Years ago, I received a card that read, “A best friend is not one who bails you out of jail; a best friend is the one sitting next to you saying, ‘That was fucking awesome!'”
Tonya, a bestie since our junior year of high school who has been my biggest fan, thinking more of me than I did myself most days, braved parenting a couple of years ahead of me. She has bailed me out of anguish more than once and set my fears to rest regarding parenting. As you can see from the photo, we like to laugh and have fun and do so more with each other than nearly anyone else. We have hurt each other’s feelings, disappointed each other, and missed more of one another’s big events than we will ever be witness to. However, I am certain that if tomorrow I were to be given the worse news of my life, she would be on the next plane. But, we aren’t going there. Instead, we are planning the next time we will reconnect over more than just the phone or cyber space. We still have a lot of adventures in front of us. Even if they won’t include professional ball players, fist fights, and someone going to jail as occurred the night this photo of us was taken.
I feel so blessed to have met her when I did. She was in awe of my verve and confidence while I secretly hoped that her southern charm and gracious ability to keep her lips zipped would rub off onto me. (They didn’t.) Over the years, when I’ve heard the song sung by another redhead, the fabulous Bette, it was Tonya who I thought of, smiled, and recalled our zany, bitchy, crazy, loving friendship. She is one who is closer than a sister.