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Day 4: D is for Debbie

April 4, 2015






( Debbie (right) and me in Ephesus at the site believed to be the     home of Mary the mother of Jesus, where she was taken to live by John the apostle.)

I’ve had the same best friend since I was about fourteen years old: That’s forty-four years, in case you’re wondering.  Debbie and I met at church during junior high.  At the time, we didn’t go to the same school, so we only saw each other on Sundays, Wednesday, and at youth group fellowships.  In the tenth grade, though, my parents transferred me to her high school (after a little matter of dress code violation in the ninth).

Debbie is February to October older than me, so she got her driver’s license first.  One little bit of trivia I recall is that her weight on her license was about 80 lbs.  I wasn’t much bigger at the time. We often stood in front of the full-length mirror int he school bathroom, arguing over who had the skinniest legs.

My house and hers were not far apart, and in between lived Barry, the boy everybody wanted for a boyfriend.  We rode back and forth, back and forth, past his house–until finally the two of them started dating. They stayed together fourteen years–then married other people.

Meanwhile, our friendship has endured.  We are not alike at all.  That may be part of the success of our friendship. On occasion, we’ve each confessed to the other, “I want to be you.”  I took the traditional path–college and then marriage and children.  She worked awhile before settling down. At her wedding, I had just delivered my third child and had to figure out how to breastfeed wearing a bridesmaid’s dress that buttoned down the back.

Debbie ended up adopting two daughters–girls I love like my own.  The first was born in California. When Debbie and her family went to China to adopt the second daughter, I went along with them to help.  That daughter graduates high school this year, but she still sometimes asks, “Didn’t I throw up on you in  China?” or “Do you remember giving me a bath in the sink in China?”

Even though we’ve spent most of our adult lives in different states, with completely different interests, we have this bond we can’t even explain.  We’ve never had a single fight. Never. We have laughed ourselves silly–often at others’ expense.

We have made lots of memories. She taught me how to drive a stick shift.  We’ve sneaked out of the house together. We both delivered annoying impressions (You dirty rat! You killed my brother!  or Judy, Judy, Judy…) in the wee hours of the morning at spend the night parties.  We traveled to Istanbul together a few years ago, along with her two daughters.  We’ve each made middle of the night phone calls when we needed each other despite the miles between us.

It may sound corny for a woman my age to talk about her “best friend,” but I’m grateful to have experienced the kind of friendship that comes along so rarely. Everybody needs a Debbie–but you can’t have mine.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2015 12:42 pm

    Great writing in a great entry about a great thing with a great person. I am greatly envious….

  2. April 6, 2015 2:22 am

    Oh, how I love this, Cuz! I hope I get to meet your best friend sometime! Happy Easter!! Do you like all my exclamation points?

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