Have you ever seen the movie Beaches? I love that movie.
I remember the first time I watched it with my mom. I was in middle school.
At that time, I was in the midst of losing my closest childhood friend. We had grown apart, and I found myself wondering if I would ever have a friend like Bette Midler was to Barbara Hershey.
I always saw myself as the Barbara Hershey character. Smart and serious, yet caring and motherly.
I hadn't thought about that movie in a long time. But my mom and dad watched it last weekend, and they both mentioned it to me on different occasions. So it's been on my mind.
As I looked at the calendar yesterday, remembering it was my best friend's birthday, I was suddenly struck by how blessed I am to have been given the gift of a "Beaches" friendship...
Wendy and I became friends in middle school. We had gone to separate elementary schools that fed into the same middle school. So our story doesn't start until seventh grade.
We were in the same math class, and we had a crush on the same boys, who just happened to sit across from us in math class. We spent a lot of time talking and giggling about those boys. Those boys never gave us the time of day. So we bonded over young love and disappointing rejection.
We ate lunch together everyday, along with 5 other friends. While we were all close, it was clearly evident that Wendy and I were special. Our other friends joked that Wendy and I shared a brain. We would finish each other's sentences, and laugh at jokes that only we understood.
Even then, I didn't realize what a huge part of my life she would become.
Wendy and I only grew closer over time. It wasn't just the normal things that friends do in high school. We did go to football games together. We had sleepovers. But, it was also the little things that made us close. She would come visit me when I worked at the grocery store, and I would let her scan her own items. When I wanted to break up with my boyfriend, but I just couldn't face him, she broke up with him for me.
We weren't afraid to tell each other anything. How we felt about boys. How we felt about college. How we felt about our moms. How we felt about our hair.
Nothing could come between us in high school. Not work. Not clothes. Not mean girls. Not boys.
Nothing came between us in college. Not school. Not miles. Not dorm life. Not new friends. Not boys.
Nothing has come between us in the real world. Not husbands. Not work. Not motherhood. Not distance.
When I got married at a very young age, Wendy was more supportive of my decision than anyone else in my life. She knew everything about me, and everything about my husband-to-be (because I told her, of course). She knew he wasn't perfect, but she also knew how happy he made me. And she supported me at a time when very few others did.
When I gave birth to my second child, Wendy lived 17 hours away. She called me every day after he was born. She was the one to recognize I was in the midst of a deep postpartum depression. She was the one to pull me out of it.
When I made the decision to homeschool, many people were telling me it wasn't a good idea. But Wendy was my biggest cheerleader. She was just as excited about me homeschooling as I was.
Last month, when I had surgery, Wendy drove 8 hours to come take care of me. She cared for my kids. She cleaned my house. She did my laundry. She brought me a biscuit and Dr. Pepper every morning. She even washed out my refrigerator.
When Wendy and I are together now, we retreat to our own little world. We talk, and we talk, and we talk. We laugh a lot, and sometimes we cry. We get each other. We understand each other. No matter how long we are together, we never run out of things to say to each other.
My husband jokes that while he's the one I'm married to, Wendy is truly my soulmate.
I laugh. But there is some truth to that statement.
The most memorable part of the Beaches movie is the song at the end, The Wind Beneath My Wings.
Wendy is my Bette Midler. She truly is the wind beneath my wings. I couldn't fly without her.
Wendy ~ Thank you. Thank you. Thank God for you.