Monday, April 4, 2016
My Anne Shirley
Friday marked the end of a personal era for me. When I started my current job almost ten years ago, I was new to the city and new to the company. Sarah was the only person I knew in Indy. My first day, I moved quietly into a cube surrounded by unfamiliar faces. I was introduced to the nearest ones, praying that within time, I might make a new set of work friends, as I’d left my old ones behind in the move.
I couldn’t have prepared myself for the overwhelming welcome I received from a woman whom I would come to call a dear friend, so much more than just a work friend. She would become a bosom friend, of which Anne Shirley so fondly referred to: “a bosom friend–an intimate friend, you know–a really kindred spirit to whom I can confide my inmost soul.”
This dear friend nursed me through mental and emotional rough patches. She lugged me to the ER when my nose bled for thirty minutes straight and wouldn’t stop, delighting in the fuss of fixing me. She was the person I was with when I found out my dad had been diagnosed with esophageal cancer, and held me as the initial shock wore off. In turn, I forced her to the med check when she threw her back out and couldn’t stand up straight. We were close enough I could drive her home, get her changed into pajamas and put her to bed. We’ve weathered many a storm together, ever thankful for a soft shoulder and a strong hug when we needed it. Many a day, she would kiss me on the forehead and tell me she loved me. I based one of my first characters on her. She read that book and every one after, sharing her opinion, good or bad. She brought me into her world and in doing so, opened the company to me. She has been one of my fiercest supporters and truest friends.
Friday was her last day here. As I sat across the desk, completing the last of our tasks together, I realized how much I would miss her. Our friendship won’t go away with her leaving, but I will miss the daily hugs, the I love you’s, the pick-me-ups, all the get your head on straights.
I have been blessed with a handful of friends I would consider kindred spirits, who have enriched my life in ways I can’t even fathom. I’m reminded in a world that is often shaky and unreliable, I have a port to seek shelter in. It’s made me realize that the best gift a true friend can give you is unconditional love and support, and a world possessed of these generous creatures is a good world indeed. I hope for everyone to have their own Anne Shirley, for “kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”