For those of you who are fortunate to have a best friend — one you can confide in, tell your deepest secrets, fears and wants, one who is always lovingly honest and supportive, keep them close. I’m lucky — and very thankful — to say that I have many friends. And I would say that some are my “best” friends. But the one who is closest to my heart and has known me the longest (over 25 years!) and has been with me thru the ups, downs, good and bad, is Connie.
Connie and I met at a small company we worked at in Rapid City, South Dakota (Mt. Rushmore anyone?). Now, she and her wonderful husband Jeff live in Texas and I’m in Minnesota. We talk and text regularly and see each other at least once a year. I recently made the trip to Texas (why would I have her come here when it was still snowing and in the 80s there?). I always look forward to spending time with her — we play scrabble and dominos, drink coffee until midnight (and can still get to sleep!), we shop, find quaint restaurants to try out, go for drives and BBQ at home (Connie is a fabulous cook!). She always bakes a cake for me because she owned a bakery back in South Dakota (she never let me frost or decorate a cake but I did make frosting once until I lifted the beaters without turning the mixer off and the ceiling got “frosted”.….she simply walked away and left me in frosting hell looking like a snowman).
And…we laugh. I’m talking about the kind of laughs that bring tears to your eyes. Laughs from our guts. That’s one of the things I love about Connie — she makes me laugh. I enjoyed four days of constant laughter in Texas.
Admittedly, we both had a hard winter this year. Me struggling with what seemed like 8 months of snow, dark days and nights and extreme cold in Minnesota and her recuperating from a head on motorcycle accident (she’s recovering beautifully). Since I’ve returned from Texas and her feeding me one to two salads a day (my body went into a sort of vegetable shock), she made a deal with me, which I’ve kept. Connie would read vevelicious every day and I would accept her “challenge” (Sundays excluded). So far, so good.
This past week’s challenges have been rather easy: eat a salad for lunch, eat a salad with no cheese and use low fat dressing (I dreaded this one but did it), and drink no pop (I’m a diet Dr. Pepper fan). I get it and know what she’s doing. If I start making changes they become habits. And I’m the first in the room to raise my hand and say “Yes, I need to change some of my behaviors”. This past week I had a salad every day for lunch — and did switch to no cheese and low fat dressing. Pop? Well, not totally given up but cut back.
But here’s the challenge presented to me that took a bit of thinking:
On separate pieces of paper:
1. Write down five things about me that I feel are my strengths
2. Write down two things about me that I feel are my weaknesses; then tear the piece of paper and throw it away
Tape the first piece of paper (#1) to my refrigerator or bathroom mirror and read it everyday. And then,
3. Text Connie the list of my “fabulous 5 strengths”. I did.
This wasn’t a difficult challenge per se, but the ‘tearing up’ of my so-called weaknesses was difficult. In a way, it was liberating. Connie is more than a best friend, we call each other ‘sis’, and my sis knows me better sometimes than I know myself.
In the years I’ve come to know and love Connie she has taught me many things simply by her actions. She has the patience of a saint. Really. Where I would have told someone to screw off (or worse), she simply smiles and walks away. Connie has more love in her than anyone I’ve ever met and isn’t afraid to show it — or tell you. She’s a loving mother, wife, sister, and daughter. Connie is the epitome of what a best friend is and I’m so thankful I call her my best friend. I love you, sis.
Written by Ms. Renee Vevea, thankful for all the friends in her life.