Tonight I helped celebrate my best friend's birthday. Already 49 years old, it seems like yesterday that we met. Yesterday was in 1991 and we were both much younger -- in our twenties, actually.
It's easy to take friendship for granted. Friends, the term used loosely, come and go... you have someone in your life for a while then they fade away and disappear. Everyone goes through this. But that hasn't happened in this case and it never will.
I have been through a lot with this guy. Love and loss. Fun and heartbreak. Vacations, too many to count. Periods of time where our friendship was strained and periods when it was intense.
When I was going through a crisis in my mid-twenties, he offered me a place to stay in his home. We barely knew each other at that point. What he did literally changed my life and shaped who I am today. I'll never forget that.
When we had only talked on the phone; never met, but knew that we had a connection. I invited him to my family's home in Montana. That trip was all it took. We have been close ever since.
A few years ago, he went through a life changing experience; one that altered every fabric of his being. I worried for him and for a couple of years he was distant and remote. Depressed and unhealthy. There was little anyone could do other than just be there. I hope that I was there enough for him. It was, and is, hard to tell if anyone did enough for him during that period.
Today, as he starts on the first day of his 5th decade, the sun shines; he is happy, partnered again, entertaining and witty as ever. I am so happy to have seen the transformation and I thank God that he is back and that our friendship endures and thrives.
Happy birthday, David! I can't wait to see what the future decades hold for you. I know it will be good!