When I was in high school, I had two best friends. But as in life, the friendships didn't bleed into one another, were disparate, and each had their own purpose. One of those was Leslie Blow, now Leslie Rivvers. She was a blond beauty, on the cheerleading squad, a tiny pint of power, and an amazing friend. The fact that she was one of my best friends was ironic considering I was a geek (hard to imagine, right?), not a blond cheerleader and part of the "in-crowd," and I dated a football player from the rival school (treason in Alabama). I remember sleeping over at her house and daydreaming about college outside of Alabama. We both felt the need to escape. And I remember powdering our noses in physics class and joking (in a completely dorky way) about why putting a little powder on our noses would somehow make us infinitely more beautiful.
Bottom line: we got each other. But, life continued and we literally moved to the opposite ends of the country. She went to Alaska (then to Vermont) and I moved to Miami. We both married, had careers and kids, and then (no props intended) through the beauty that is Facebook, we reconnected. And the 8,000 miles and 20 years melted away. I love looking at pictures of her babies, Cameron and Grace, and chatting about how our paths paralleled one another. We both moved far from Alabama, but we both have an anchor in our Alabama roots. And we both love writing.
Leslie blessed me with her wisdom and edited my new novel, "The Beauty of Grace." Her comments were honest and incredibly helpful. She then honored me with the first draft of the first few chapters of her middle-grade novel, "Blackberries and Cream." I loved it and knew I could be honest with her about my thoughts.
You know how you have those friends who because of life's chaos you go months, even years, without talking to, but when you do, it's as if life hit a pause button? They're keepers.