, Old Fashioned, Margarita, every kind of beer we had, rum and coke, whiskey sour, a Salty dog, the list goes on and on and on. I tried each and every one, everything you know how to make (which, let’s face it, is a damn big list) and then we’d talk about what I like and don’t like until I knew, beyond a doubt what I enjoy drinking. You helped me learn to like wine (that came in handy) and encouraged me to be brave in trying new things. While I may be a bit snobby and stick to my favorites these days, I know how to drink and how to order and what I can tolerate and how much–all because of you. It’s a skill, certainly, and one that I am glad I possess and one that always makes me think of you. Considering you are one of my favorite people in the world, thinking of you is something I really can’t get enough of.

I could go on an on, but the purpose is to let you know what you mean to me and that I am grateful for your part in my life. You know these things, we talk about it, we talk about everything. But I will say it again; you are one of my best friends and I love you like crazy. My life is so much better just because you are my friend. You make me a better person (probably because you don’t let me get away with ANYTHING) and a better friend by being those things to me.

I know you don’t read my blog that often, so I don’t actually know if you’ve seen this. I’m going to link to a post I wrote about you. If you’ve ever had doubts, though I’m sure you haven’t, but these two posts should assure you that we’re the best of friends and it is staying that way.

Love you.

Thank you for being part of my life,

Liv

(to see why I am doing this, read here)

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