Today is my friend Megan's birthday and part of my present to her is: NO PICTURES.  Happy birthday, dear!  She's out of town today, and has been all week, and frankly, it's hard to imagine spending her birthday without her.  My weeks are definitely quieter and a little less sparkly when she's not around.  We've only known each other for about four years, and only really well for three of them, but she is so interwoven into my life here that it's hard to imagine it without her. 

Megan is a remarkable woman.  She is the most prolific reader I've ever met, an amazing cook and an incredibly gifted artist.  We quickly discovered that we have fiber in common, both of us with looms stashed away in storage.  She didn't teach me to knit but her advice and her persistence turned me into a knitter.  She switched me to continental, took me to my first real yarn store and got me knitting socks.  She has a fierce determination like nobody's business and a competitive spirit that we like to make fun of, although it's a characteristic I truly admire.  She's a gifted athlete who loves to try new things.  She keeps me focused on my running, and it was her love of Hot Yoga (along with my friend Marianne) that got me there in the first place, and now I love it too.  She is truly the most loyal person I've ever met.  She would do anything for me, this I know for sure.  She loves me and my husband, and my son has been absorbed into her family as her "honorary fifth child."  Knowing her has made me a better reader, better athlete, better cook and a better woman.  (And don't think I don't recognize how lucky I am to be surrounded by women who lift me up and make me a better me.  This is an amazing time in my life, largely due to those who are around me.)  Megan and I danced around each other for awhile as we became friends.  But what started tentatively quickly slid into something precious.  We were soon finishing each others sentences and, let's face it, planning our shared suite in hell.  The afterlife will be a lot more fun with her around, I promise.

There are relationships in your life where you just don't have the right words, or enough of them at least.  And although I've tried, I can't do justice to her, the kind of woman she is, or the place she has in my heart.  Happy, happy birthday my dear friend.  I miss you.  Come home soon.