Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My Friend Heather

The best days in life are when you hear from an old friend via written mail. And I am not talking about those photo Christmas cards. Don't get me wrong, I love receiving these cards in the mail to see people's beautiful children growing up and to get a sense for the whimsy and creativity that surrounds me. There is even one fellow in our circle of friends who never fails to write a two page letter that leaves me in hysterics and makes me wish I could write as succintly and honestly as him. But my favorite letter generally comes in the cold bleakness of January from My Friend Heather.

I met Heather in 1999 while working at a law firm known as Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering. She touched my life immediately and became a fast friend when there were very few other true friends to be found in my vicinity for about two years. Might I remind you that I worked at a law firm. A big one filled with Georgetown, Penn and Harvard graduates. (As near as I can tell, there were no University of Montana juris doctorates here. Not surprising if you've ever been to Missoula). Though I was obviously out of my element there, I have to say that the three or four attorneys I worked with were very kind and treated me so well. They thought I was a little weird, but seemed to forgive me of this ill-fated trait. Washington, D.C. is not the place to be weird.

Oh my gosh, Heather never would have written that above paragraph! I need to learn when to zip it like she does! But I can't strike it. I just can't. It's all true.

Heather and I held the same position in the law firm and we lived close to each other. So, most every morning we would run into each other on the subway (if only I could live my life so scheduled these days and be on time for work!) and then walk the 1/2 mile or so to the office, talking about work a little but mostly about life. I took it for granted then, but this was a special time for me and probably helped me to keep my sanity while in that lonely city. Heather always had a positive outlook and this insatiable hope for the future. She never said anything bad even though you could see the steam coming out of her ears some days! She was and is an inspiration to me.

We both parted ways from WCP sometime in 2001 yet continued to keep in touch once a year. By keep in touch, I mean that Heather did most of that work. She and Mr. husband went on to have a beautiful family of two little girls that she simply adores. It makes life seem so perfect to hear her talk about them. It fills my heart with joy to know that there are people like this in the world.

And so every post-Christmas I get an unexpected card from her. I keep thinking that she'll strike me from her list since I'm so bad at being in touch, but she doesn't. And so last night when I got home after a FANTASTIC day at work (Fantastic in this sense meaning crankiness, sloth and a general disregard for my duties permeated the day) I saw her card lying there and made myself wait until after the chaos of dinner to open it. I was not disappointed, because there she had written, just like every year, how much I must be enjoying my "beautiful Montana." And so I am. Thank you for the reminder of my dream, Heather. We all need this once in a while. Don't ever change.

Have you ever heard that Monty Python ballad that parodies Broadway? Something about the song that goes on forever. Well, this is the post that goes on forever because I have more amazingness to share with you.

Actually, I don't. I do, but I don't have time. The kids woke up and required snuggling. They take slightly more precedence over this blog. You're lucky.

World, I love you. Even if I complain sometimes.

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