... but she isn't just my best friend. She's my sister.
The photograph above was taken the very first day Carina and I met. (Carina had the long flowing locks and I looked like Sam, the redheaded stepson on Diff'rent Strokes.) It was a kindergarten picnic and it was 1984. It was also the very first best day of my life.
After that, everything else made sense.
Where there was Kathleen, there was Carina and vice versa. It's the way it's always been and it's the way it will always be. Even though state lines have separated us for years now, I carry this girl with me. Always.
She knows my every secret and I am a locked vault filled with hers.
Carina has had to put up with a lot in our 25 year friendship, however. I am convinced that bffs, and maybe close relationships of all kinds, take turns being the more dominant friend. When we were little, that was me.
Let's see... I once convinced her she liked The Pointer Sisters more than Madonna. You see, I had to be the biggest Madonna fan. I just had to. Oh, and then there was the time we were going to start a band in elementary school and I told her, "I'll be the lead singer and you can be the dancer in the background that no one pays any attention to." Nice, Kathleen. Real nice... Then there was the terrible day Kristine Beck pushed her into the mud in the 1st grade. The poor thing sprained her arm. What did I do? I yelled out, horrified, "Carina, your hair is in the mud!"
Don't worry, dear readers, I am quite certain that Carina would now be the lead singer in our band and if she were to fall into the mud today, yes, I would still be worried about her hair, but I would also run to her aid and help her up.
Through it all, Carina is the most dynamic, interesting and fun person I've ever met. I can't believe how lucky I am to have met her all those years ago in that tiny little town. She was my saving grace and without her, I wonder who I would be.
So, on this day and every other, I love you, Carina. Thank you for being the very best friend I could ever have asked for and one of my few constants in this topsy turvy life. You're the Thelma to my Louise, the Michelle to my Romy... the Biggie Smalls to my Puff Daddy.
Some friendships do indeed last forever.
Happy, happy birthday.