As I watched these stories, I marveled at them, and thought, how wonderful that must be, but I've never experienced it. I moved quite a bit, and I think I basically gave up on the idea of a best friend, choosing not to risk being disappointed with making friends and then losing them.
Like most things in my life, finding my best friends has happened later in life for me than most people. I had to grow up.
Better late than never.
As I began my modeling career adventure in 2007 I was involved in photo modeling classes, taught by Michael Wray, the agency's fashion photographer. We would all congregate on the top level of the parking garage of Lenox Towers in Buckhead and Michael would put us through the paces of learning to be photographed for fashion and lifestyle print.
Have you ever been inexplicably drawn to someone? Well, that was the case with Carrie. I started talking to her, and the fact that there is an 18-year difference in our ages never seemed to be an obstacle to our conversation.
It was quickly apparent that Carrie is one of the sweetest souls I have ever met. The bond we share is made of the steel forged when women share their hearts and souls, no holds barred. We have a spiritual connection that makes us sisters. I feel safe with Carrie. I trust her with my heart (and I'm very careful with it). She is smart, funny, and beautiful, inside and out.
While I was in Miami Beach, Carrie flew down to visit a couple of times and those visits are some of my fondest memories. One of those trips was for the purpose of adding pictures to our portfolios. Michael was in town on other business, so between that and the great locations, the opportunity for a shoot was not to be missed. Of course, we had a blast.
Sidebar--> Thank you, Steve, for joining the party!
I returned to Atlanta in 2009, in the throes of the recession, and started over again. Work, mission trips, catching up with my kids, a new grand baby, and my wedding had all my attention.
Meanwhile, Carrie earned her Master's degree while teaching full-time and raising her 2 children. Regretfully, I didn't communicate with her as I should have; our relationship boiling down to occasional emails amidst our busy lives.
I hadn't seen her in I don't know how long--too long--when the imminent death of our friend, Michael, brought us together. We met again under painful circumstances, but seeing her again was as though no time had passed.
September 6, 2010
Since then, nearly a year has passed and lots has happened. Carrie is now a Christian counselor, as well as a teacher, specializing in play therapy. Leland and I were with her in June to photograph and celebrate her marriage to Tim, also a Christian counselor. Together they run a non-profit counseling center, Second Wind.
We've both come a long way since the evening classes on the top level of the parking garage. We've had some great adventures, helped each other grieve, laughed, grew, and celebrated how God redeemed the lost years by gracing us with our husbands.
I am more than willing now to risk losing a friend so that I can have a friend. I'm blessed to have this one--my best friend. People come and go through our lives, but there are friends with whom we will always be connected. Whatever life brings our way, I am certain Carrie and I will always find each other.
Do you have a best friend story? Do you have one particular close friend or a group of several that has stuck together for years? Please, share!