When I was 19, I ventured nine hours from home to finish my last two years of college. Fresh off the farm, I was clueless about nearly everything. I’m not kidding you. Totally and completely clueless.

Lucky for me, I moved into a dorm just down the hall from a marvelous girl named Kat.

From the big city and wise in the ways of the world, Kat took me under her wing and into her heart and became a very good friend.

Just to clarify this crazy photo: the school had skits during homecoming and our dorm did a western shootout.  Kat, of course, did not join in the frenzy of craziness with the enthusiasm I seemed to muster for the project.  Convinced  my circa 1989 fringe leather jacket would be completely ruined from the rain, she walked beside me the whole time we were outside holding an umbrella over my hat and jacket. Yep – you don’t find friends like that too often in a lifetime.

I can’t tell you how many times she:

1. Made me laugh

2. Saved me from disaster

3. Made fun of my _______ (insert any of the following: accent, choice of attire, way of viewing the world)

4. Made me grateful to have such a good friend.

Days before I finished up my last semester at school, I dropped a horrifically heavy box and broke my foot. She is the one who took me to the emergency room and sat with me until  my dad and brother could come to the rescue.

Kat was maid of honor at my wedding 17 plus years ago and that was the last time that I saw her… until a few months ago.

I got married, she moved away and we lost track of each other. Over the years, I often wondered what happened to that funny girl who used to make me laugh and people often insisted must be my sister because we looked alike.

Last year, I happened to come across her brother on Facebook and begged and pleaded for him to send my contact info to Kat. Which he did. We emailed back and forth and finally in June when Captain Cavedweller and I were on vacation we made arrangements to have dinner with Kat.

It was wonderful and amazing. After 17 years of not seeing each other, we picked up our conversation just like we’d never been apart. She is still just as sassy, funny and wonderful as she always was. And I bet if I needed her to, she would still walk beside me holding an umbrella.

She Who is Grateful for Good Friends

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