Allison-friendship-girlfriendIf you’re alone, I’ll be your shadow. If you want to cry, I’ll be your shoulder. If you want a hug, I’ll be your pillow. If you need to be happy, I’ll be your smile. But anytime you need a friend, I’ll just be me. ~Author Unknown

I love that friendship quote. It reminds me of a great friend. My girlfriend Allison.

Turn back the clock to the holidays, circa 2000. I was at a dinner for friends of friends and I met a vibrant, funny, sweet woman named Allison. She talked about how she was going to walk the ‘Flying Pig Marathon’ (the cool marathon we have here in Cincinnati – did I mention we have HILLS?!). For some unknown reason, I told her how I wanted to walk a marathon and promptly invited myself to join her and friends in their training for this spring marathon. Fortunately, she thought that was great and welcomed me into the training group.

Over many mornings and even more miles, we walked and talked. We got to know each other. We laughed at each other’s funny adventures. (As you can tell by the photo, she could really laugh!) We helped each other through problems. We started to care about each other, as girlfriends do.

We both walked the marathon and we celebrated over a beer that afternoon (probably before and after we each took a nap!). We did more races and walked every Saturday we possibly could (with our girlfriend Colleen & others) for over a decade.

During that decade, we got some very bad news. We cried as we walked when Allison shared that the doctors had found cancer. We cried for years as we walked when she felt good, and spent time together at her home or in a movie theater (when she was trying to forget the cancer and treatments).  We drank chardonnay when she determined that was the ‘clear liquid’ she was allowed to drink. I sat in the waiting room with her husband for three LONG surgeries (7-13 hours each) and committed to being friends while enduring the treatments, like we enduring the miles of that first Flying Pig Marathon.

I’m reminded of Allison and her endurance and the tragic end of her marathon days today. I remember the joy of crossing the finish buy xanax 2mg online line after 26.2 miles and the sadness in Boston today. I’m silenced by the reminder of Allison and the poor victims today, who were vibrant and inspiring, and who left us all much too soon.

Let the lesson of today be the appreciation of friends and family. Let’s remember the moments, like laughing (or sharing a chardonnay) with friends like Allison, of spending time with friends and making memories with friends and people who endure miles or years of moments that are more valuable than money or any other prize.Girlfriendology-quote-anytime-you-need-a-friend

Boston and marathoners, you are in our thoughts and prayers. Families and friends, we want to carry you and be there for you. And, friends like Allison, thank you for reminding us what life is all about … loving the moments and the memories we create with amazing friends. Life is good. We need to remember the smiles, the hugs, the laughs and the people who make even a marathon, a wonderful memory. And we need to pray for friends we just don’t know … like the Boston Marathon victims. Know we care. Feel our prayers.

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