Sally knew me, understood me, laughed with me, cried with me and lived life with me. And I knew her. We made plans for a lifetime. We promised to dance at each other's weddings, be godmothers to our children and always be there with support and a listening, loving ear.

Suddenly, our lives changed and our promises fell away. I learned a very painful yet simple lesson the day she died. We only have this moment with the people we love. We are never promised tomorrows. Sally would always be a part of my life, but now only in my heart and my memories.

Our friends are gifts. They are there for the good times and the bad, the celebrations and the sorrows, all the big and the small stuff. They are there for the job promotion and the demotion, for the marriage and the divorce, and for the hope and for the heartbreak. Friends are our confidants, partners in crime, buddies, gal pals and trusted counselors.

"A friend is someone who knows everything about you, but likes you anyway," goes the saying. There is no other human relationship like that of a friend. Unlike a sister, you chose a friend—she is not given to you as a result of biology. Friends differ from husbands or boyfriends, partnerships that are layered with complexities (physical and financial). A friendship is a unique, wonderful relationship that you choose to grow, cultivate and nurture.

Friends support, love, care, listen, play and celebrate with us. This verse says it all: "Good friends are like bras: supportive, never leave you hanging, make you look good and are always close to your heart." I think that is as good a definition as any of the word friend I've come across.


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