I always loved the movie Beaches as a child, mostly because I’ve always loved Bette Midler. I recently had the opportunity to watch it for the first time in at least 15 years; and I have to say, the film carries an entirely new meaning for me – as an adult who has faced so much loss, and so many of the struggles that inevitably come with life.
With each passing year, I grow more and more grateful for the female friendships I’ve made and kept throughout everything that we’ve all survived. The depth of those rare bonds, the loyalty between true friends, the love that runs deeper than any dark force can touch, are what make life not only bearable, but worth it.
Seeing Beaches again reminded me of this, and it got me wondering… Who is this person for you – or people, if you’re blessed to have more than one?
Who could you fight with, be beyond angry with, while also knowing that it will never change how you feel about each other?
Who do share an inexplicable connection to, even when you’re thousands of miles apart?
Who knows you frighteningly well, and accepts you – flaws and all – without judgment, even with all of the darkness you carry from your past?
And the biggest, hardest question… Who would you trust to raise your child, if the unthinkable were to happen?
I’m curious, friends. Who are your Beaches?
These are mine:
Jessica. The blonde to my brunette, the extrovert to my introvert, the sparkle to my darkness. We bonded over a mutual love of reading similar books and shared family tragedies. Thirteen years and many life changes later, I still feel connected to her on an intrinsic level.
I’ll dream about her, and then hear from her the following day. If something is happening with a member of her family, I’ll dream about that person – and then I’ll hear from her. Often times, my dreams will predict what she’s going to tell me. Or, I’ll be feeling powerful emotions about something happening in my life, and I’ll get a text from her that says, “Are you okay? I just have a feeling.”
She is always the voice of reason in my confusion, and the one who just knows. As she says, “we’re stardust.”
Sara. For my junior year in high school, my parents decided to send me to a private boarding school in Wheeling, West Virginia. What they were thinking, I have no clue… The cost of tuition was almost an annual salary for them. I wasn’t a problem child, by any means; but I was bored and intellectually restrained at home. I was only able to attend for one year, but it’s very clear to me why I needed to be there – I needed to meet Sara.
After October Homecoming of 1999, we stayed up talking until 3am, snuggled under a fuzzy blanket on her basement sofa. We were inseparable that year; and as I reflect on our 16 years since, I’m reminded of how far we’ve both traveled. We’ve been separated by several states and at least one time zone, but we’ve refused to allow that to separate our spirits. She’s now the mother of amazing twin boys, who know me as “Auntie Molly.” This is thanks to Sara always making sure I was in the picture – no matter what.
Jenny. My fellow introvert, exercise junkie, food lover and my inspiration for rescuing a pit bull – she has two! While six years younger than I am, she has the wisdom, perspective and empathy of someone twice my age. She also has the healthiest attitude about herself, and about her body, of anyone I’ve ever known. A Health Educator and phenomenally talented yoga instructor, she is obviously conscious about her health… But. She is the only friend I have who can eat more than I can – and it’s awesome.
I remember one Sunday afternoon a few years back, we were having a Lord of the Rings movie marathon at her apartment. As evening crept over Albuquerque, we decided to order pizza from our favorite place. When I asked if she’d like to split a large, she looked at me like I was crazy and said, “I’m getting a whole one for myself!”
Jenny doesn’t question her beauty or her value; and I wish she could lead seminars for young women in this country, teaching them her gifts and mental strength. It’s been a miracle to witness, absorb and feel influenced by.
Michelle. We were paired together as bridesmaids when her brother married Jessica, actually. The rest, as they say, was history. Soul Sisters to the core, we enjoy sappy love stories, adult romance novels, and wine, wine, and more wine. One of my few remaining single girlfriends, we lean on each other for emotional support, and often complain about how ridiculous and insipid the dating world has become. Especially for strong-willed, independent, challenging women like us who want more than your average idiot. We fantasize about traveling abroad in search of 16th century Scottish men and handsome Irish pub singers… Oh, if only.
In all seriousness, Michelle is the sharp-tongued, quick-witted Alpha to my Omega.
Kristen. The female friend whom I’ve known the longest, we’re approaching the 21-year mark. As you can imagine, first kisses, first loves, first heartbreaks, first failures, first triumphs – we experienced it all together. Loyal, practical, and devout, she remains my moral compass today, as much as she was when we were teenagers. I was proud to be a Maid of Honor at her wedding, especially since she married another childhood friend of mine. She has always been there, standing sentinel, like the Earth Angel she is.
Being around her feels like home, because it is home.
These woman have seen me at my best, but more importantly, they have loved me at my worst. Heaven knows, they’ve seen me there too. Scared, lost, broken, barely able to breathe on my own, and almost catatonic at times. These are the women who have held me up – sometimes literally – when I haven’t had the strength to do so myself. These are the women I’d lay down my life for, without hesitation.
As I write these words, I’m hugging you from afar. Thank you for loving my messiness, my darkness, and every hidden corner in between – you are the beautiful wind beneath my fragile wings.
- Honorable mentions to: Lacey, Audrey, Anna, Stephanie, Leeondra, Deb, Chass, Sereta, and Sarah S. Love you to the moon, b!tches.