Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Best Gifts Come Packaged In Skin!

Sometimes, if you're very good you receive a great gift as a reward. Sometimes, if you're very diligent, your hard work pays off with a special gift which acknowledges your efforts. But sometimes, you receive a gift that is unexpected, seemingly out of the blue, and laid at your feet due to nothing you did to earn or necessarily deserve it. When this phenomenon happens, the smart individual recognizes it for the blessing it is, and from that point forward does everything in his/her power to be worthy of keeping it. I have had this exact thing happen to me in the gift that is my best friend in the world: Angela!

We met almost twenty-one years ago on the first day of pharmacy school following the orientation session. During the orientation presentation, I noticed this beautiful young woman who seemed to be a bit out of her element. I had attended undergrad at the same school, and thus was a veteran on campus. Angie on the other hand had transferred from a school on the west coast. Throughout the orientation, I noticed that she glanced several times to the rear of the auditorium where a distinguished looking older black man stood. I wondered if he too were new to the school and made a mental note to offer to show them both around campus. When the session ended and we were dismissed, I made my way over and introduced myself to Angie who in turn introduced me to the gentleman at the back of the auditorium...her Dad! To this day, I still tease her about her "Daddy taking his babygirl to school on her first day like she was starting kindergarten or something"! [LOLOLOLOL]

I've always thought that physically, Angie is one of the most beautiful women I know personally. Extraordinarily though, she has a beautiful spirit as well. Over the past twenty years, we have seen each other through thick and thin, and I have to send her props as it has to be a lot more work for her to be my friend than it is for me to be hers as I tend to "let it all hang out", while she needs "to have her troubles blackmailed out of her". During college, we even had a physical fight that resulted in our not speaking or associating with each other for more than a year. Even that could not end our friendship, and having reconciled, we have built and sustained a friendship that I don't believe anything could ever destroy.

We are more than friends, we are many ways, more so than the people with whom we share DNA qualify as family. When she got married,

I was there in all my Maid of Honor glory! When I tried to get married [;), she was there trying to be a glorious Matron of Honor! Through job changes, relationship start-ups and crash landings, new homes, and babies, she's always been there. She is so special to me that I once sent a Thank You card to her mother for having and raising the spectacular woman I was lucky enough to have as my best friend. Just the other day, I was reading a fantastic series of posts on James' "Peace On That" blog which was focused on men and how little they actually share with each other. Excellent series of posts, and quite enlightening without question, however, as I read through them, I could only think of how very lucky I am to be a woman. Women have such an incredible ability to be open and accessible to each other. Women share things, private things and things that are just plain silly. We don't care...we thrive when we can connect with another woman and to the men who read my blog, I'm sorry if you're not one of the very few who has evolved to this stage of development. I often tell my son that if something ever should happen to me leaving him to wonder "who I was or what it was that I was about", he should go to his Godmother [of course that would be Angie] as she probably knows me, better than I know myself.

In August of 2005, Angie and I and the rest of our book club attended the National Book Club Conference. While there, we had the privelege of meeting Donna Grant and Virginia Deberry the celebrated authors of "Far From The Tree" , "Trying To Sleep In The Bed You Made" , and "Better Than I Know Myself". During their discussion, these wonderful ladies talked about their friendship which in many ways mirrors the relationship Angie and I share. When Donna Grant's husband proposed to her a few years ago, before accepting his proposal, she drilled into his psyche that if he wanted her, he had to take the entire package which included her friend and writing partner Virginia Deberry. When they related this story, Angie and I almost died laughing as it was like a deja vu of the conversations we have had with her husband who accepts me as part of the "package" deal that is his wife! He and I are like brother and sister, and I love them as I love my flesh and blood relatives...unconditionally. Though she does everything extremely well, what Angie does best is parent her two sons, my Godsons, Darius and Nathan. To see her with either of her children, [or mine for that matter], is to truly see her in her element. Her devotion to these very special young men is what has led me to ask that she become my son's guardian in the event that I am not around to handle the job. She is a brilliant, doting mother who finds the time and energy to be a total participant in the lives of our children. We are so incredibly in sync with each other that we even had our firstborn sons ten days apart; after which we vowed to each other that they would grow up "together" though we have never again lived in the same state since college. To that end, we travel to see each other on average about every other month, take family and "gurlz" vacations together, and talk on the phone sometimes multiple times per day.

Last Saturday was Angie's birthday, the anniversary of the date on which the miracle that became my best friend was born. For me, this date is almost as special as my own birthday. If I tried to make her understand what she brings to my world, she'd think I was lying as she could not possibly conceive of the value she has brought to my life. This post is late in being uploaded because Blogger [like always when I'm trying to be timely] has given me issues all week. Nevertheless, I never stopped trying to post this most important of blog posts to tell the world at large how very blessed I am to have Mrs. Angela D. W.................. as my very own best friend. Like I said in the beginning, The very best gifts come packaged in skin!

Happy Birthday Again Angela...I Love You, Love You, LOVE YOU!!!


DJ Diva said...

happy b'day fellow Arian...why am i not suprised that your best friend is so close to my bday ;)

What a beautiful friendship!

Serenity23 said...

How is your reading coming along?

chele said...

You are truly blessed to have someone in your life like Angela. I feel the same way about my best friend. It's funny because he's a (straight) man and we've known each other for more than 25 years and he's the one person that I can share anything and everything with. Our relationship has always been platonic. He always listens without judgment and I know I can always count on him.

Safa said... know I'm all hormonal...I cry at a fly on the wall!!!

It is so beautiful to have a friend who knows you and you can be "you" with...a true friend. I value mine so much.

Dee said...




LadyLee said...

Oh God, Oldgirl, you're about to make this Oldgirl over here wail and CRY!!!

It is such a wonderful blessing to have such a friend as this... one who has your back, one who you can totally be yourself around... One who knows you better than you know your ownself... one who you would trust with everything you have...

I see you have that in Angela...

So happy belated birthday Angie! I've only met Sharon once and I have only known Sharon though her written words, but you have been hovering around the Microphone Queen for over 20 years? OH MY!! Angela, I know you are just as gifted as she is:)

Anonymous said...
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Aunt Valerie said...


You are very talented writer - keep writing what you feel and reaching for the stars. When is the book signing? Ryan is lucky as well to have a terrific mother. Great surprise! You are a wonderful example of what a "Mother" should be. I want to be just like you. Happy Mother's Day! Love Aunt Val