This is Erin. A friend I worked with and lived around the corner from for three years when James was stationed at Fort Drum, New York over 10 years ago. Erin is loyal. Faithful. Naive sometimes. I love her for all of that. When James was deployed to Iraq the first time, we had no clue what lie ahead of us. J was a Chemical Officer – an expertise that the Army was short on at the time – and we were facing what was called a chemical threat. The night of the first bombings, I sat on my couch and cried. Erin called me within minutes. She invited me over to dinner and kept an open-door policy for the entire time he was gone. She was there to guard and defend me when working in a TV station, surrounded by the first-ever televised war, was getting to me. She was there for so many things.
Some time after James came back I went through some weird major depression, completely unrelated to the war or any other reasonable explanation. I got to a point where my anxiety attacks were so frequent and debilitating that one morning I was unable to get dressed after an hour of trying. She was there in ten minutes and she was there for me any time I needed to talk the whole thing through. Years later when we were stationed in Washington, and James had left for Iraq a second time, she flew – across the country – to visit me. She said it was the least she could do. I don’t know about that…I don’t think everyone is lucky enough to have friends who go to such lengths. I wonder if I would.
I have been lucky – no, BLESSED beyond measure – to have such friends in my life. Friends who are loyal, faithful, who understand my quirks and love me anyway. I am fiercely protective of my close friends. Maybe it’s the “sister” in me that knows to appreciate and care for a great girlfriend. I count all of these friends as a sister of sorts.
It’s been ten years and six kids between us. Recently Erin and I got to meet up on her way to the beach. Here are a couple of crappy iPhone pics of us doing the White Girl Duckface:
She asked me to bring my camera when I drove up to the beach to see her. I wanted to do something for her that says “Thank you for who you are. I’m so happy for you and the family you’ve created.”
Erin – much love to you and your family. Thanks for your friendship. XO, Crystal.