For Laticia Ann.
Yesterday, I watched my oldest, dearest friend bury her father.
When she told me she planned to give remarks, I asked if she was sure she wanted to speak.
My all-too-bossy-must-protect-the-BFF mind worried she put too much pressure on herself to be poised under circumstances that didn’t require it.
And, selfishly, I thought,
“If I had the support system she had, I wouldn’t make myself do anything but be present.”
I was wrong. Like. Ridiculously wrong.
She got up there, regal as ever, with the round, expressive features and open-hearted charisma she inherited from her father.
And she fucking killed it.
What you should know about me and my friend:
We met in Kindergarten. And for years, didn’t get along.
She was loud. Goofy. At seven years old, she belched like a 40 year old man after one too many beers. And would laugh at herself.
As if little girls sounding like they’d overdone it at the neighborhood bar was perfectly normal.
I was a know-it-all. Who walked with swinging hips before she had hips to swing. Who cried when she didn’t get 100% on a test.
Who sat with crossed legs and was a real estate agent for Halloween in third grade.
This matters because,
yesterday, I witnessed real confidence. Real grace.
Not the airs I put on to cope. To protect myself. To perform when my insecurities threaten to swallow me whole.
But the natural confidence of a woman who’s never been afraid to be herself.
A woman who, like the father she honored with her words, lives well.
Silly me. Thinking she’d do anything but show up as the best version of herself.
That I get to call her my best friend.