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I will be wearing black today and I will probably cry at some point…not because I’m cynical…(RANT: ok I am – I just can’t afford to burn any more energy or precious brain cells dwelling on life, love, blah blah blah…think about it – who’s sick idea was it to put a “romantic” holiday in the middle of frigid February…just weeks before the suicide rate starts to climb? And it’s only 52 days after Christmas (which means if you disappointed your partner with your Christmas gift, this is a great way to remind them of that and/or disappoint them again! END RANT)… but because it’s a time honoured tradition.

Valentine’s Day has sucked in the past – disappointments, break-ups, “missing” dates, lonely nights longing for love, harsh words, bitter tears…you get the picture! I’m certainly not alone here. But I have another “good” reason to dislike V-day. I miss my best friend!

My dear friend and I became inseparable friends in Grade 6…we had to band together to survive our 6th grade teacher. She was…something else! We had to band together in high school too – that was…something else! We shared everything (except boyfriends – she was straight but not interested). I could tell her everything and she would be honest without being brutal. She told me things too – like why she wasn’t a virgin, or that just before we became friends, she had planned her suicide, right down to the note and it was only a matter of days. That was in Grade 8. She went with me to buy a pregnancy test in Grade 10. We could tell each other everything…

Even when I went to college and she moved away, and we didn’t speak for months at a time, when we did speak it was if no time had passed. We could pick up right where we left off! I even wrote her fictitious stories of life in our “hick town” and she would teach me about life in the big city (like how to pick a hooker out of a crowd). We just got each other in all our weird and wonderful ways!

My dear friend died in a single car accident on V-Day. Her car slipped on the ice and went over the underpass. Ironically, she was on her way to a bereavement group meeting, having lost her parents 8 months before when their truck collided with not 1, but 2 passenger trains. She had spent the day at her parents’ house with her siblings sorting through stuff. Her brother told me at the funeral that she had talked about me that day, how we had met at a mall at Christmas and I had made her laugh…and how good that had felt! A few weeks later, he passed on some pictures and things she had set aside to take home with her – pictures of us being the goofy girls that we were. We had just turned 23!

I was married 2 months after my dear friend lost her parents, and although I didn’t receive an RSVP from her, I included her in my guest list. The day before, I got a call from my Mom – she was coming! I imagine it was difficult for her to come, but she was best wedding present and I got to tell her so!

My dear friend and I agreed many (many) years ago, that we would “rebel” every Valentine’s Day by wearing black, and with the exception of one year in college when my Mom bribed me with a gorgeous red dress (which was the same year my date cancelled on Valentine’s Day), I have worn black. And without a doubt, if my dear friend was still alive, she would too…and we would laugh…and that would feel so good!