Everyone has one. One friend who you can count on in a pinch, who can make you laugh when life isn't funny, who you never tire of, never see enough. One person who you can travel with, share a double bed with, laugh until you're sick with. The person who you'd give the shirt off your back to, who's already given you hers, who acts like a surrogate mother to your kids and makes the two hour trek to see you anytime she can. The one who calls you when she's in pain, cries with you, laughs with you, and one that you'd drop anything to be by her side at a time of crisis.
That's my Jenny (aka Tink).
I met Jenny one day in college. We happened to sit side by side in a huge auditorium on the first day of orientation. We sat next to each other, giggling at the outdated hairstyles and clothing of the school officials, making note of the extraordinary people sitting around us in a failed attempt to feel comfortable in the midst of a new experience in life. We only shared a couple of classes together, but we'd sit there in psych class, whispering, laughing and attacking each other with toe socks. Alright, maybe that was just me. My Jenny hates feet. Which makes it THAT much more inviting.
We'd meet at the doors and chat, Jenny shredding her sweater and me juggling my backpack, anxious to get to the daycare and get (then 1 and 2) Thing One and Thing Two. She'd come by my place, listen to music, laugh at my children and bond. We became inseperable - doing everything together and loathing when we had to be apart. When my 25h birthday rolled around she planned a surprise birthday party with my boyfriend and another friend Sarah, taking the greatest pains to keep it secret and surprise the pants of me. She succeeded. We've gone to countless concerts, trips to Ottawa and on her 25th birthday: New York City. On her birthday the previous year we got tattoos on our feet - hers a dragonfly, mine ladybugs. It was my gift to her. I appreciate Jen, I've always appreciated her and loved her like a sister. But this past week has shown me not only her deep commitment to our friendship, but her love for my children.
I was with Jenny when we got the phone call for Thing Two's accident a week ago, and she rushed me to the hospital. She immediately took over care of Thing One until my mother could come and collect him, and then she stood by my side, followed us in the ambulance and set up camp for the difficult night while Tay was in surgery. She left the hospital in the wee hours of the morning, just to return at nine am, on a Sunday morning with coffee and a bouquet of flowers. She drove myself and my grandparents back to London that evening for Monday mornings graduation - and she cancelled her shifts at work to help me care for wee Taylor. She operated like a second mom, helping her to the bathroom, assisting me in getting her medication, changing her clothes, sponge baths. When I ran out of money she gave me her last 60 dollars to buy groceries and activities for Tay while she was on bedrest. She stayed an extra day just to accompany me to the surgeon, so that she could help us out with the transportation and to learn about Taylor's progress. She gave of herself SO willingly, I feel I need to honour her in some way.
Thank-you Jenny, dear friend, confidant, travel companion and co-mom for all that you have done. I know you told me not to thank you anymore - that your love for my family drove you to do it, not thinking of yourself, but them - and me. You are a rare jewel, and I appreciate you everyday. Without you, my heart would crumple. I love you, my sister.
Oh, and by the way Jen - Enter to win Ben Stein's food stamps! Who the f*ck IS Ben Stein? And why are his eyes so dry anyway??