“I am going to write love letters to my friends & family members & who knows, maybe chocolate chip cookies, just because I think they are all each really wonderful and worthy of love letters sent to them every minute, every hour. I won’t use their names because some aspect of this tryst should be private, but even if you – the reader – don’t know who I am specifically writing about, I want you to still know that these incredible people exist.”
Today is your birthday. It’s a special birthday because it’s the last one you’ll have with your current last name. Wouldn’t you know it, some lucky dude has finally snagged you up. Albeit not the same lad we thought for sure you would marry back when we were in 4th grade, but that’s all right – I can be wrong once. This upcoming year holds some of the biggest life changes to date for you, but when I think of you and your friendship I’m reminded of something that has never changed. Our friendship has ebb’d and flowed but it’s always been present. Since first grade it’s always been present. You take up most of my memories when I think of my life as a whole. Even though it’s been years since we’ve lived in the same town and spent any real time with one another, I still would bet money that you know me better than anyone I have ever met. You were by my side in such formative years — you saw me at all of my awkward stages. Kudos for sticking around through my awful 7th grade hair style. Slick parted down the middle? I could die. Together we sold girl scout cookies, bought trunk loads of cheap crap from Claire’s, had major crushes on total hotties, sang NSync, Britney Spears, & Blink 182 really loudly, visited the emergency room (again, kudos for helping me pee after I passed out and bashed my head), and went through a pseudo punk phase which mostly consisted of buying shirts from Hot Topic (I don’t.. whatever). Your house was the first place I drove when I got my very first car. You were always who I called when I lost grandparents, pets, or just my mind. I think that we could not speak for 15 years and you’d still be the first person I’d call when I was devastated or got engaged. Note – my fingers are turning white they’re crossed so hard in hopes that it doesn’t take me 15 years to get engaged. There were seasons in our friendship that I know I wasn’t fully present — I was flighty at times, and I apologize for that. Hindsight is 20/20 and I see you’re the friend that never once let me down. I’m sorry I wavered and gave more attention to relationships which have proved less dependable.
I remember when you first told me you wanted to be a nurse. Well, I don’t remember the specific instance, but I remember you knew all the way back in elementary school. And now here you are. You worked hard and you did it. And we talked about weddings and getting married, and now you’re getting ready to do that too. How honored am I to get to stand beside you. I realize I was growing up right alongside you all these years, but I’m so proud of you and the woman you’ve grown into.
We have been friends for approximately 18 years. This is the 18th year in a row I’ve gotten to tell you “happy birthday”. 18 birthday cards we’ve exchanged. 18 years of being your friend. What an incredibly huge honor — to have known you for 18 years and to look ahead and see the promise of so many more.
I love you.
[So, I mailed you a card obviously forever ago but I wrote the address wrong like a nincompoop and now you’re going to get it late. But I can’t stand the thought of you imagining that I forgot your birthday and mailed it last minute and that’s why it’s arriving late. I’m far too type A for such nonsense. Plus I adore you and would never forget your birthday]