Tomorrow, August 21st, my doppelgänger will turn sixty years old. I have known her for forty of those years. The man who honored me with daughters, my ex-husband, turned that number a week ago. What an interesting age to be.
As to forty years of friendship, that is a gift only age can give. We see each other far too infrequently. Our lives moved down different paths for years before we found ourselves walking beside each other again. From road-trips in college to visiting her dad in Washington DC, (three dogs riding in the back, howling all the way through the tunnels in New Jersey), to maid’s-of-honor at each other’s first, fleeting marriages. We sat and had tattoos inked when it was neither popular nor fashionable. We swam topless in the deep blue sea of Jamaica with our second husbands.
Friendship, true kinship, weathers the stages of life we must pass through. Have we been distant? Of course. Were there times when we questioned the other’s choices? I know I must honestly say, there were some. I’m sure she would agree. For love of that person, you don’t take their forks in the path personally, you watch and support them, maybe they know better than you do what is right for them?
She has always been the picture of elegance and grace. I know she feels herself to be a Black Swan, perhaps that blindness to her own beauty is what makes her radiant. Her’s was a life of “Coming Out” and society balls. Her dad was the most elegant man I had ever met. His job with the government was a delicious mystery and he was the first man I ever saw who wore wear and patent leather shoes with total ease. He doted on us both and managed to smile through most of our mistakes.
Her mom is the other contributor to my doppelgänger’s allure. Her beauty and charm are legendary and the genes run through to her only daughter. We are yin and yang. She is the tall elegance, I am the short fuse.
And so, to you, my amazing friend, let me be the first to wish you my heart-felt congratulations on hitting the mile-stones of life with such grace and kindness. Here’s to many more years of shared memories and wisdom. I am a lucky girl to call you my friend.