My Best Friend in the Heartland
Nancy is my best friend. We live a thousand miles away. We met in 2003 when I lived in the midwest for a few years, and we became instant friends. We realized very quickly that we grew up in completely opposite kinds of families. She was raised in a dutch, straight-laced, conservative family in Iowa. Vanilla as she refers to it. Me? I grew up in Long Island, New York to a loud, Irish Italian family with lots of laughter and an equal measure of tears. A very spicy clan.
She called me today. At one point we got off track like we normally do.
"Nancy," I said, "Wouldn't you like to be able to take each other back to our childhood just for a day?"
"I know, right? We were so opposite, I wonder if we would have been friends."
We both paused and thought about that for a moment.
"Yeah," I said, "I think we would have found each other and would have been friends.
"Yes, I think you're right."
No matter how opposite our backgrounds, we both brought an immense amount of loyalty, honesty, patience, love, and a very, very, high capacity for laughter. I am forever grateful that one day sixteen years ago I met my best friend in a little town in the Heartland. I guess we have enough in common that even a thousand miles can't keep us from being best friends.