An Open Letter to my Childhood Best Friend

To my childhood best friend,
I owe you my life.  I am not sure how I can ever repay you for all that you have done for me but I need you to know what you mean to me.  You have been my therapist, partner in crime, and sister for the last seventeen years and I need you to know that just because our lives have grown separately does not mean I need you any less.  You are my cradle to grave, my soulmate and my person.  You were with me during the greatest moments of my life and took care of me through the worst.  You are the person whose absence would leave a huge gap in my life.  You are the greatest person I know and this is me saying thank you.
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Seventeen years ago we met and our lives changed in the most dramatic and amazing way possible.  Over those many years, we have managed to survive our awkward middle school years, trying to find ourselves in high school and our first efforts at “adulting” in college.  But more importantly we have survived first loves (and heartbreaks), celebrated great successes (and mourned terrible failures), and outlasted every other friendship we have ever had.  So for all of that, I have to thank you, because honestly I don’t know if I would have made it through with anyone else.
My life is a mess in so many ways and you of all people know that.  I am crazy, embarrassing, and sometimes I don’t even know what to do, but you always do.  Even now when we live hours apart, you still manage to be the person that I can always turn to.  Whether it is to make fun of the people from high school, vent about our parents when we are home for such a short time or just trying to figure out what our lives hold, it is always you that is on the other end of the phone.
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I continue to be beyond blessed to have been able to survive college with you as well.  Four years ago, when we said goodbye and cried in your driveway for at least fifteen minutes (after a night of trying to figure out how to be cool in college) I was scared that we would drift apart.  While I knew our friendship is stronger than that, everyone tells a different story about them and their childhood friends.  The thought of being apart for four years after living down the street for eighteen terrified me.  But we made it through even though others didn’t.  Our friendship grew stronger as we grew older, more confident and finally began to figure out who we are.
But I think the most difficult thing for both of us was gaining the understanding that we will now have separate lives.  We each had our friends from school, our homes away from home and a new life that took over the majority of the old one.  However, I think over time we both realized that we will never be completely separate from each other.  We grew together and will continue to do just that.
You have been my life’s constant.  While everything around me is getting crazier by the second, you have been there to keep me grounded and remind me of who I am.  You will forever be my person to call in an emergency, depend on in times of need and just look to for some joy.  You are my dearest friend and I can’t thank you enough for everything you have done for me throughout my life.  I can’t wait to see where we end up but it has been one hell of a ride so far.
Love always,
Your best friend
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Madison Norwich

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