I have been fortunate in my life. I’ve had so many good friends through all stages of my life, but one person shines above all the rest, Carol S. I met Carol on my first student job at Oklahoma State University. We both worked at this science exam company and were housed at OSU. Now you see, our friendship might seem very unlikely, she’s almost my mother’s age. As I live by my grandmother’s philosophy, age is merely a number, and this didn’t pose any problem. Carol has always been young at heart. She’s full of vitality and youthful eagerness. To be quite honest when I first met her she was more youthful than I.
Our quirky relationship really blossomed when our boss went on one of his frequent sabbaticals. (He was a chemistry professor in high demand.) With our office manager out a great deal as well that left only me and Carol to run things. We would talk incessantly all day about anything and everything. It was through this unassuming job that our lifelong friendship was born.
When I saw this as a potential writing prompt, without hesitation, you were the first person to pop into my head. We met so long ago at my first professional job, albeit as a college student (the first time). Many might see our friendship as unlikely due to the age difference, but your young-at-heart personality kept me from ever noticing the age gap.
I was pretty shy when you first met me, but your persistence helped me to open up and become the social butterfly I am now. (OK, that may be pushing it, but at least I can have real conversations with most folks.) You’ve always had that approachable, friendly personality that even I couldn’t resist for long. Once I warmed up to your welcoming and relaxed conversations, I knew I found a lifelong friend.
Your honesty and warm Southern girl charm showed me it was all right to trust people again. I had little faith in humanity and was quite skittish in revealing too much of the real me. Years of rejection, harsh judgment and being used for my intelligence had taken its toll on me, yet your dogged determination showed me that some people deemed me worthy of true friendship.
We have had countless casual chats, rants and heart-to-heart talks. You have always been such a great conversationalist but most importantly, a sympathetic and caring listener. The many tears I shed, secrets confessed and all of my disappointments were no evident burden to you. You would listen intently, offer so much sage advice, but best of all, offer me the best hugs a friend could ever get.
Not only have you always freely given your love and support, but you’ve helped me out in many dire situations I got myself into. When I didn’t know how to budget for beans and overspent, you’d give me a loan to help me become afloat again. You taught me about how to handle my finances better, taught me how to be more responsible and just shared your wonderful common sense with me.
When I had no one to turn to, you were always there. Not only did you become my best friend, you were my family, and always showed support becoming my lifeline to kindness and unconditional love.
Best of all about you, Carol, is that I know this was all given freely to me, with no criticism, no expectations and no strings attached. You are perhaps the least selfish person I know and for this, please know you will have my undying devotion and love for you.
What better way to end this letter of love and appreciation to you than by the words of “The Golden Girls” theme:
Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true you're a pal and a confidant
And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you ever knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say thank you for being a friend.
Forever your friend,