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KERA's This I Believe: The Best of Friends

By Penny Hagin

Fort Worth, TX –

I am 30. I have a child, a husband, and a dog, but equally important, I have a best friend. I don't mean an acquaintance at work, or a neighbor that I really like I mean an honest-to-goodness best friend. We have walked almost every path together of our adult lives. Engagements, weddings, pregnancy, even the death of a parent. I have told her that her taste is sometimes bad, she has told me that I am negative and a defeatist. We have cried together, laughed together, mourned together and continue to grow together (sometimes as much as 50 lbs when we were eight-and-a-half months pregnant).

I view our commitment to our friendship as a legacy to our children. The times that our families join together for dinner, outings at the zoo, or just playing in our backyard, it is not only our adult time to relax and commiserate about the suffering we endure of raising two toddlers, it is an example to our children that the strength you gain in life will almost certainly come from a friend that holds you up (or holds you down when said toddler knocks you in the head with a plastic hammer). Granted, our toddlers are too busy throwing sand, biting and kicking to notice, but we are laying the foundation, even if it is one margarita at a time.

I have tried so many times to put into words what I want my son to learn. I would like to leave a little instruction book or a cheat sheet on life. Be honest, be loving, smart, caring, yet all of this can be summed up by just being a good friend. I want him to have friends that push him towards excellence and that hold the ladder of his success, but I also want him to have friends with roots, friends that can call a spade a spade that know when he needs to be grounded. Quite honestly, I want him to have a best friend.

I go back to my own best friend, who lovingly refers to me as "Funhater McNaysayer." My best friend that is so slow that her 21 month old daughter already shouts "move mommy." My best friend that refuses to buy anything that doesn't have a good texture. Translation: horribly uncomfortable jute pillows and sisal rugs. But, in all fairness, my best friend that has dreams for me to be more than I can dream for myself, my best friend that pushes me to pass my own expectations. She is my anchor in the storm on some days and some days just the storm, but her unconditional love and acceptance has made me challenge myself and chase a few rainbows and this I believe has made me complete.

Penny Hagin is a mother, daughter, sister, wife and best friend from Fort Worth, TX.

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