Dear Best Friend,
To say we are best friends is never enough. Being sisters is a task that God himself looked at our moms and was like “whoa, whoa…noooo this would be too much, for even these incredible women to handle.” But when I look at my life and the connection we have, soulmate is the most fitting word I can find. Not in the generic romantic way they talk about in movies, but in the sense that we have a connection, that can never be severed.
You entered into my life like many friendship stories begin, in school. We bonded over our disinterest in one particular class, moving from table mates, to lunchtime buddies to two young women celebrating life’s biggest milestones over 10 years later.
When we were young having parked car therapy sessions, we reflected on how, though our lives were completely different, we seemed to always go through similar struggles at the same time. We bonded over our difficult family dynamics, being young women of color in a “white man’s world,” and discussed our dreams of just wanting to be genuinely happy in a world that can be so overshadowed by darkness.
You, my best friend, are the light in that darkness. I’ve watched you battle internal demons that have fought hard to bring you down, but here you are risen up. I’ve seen you bring your dreams to reality, now able to wake up in your OWN property, with your loving partner and fur babies, heading to a job you once only wished to have. I’ve seen you love your family/friends with immeasurable empathy and strength though you do not always feel, that you receive the love you give. You, best friend, are a daisy; thriving through poor soil, growing beautifully into any surrounding you’re placed in.
Growing up I had two older brothers, who through life, and “different ability,” (because disability is not a word we prefer) taught me what it meant to love a sibling. But I truly believe God knew that I needed you to be the sibling I didn’t have growing up. The one who I could share my problems with, the one who would tell me I’m wrong when I didn’t want to hear it, and to challenge me when I tried to ignore your good advice. You have taught me that I can be confident in the woman I am. You have taught me that I am beautiful, even when my beauty may not conform to societies standards. You have taught me that I can have a moment of breakdown even when I want to be the toughest pillar of strength. Going through life with you as a best friend/sister, has taught me how to love myself through someone else’s eyes and for that I will always be eternally grateful.
From final exams, to heartbreaks, to new homes and new jobs, you have been by my side every step of the way. The fact that someone who is not your blood, can love you like you are is a concept that I would have never known would it have not been for meeting you.
When I look at life’s journey and where I want to be, the things that I’m certain of are that, I want to be successful, I want to be happy, and I want to never know life without you by my side. We have so much more ahead of us, and I know that no matter what life may through our way, we’ll get through it together. Plus we have some great promised wheelchair races planned for what will hopefully be FAR ahead in the future!
So, what can I say, to a best friend, turned sister, turned someone who I can never envision my life without?
Thank you for the laughs, the tears, the healing and the encouragement. Thank you for welcoming me into your family like I was meant to be there from day one. Thank you for showing me the parts of you, you hate, and teaching me what vulnerability really means. Through our shared hardships we’ve built a foundation of trust. Through our crazy “yolo” adventures we’ve created our own joy. Through our life achievements, we’ve welcomed the feeling of triumph. Through our beautiful friendship, we’ve created a love that describes our relationship perfectly…. “Soulmate.”
Thank you for being my best friend, my sister, my soulmate. But, more importantly, thank you, for being YOU.