One of my best friends had a family reunion last weekend which weirdly was near me. I find it a little weird because as everyone knows I live in The Middle Of Nowhere and yet two of my best friends have family in the area. Now, Kim and I have know each other for most of our lives - we knew of each other for years as it was a small town. But then we became best friends when I was 16 and she was 14 (? it was around there) We officially met at a slumber party thrown by Scary Ann who's mother encouraged drinking, smoking and boys. Nope, not kidding - she would buy the booze, we all smoked of course and if boys came by, well, she didn't see a thing. We thought she was perfect. (now she would be on probation). Anyhoo, I met Kim on a fold out couch and from the moment we started talking, that was it. I think I talked to her for two weeks straight.. After I met her she introduced me to her two best friends, then there were four of us. (Nancy joined the group a little later). And that was it - we have over the years changed the configuration, we've argued, laughed and supported each other through distance and time.
Kim actually moved out of town when she was 18 and I was 20, she had gotten married and went to live in Virginia. She and Stephen came up quite often the first year, but then as they got used to being away from home, it became less and less. But we never lost contact - it has been years of rare visits, letters, phone calls, now texting, emails and Facebook. You do not have to be physically close to be a best friend, some people do not realize that - you just need to love that person forever and keep in touch. I had not seen Kim for years but when I arrived at the hotel she was in the hall waiting for me. There is never any awkwardness, we pick up right from where we left off. We use our time together wisely and we talk. We talk as if we will never see each other again, and we laugh all the time because we really are funnier together. And we are funny, no one makes me laugh as hard as my best friends do, it is crying, being asked to leave the restaurant kind of laughing.
In one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies one of the character Will becomes cursed to only come onshore one day every ten years - his beloved Elizabeth makes the choice to go ahead and stay with him and at the end of the movie she is standing on the beach ten years later waiting for his ship to appear. I'm sure a lot of people found that sad and unfair - one day every ten years, how could you do that? But you can - because when that day happens all the waiting falls away - and then you have that day forever.