I have the best besfrinn in the world. Sometimes it seems like the honorific “best friend” is phased out of people’s vocabulary as they get older, but I will always call her my besfrinn because that is exactly who she is to me, and no amount of years can change that. Cameron and I met as kiddos in sophomore honors English. She felt sorry for me because, long story short, I had to read Last of the Mohicans in a week, whereas the rest of the class had read it the previous summer. I liked her because I was new at the school and she was kind to me. Oh, and she liked Tori Amos. That was a big plus to fifteen-year-old me, too.
Our friendship has grown and matured along the same trajectory as we have as individuals. Where we were once boy-crazed pseudo-poets whose desire to marry our young male English teacher was completely blind to his obvious gayness, we are (or at least SHE is) now well-adjusted adults, married to men who bring out the best in us. We’re aware of our abilities to write well but also that we’re not going to be moving the world with our writing any time soon. But that’s OK.
Having been friends for nearly fifteen years, Cameron and I have seen each other through some strange, difficult times. Bad boyfriends, crappy jobs, rough semesters, deaths, questionable religious practices, general ennui. But miraculously, despite the fact that we haven’t lived in the same city since 2000, we’ve always been there for each other and never let our love lapse. The words we’ve exchanged over the phone and email and on occasional visits have sustained us and continue to do so. When one of us is in a less-than-positive place, the other is always available to offer an ear and one or a hundred kind, patient, edifying words.
Cameron is more than an eternal optimist; she is a truly wise soul who sees the world and loves it and its potential. On her blog Krug the Thinker – which, duh, I highly recommend you check out – she recently wrote a post on gratitude. She’s been thinking a lot about gratefulness this year, and as a result, I have too. I mean, we both have a lot to be grateful for!
Last June, she married the love of her life, and then only a month later we found out about the coming of Miss C. We would of course be grateful for those things in-and-of-themselves, but the icing on the cake was that we were there to share in each others’ joy. Cameron was the first person to find out about my pregnancy and was the only person other than B and me who knew for a few weeks before we made the big announcement. She called me every day over those weeks just to check in, and I am obviously grateful to have a friend who loves me and my little family enough to show such TLC.
Gratefulness means more to me than thankfulness. For one reason or another, “thankfulness” indicates to me being glad something bad didn’t happen, whereas “gratefulness” indicates being happy that your life is exactly the way it is. Things aren’t always fun and pleasant just as they aren’t always hard and tedious, but I’m extremely grateful they are precisely the way they are. Having a baby is the perfect illustration for this. I absolutely adore Miss C more than I could possibly explain. She’s not easy all the time, but loving her and wanting to give her the best of the world completely is. I am so grateful for the complexity of my love for her.
This begs the question, what are you grateful for?