My best friend from 7th grade spent a few days and a night with us, along with her sweet husband, John. Below is a photo of my friend and I at my 2nd wedding 8 years ago. Shirley is a treasure of a friend. Let's go back to when I was 12....
Mom got us up the next morning and informed us that she was divorcing our dad and that we were going to start a new school there that very morning. I got rather hysterical and cried. ::sigh::
She promptly drove us up to the new school and enrolled us.. and what I remember is standing there in the hall by myself and must have looked a bit shell-shocked... a red-haired girl walked up and said hi, what's your name? And I said Teresa.. she says.. can I call you Terri? I shrugged.. I guess.. so she took me under her wing and helped me find where I was supposed to go and from then on I had a friend. And I had a new name too, as she introduced me to everyone as Terri. :-)
Shirley helped me fit in there at the new school, we spent weekends hanging out and we spent the whole summer goofing off together. I went to school there 1 1/2 years and then the summer before my freshman year mom moved us again to Portland and another school.. where I met the boy who would someday become my husband. After 2 years in that school, mom re-married and moved us to another school, but they started me in the wrong school and so after several weeks I then had to start at ANOTHER high school. 3 grade schools, 2 middle schools and 3 high schools.
Shirley and I kept in touch during all this.. and when I went to Hawaii after graduating, Shirley came to visit me there. Then after I got married in Louisiana, Shirley came down there to visit and stayed with my new husband and me for several weeks.
Then we moved back to Oregon and I got to see Shirley more. Then she moved to Seattle, but over the years I've gone to visit her there and she comes to visit here. I guess Shirley's sticking by my side is even more poignant because a few other women who I thought were very close friends have failed me, which makes me appreciate her steadfastness.
Shirley is a lifelong friend and I love her dearly. I do hope you have a friend like that. :-)