I’m dedicating it to my forever friend, Ms Diana (Guajardo) Nill. Mi Mejor Amiga. My BFF.
We grew up together. My family moved in next door to hers when we were each about 6 months old. I’ve never not known her. We’ve been best friends, and often more like sisters, for 45 years. We’ve shared so much with each other: dreams, clothes, fears, bicycles, double popsicles from the ice cream truck, school plays, teachers, injuries (Little League), boyfriends, heartaches, recipes, crushes, tragedies, victories, advice, holidays, and our families. Her mom calls me Mija (mee-ha) and my mom calls her Sweetheart (sweet-hart). I’m Tia Debbie to her kids. We plan on being in each others lives until the very end. “Diapers to diapers” we like to say… “but of course, that all Depends”. Heh heh… yea, we’re corny like that… but we like it.
So, I guess the best way I know how to verbalize why I adore this friend of mine… is to make a list of why I think she’s so great. This is a compiled list of reasons I am thankful for her, admire her, am amused by her, want to be around her, want to be like her…and will always be her friend.
- She is quick to laugh and slow to anger.
- She knows how to give a compliment or timely word of encouragement, and does so with great generosity.
- She, without hesitation, will welcome you into her home and her family.
- She will, at the last minute, stand in for you when you get the mumps and can’t be in the 5th grade Christmas play (seriously, it was like a Brady Bunch episode)
- She is fiercely loyal to her family.
- She will do crazy things with you like Mannequin Modeling for Sears even though you’re in Junior High and are supposed to be too insecure to do those kind of things.
- She’s an amazing mom. Just ask her kids. They rise up and call her blessed.
- If you’re with her, you have her full attention and she makes you feel like you’re the only one that matters.
- She’ll thoroughly enjoy your antics, your mishaps, your klutziness and your inability to pronounce Spanish words… and never make you feel inadequate or inept. ( Vamos Y’all! )
- She will not just remember details like your favorite wine, how you like your coffee, or that you like it really cold at night… she’ll make sure you’re provided for.
- She will randomly take your hand, squeeze it and say, “I’m so glad you’re here”.
- She will always have your back, sing your praises and defend your honor.
- If she disagrees with you, it will be done gently, humbly and without judgement.
- She’ll listen intently when you ramble on and on about cooking and recipes and photography and East Nashville and your church and your community and… and she knows just where to “ooh” and “aah” and make you feel heard.
- She will make you feel like the most talented person she knows, even if you’re not.
- She will embrace your passions and believe in the work you do, even though your careers and dreams are different than hers.
- She will always greet you with bear hugs and cheek kisses.
- She will share her kids with you and allow you to become Tia Debbie.
- She will giggle with you into the wee hours of the night… even though you’re well over forty, thirty, twenty.
- She throws caution to the wind and knows how to play and be silly… and will be a safe place for you to do the same.
- She will share her heart honestly… and trust her fears and her dreams with you.
- She will challenge you, though unintentionally, to be a better person. To love with abandon. To laugh loud and often. To encourage others freely. And to trust God because you can, not because you should.
Don’t be jealous.