When we were 11, I made Natalie buy best friend necklaces. Like, all the time. You know, the really cool yin-yang-type necklaces that turned your skin green ten seconds after you put one on. I made her buy about a million of them.
Good, bad, really good, really bad. She's been there. And even when she wasn't there, she was there. Maybe especially then.
In college, I was having big issues with another friend. I was sad about it, so I called Natalie. When I got engaged at 5am, I called Natalie. (Fine, Mike made me wait a couple hours, so it was more like 7am.) On my honeymoon, when Mike was snorkeling and I was bored of my (really not fit for beach-reading) book, I called Natalie. When I found out I was pregnant, I called Natalie.
She hated the term "friendiversary" that I said about a million times over the weekend. She hated it but laughed while hating it. I like to think that while Natalie and I are so very different, we always find a way to laugh. I like to think that's our language.
When Natalie and I were in middle school, we lived just blocks apart. We'd walk to each other's houses, nearly every day, through our neighbors' yard. Over the course of four years, we created a ditch in that yard. We walked so often through it, we changed it.
This is Natalie's friendship, in a nutshell. It's changed me.