God has blessed me with many acquaintances and several good friends over the years. But my first best friend, outside of my parents, would be my sister, Melanie. She asked the Lord to give her a baby sister and God heard that prayer. From the moment I came home from the hospital, my sister fluttered around me. She held me, played with me and took care of me. She endured my toddler years being only slightly annoyed that I got into all of her things. She played in the sprinkler with me. She made tuna sandwiches and pork ‘n’ beans and served them on toy dishes for our tea parties. She shared her dolls with me. She played the piano and let me sing loud in her ear. She let me dress up as a bride and would play the “Wedding March” as I slowly walked down the hall, pretending to be getting married. We pushed our two twin beds side-by-side and would fall asleep whispering (unless Mom heard us and shushed us!). In winter, our electric blanket controls cast an orange glow on our pillows as they hung from her headboard post.
Then one day, she put on a cap and gown and got to walk down a real aisle to the tune of “Pomp and Circumstance”. I didn’t realize it then, but after that, my life would be forever different. She moved away to Hyles-Anderson College – 900 miles from our little bedroom with the orange light. I had two wonderful parents who loved me and did things with me, but I missed my best friend. I spent more nights that I can count crying myself to sleep. I felt awkward walking through the doors of our small Christian school alone. I missed having someone share the backseat with me when we all went to church. The table seemed lopsided with out her gleeful chatter.
I’d heard our pastor say that the Holy Spirit was a comforter, so before I was even saved, I began relying on Him for help. I imagined Him like the down comforter we bought for Melanie’s college dorm bed, wrapping Himself around my heart each night, holding me until I fell asleep. He filled my life with friends and activities that sustained me those many days without my sister. We have been separated by hundreds of miles ever since her graduation, but in reality, we’re never too far apart. She is with me now, in my heart, in my memories and thankfully, she’s just a phone call away.
Happy birthday to my very first best friend. I love you.