A while back one of my extended family members got a divorce from his wonderful wife. To me she had become my friend.

There was a bit of pressure that it should be one or the other.

I protested. I let my extended family know that this was wrong. You can still love a person while not doing wrong to another.

So I have this friend who never left me. Well, what I mean is she didn’t feel the need to divorce me.

She never had THE conversation with me. That this and that were boundaries.

She only offered me love. She knows me so well that she always heard my heart even though my pain was all that was shouting at her. Almost everyone in my husband’s friendship crowd made me wonder if I was missed. They were his friends. Only I thought they grew into mine. She never waivered. She never questioned me or walked away. She never made me feel different because I was no longer a part of him.

She always made me feel that her fingertips though three states away were always touching mine.

I remember when we were younger being at the Jersey Shore and dancing to Meatloaf’s “Paradise By The Dashboard Lights.” She was a toughie in her own right and I never backed down and I think that surprised her. I looked like a pushover externally only internally I was anything but.

One night when we were older and still believing not much was more important than the “Shore” and dancing, we were sitting on her deck.

Her high school friend was visiting. I had just arrived for the summer and I could hardly contain myself. I was so excited. She told me later that her friend asked if I was always that chatty.

Well, YES OF COURSE I AM! Only that night I was chatty steroids.

Somehow she always recognized me. She told her friend that was ‘one night Colleen.’ ‘First night of summer, Colleen’ that is so happy to see all of her friends again. It wasn’t ‘all summer Colleen.’

She always saw me for exactly who I am. That is a gift she has with all that she loves.

I have never taken for granted that my husband gave me this friend. That without him there would be no her.

While I lost so many I loved with him.

I gained this tough Philly girl with an incredibly soft heart that for whatever inexplicable, crazy, ridiculous, reason bonded with this soft southern girl with an incredibly tough heart.

She never walked away. She didn’t divorce me. I was not a part of him. I had grown into a part of her.

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