Monday, November 7, 2016

My Forever Friend...

Have you ever thought about all of the people you come in contact with each day? The friendly coffee lady at Rutters, the cashier at the grocery store, the people you work with, or the random stranger you pass and say "hi" to when you're walking the dog. Think about all the people you come in contact with every. single. day. Amazing isn't it? So, how is it that we manage to choose that one person to form a friendship with when you come in contact with so many different people throughout your life? 

When I was in first grade I met a little girl who happened to live a block away from my house. One day I decided to walk down to this little girl's house in my yellow dress with the flowers. I walked up to the door, knocked, and said, "Hi, my name is Mikki and I think we should be friends." (Oh how I wish I still had that confidence). Who was that little girl on the other side of that door? The person who would become my best friend, my forever Erica.

The very first day I met Erica we slid down her carpeted steps in sleeping bags and ran around outside until the sun went down. Then one of these deals happened...

Me: Erica, you should ask your mom if I can spend the night!

Erica: Mom! Mikki wants to know if she can spend the night.

How our mothers allowed us to have a sleepover the very first time we met? I have no idea, but I was allowed to spend the night at Erica's house and that is when our forever friendship began.

Over the years Erica and I have had our ups and downs, our highs and lows, and everything else in between. We graduated high school together, continued on to graduate college together, and found teaching jobs together. We were there for each other through break ups and there to celebrate when we found the true loves of our lives.

Ashley Shultz Photography

Life happened and I definitely don't see Erica as much as I would like to anymore. However, when we are together it's like nothing has changed. We still laugh, say crazy things, and are brutally honest with each other. 

One thing (or two things) that I have always admired about Erica is her kindness and strength. Erica would literally take the clothes off her back to help a person in need. She always, always puts others before herself even when times are tough. Recently, her father was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Within the past few months I have witnessed Erica and her sisters come together as a strong support system for their dad. They all have put their own needs, feelings, wants, and desires aside to be there and support him.

So Erica, this post is for you. This post is to let you know that your friendship is valued more than you know. Your beauty and strength shine through in all that you do, even when you're feeling low. This post is also to thank you. Thank you for supporting me through my struggles even when you are going through them yourself. Thank you for being the kind, selfless person that you are. You are one of the strongest women I know and I am beyond blessed to call you my forever friend.

My hope for all of you reading this post is for you to find your forever friend, or maybe you have found that forever friend and you were reminded of them after reading this post. Call that forever friend and thank them for being... them! And maybe you haven't only found your Erica, but you've also found your Jordan, your Nikki, and your Mel...

  "Sometimes in life, you find a special friend. Someone who changes your life just by being part of it. Someone who makes you laugh until you can't stop. Someone who makes you believe that there really is good in the world. Someone who convinces you that there really is an unlocked door just waiting for you to open it. This is forever friendship. When you're down and the world seems dark and empty, your forever friend lifts you up in spirit and makes that dark and empty world suddenly seem bright and full. Your forever friend gets you through the hard times, the sad times and the confused times. If you turn and walk away, your forever friend follows. If you lose your way, your forever friend guides you and cheers you on. Your forever friend holds your hand and tells you that everything is going to be okay. And if you find such a friend, you feel happy and complete because you need not worry. You have a forever friend, and forever has no end." 

- Unknown