Excuse the break in the Mort story but I need to introduce another pivotal character that will be referred to a lot….
When Clare was about 18 months old, a lady rented the house across the street from us. She was fabulous, we hit it off instantly and would enjoy long leisurely chats standing in the driveway. She said that her daughter Michelle was moving back from the UK 6 months later and was going to be renting the house two doors down.
The friendship gods were generous and delivered a double package when we met Michelle and her daughter Bella. From the early days of our meeting, we knew that we would be a constant in each others lives.
Within the first few weeks of introduction Clare and I were there to celebrate Bella blowing out her first birthday candle. To think that we will be celebrating Bella blowing out 10 candles next month, it is amazing to review the montage of life’s triumphs and devastations, complexities and simple beauty that we have supported each other through.
Besides my own life crap, Michelle has certainly devoured her own healthy serving of it, and yet she dances through it with laughter and dignity.
I wish everyone a friend like her; one that knows when to shut up and just listen, makes you change out of your frumpy clothes and put on a pair of killer heels, arrive with a bottle of champagne and a slab of stinky cheese or coffee and tennis shoes. Whatever the situation, her reaction has always been backed with honesty and a smile – that is perfection.
The old adage for physical health proclaims “you are what you eat”, but I think in the mental health stakes it is to a great degree about who you surround yourself with. I simply don’t feel good when I eat a bunch of crap…..I also don’t feel good when I am around crappy attitudes.
Make sure that you have a Michelle in your life; to ground you, and elevate you…..and have the innate sense to know which to do and when.
The beautiful “but wait, you get a free set of steak knives” moment in this is that Bella and Clare have also grown up to be beyond friends, they are soul sisters.