Anyway, Chantel kills me for a couple of reasons:
1.) She has three gorgeous girls. We've been friends through two of her three pregnancies. Each time she's pregnant, and each time we find out it's a girl, I politely state, "Name her 'Aleisha.'" She just politely laughs, because she's real sweet like that. She leaves me no choice but to bring it up again: "No, seriously. You should name her 'Aleisha.'" Still, she laughs. I mean, come on! What's wrong with the name, "Aleisha?" It's a GREAT name. (Granted, no one spells it right...) Time passes, Chantel's precious bundles of pink are born, and not one of them goes home from the hospital bearing my name. It kills me!
2.) Chantel lives far, far away from me. In another state. A state that may actually share borders with mine, but still! It feels far when you've had a bad day and you just want to call up your girlfriend and say, "Hey, let's run to Nail Trix for pedicures." (Yep, that's it's real name. Nail Trix.) It feels far when you just want a hug! It feels far when you realize your girls, who are special friends, are growing up without each other. The fact is, it stinks and I hate it. I will never forgive her husband for moving her away from me. Just because he got a good job. Or whatever. (I'M KIDDING! I'M KIDDING!)
The distance between us most especially kills me around the holidays. Isn't that the case? We always miss the loved ones who are away from us this time of year. Just today, I was addressing a little Christmas package to her. As I was writing out her address, I realized, oddly, that I didn't have her zip code. Without thinking, I googled her name. (I say that because had I been thinking, I would have pulled up whitepages.com.) The very first thing to pop up in my search results, was a YouTube video of her dancing with her ridiculously good looking husband. I gasped in surprise, then clicked on it.
The first time I watched it, I cried. It made me miss her.
The second and third and fourth time I watched it, I giggled and grinned; thoroughly enjoying myself. Chantel is so talented. Her husband is amazing. They look great together. And while they're "hip-hoppin'," there's a picture of Jesus in the background! (That's just a bonus!)
Today, I'm thankful for good friends. Friends who cherish me despite the miles that separate us. Friends who have big hearts and beautiful souls. Friends who desire to see me succeed--who sincerely want good things for me. I'm thankful for friends who dance to Mr. Grinch and brighten my day while doing it!
This holiday season, I hope we remember that our true friends--
whether they are near or far,
whether they dance or not--
are some of life's greatest and most precious gifts.
They are ours to treasure.