This is my oldest friend...not in age of course! I have known this dear lady since 1980 when our family moved from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Anchorage Alaska (did you know our mom's were best friends too...and still are?!).
You know you have a great friend when after 29 years, they haven't changed a bit (time to plug in my scanner and get some proof). She has always been kind, funny, real, and someone I could trust. We were the cutest little things during those pre-teen years, hanging out with our big brothers or bugging our older sisters.
Through high school, I had someone who was a friend to all and supportive... and although surrounded by so many, I knew she would be there for me. We stood by our values no matter what (and it didn't take long before our friends knew the kind of people we were).
After growing up and getting ready to attend BYU, everyone told us NOT to be room mates! They said it would never work out! How wrong "they" were. We became even better friends during our years at the big BYU. I had someone who listened, cleaned up my side of the mess every now and then (we took turns with the disasters we created), participated in pranks (remember the blue sock?), understood my crazy quirks and was always there...no matter what. We played racquetball, ran, climbed the "Y," went on road trips, studied and slept. She was a constant in her beliefs (and it wasn't until recently she told me she wasn't always on her knees praying for hours...she actually had fallen asleep that position), never crossing the line, always keeping the faith.
We both served missions. She wrote me letter after letter, each one building me up and keeping a part of home so near when home was so far away.
We both married boys from Virginia (3 months apart). Thus keeping our friendship right where we needed it (although I know it would have remained strong no matter the distance).
We both had five kids (4 boys and 1 girl) all the same ages.
And today we are as close as we were...as the little girls giggling under the sheets talking about cute boys some 29 years ago. Besides a few wrinkles (I think I have more) things are the same. Giggling will happen when I am with my friend...she is so funny. And guaranteed, I am asking her advice and she gives me "right" answers. It's also sharing the joys of motherhood (and how to keep it that way) and me asking her to "tell me about the old days (my memory isn't so great)."
I am so thankful, I was given this friend. I love you Maleen...your parents got it right when they put Joy in your name!