For the last several years, I have been lucky enough to have two sisters. One is my biological sister, whom I dubbed ‘Baby G’ upon her arrival 25 years ago, and who has been one of my best friends ever since (minus a brief period as teenagers when borrowing each other’s clothes was grounds for treason). : ) My other sister is the kind that one’s heart instantly recognizes as family, even with no relation to speak of.
I met the latter, Ashley, senior year of high school. Ashley is kind, feminine, and effortlessly graceful, but with a strand of mischievousness that instantly erupts all of our heartfelt conversations into laughter. Nearly every time we are together, we end up in an adventure neither of us could have predicted; in high school, we haphazardly entered a district competition for class and ended up winging our way to the state contest, and more recently, we met for lunch and ended up as extras in a movie that was being filmed at the restaurant. (Fortunately, we had been rehearsing for this moment our entire lives.)
Ashley is one of those friends for whom time and distance do not matter. We have spent years and miles apart through college, and even further when I lived in New York, but we always pick up instantly where we left off. Even when months lapsed between phone calls, I always felt like Ashley somehow knew my story, and that all it would take was the two of us and a couple of lattes for the intricate parts to fit back together.
Recently, Ashley embarked on one of the biggest adventures of her life (although I’m confident our movie debut would be a close second) : ) by marrying her boyfriend of six years, Justin. They held the rehearsal dinner at their favorite local brewery, where we rehearsed our aisle walks alongside kegs of cider and giggled as we practiced our wedding gaits. At one point in the night, I caught sight of Ashley and her dad reviewing their walk down the aisle – and it touched me with an overwhelming wave of joy, admiration and gratitude.
Here was the friend with whom I had survived breakups and the buds of new relationships; with whom I had experienced my first months of New York; with whom I had dreamt about one day being close enough to share weddings and dinner parties, coffee dates and birthdays. After so many years apart, Ashley and I now live only a mile from each other, and can’t wait to share all of life’s milestones together, starting with her wedding. She is the kind of friend for whom ‘friend’ doesn’t really say it all – but ‘sister’ sums it up quite well.