Happy Birthday, My Beautiful Friend

We partied like it was 1999, because it was, well, 1999.

Today is my dear friend JoAnn’s birthday, and when the world around us seems to crumble, she is a bright spot of hope and love. We have a grand history together. A friendship that has sustained itself for almost two decades is something rare and special, and I think we hold each other a little tighter as our journey twists and turns its way along its destined trajectory.

She was there for me when I had my first serious boyfriend.

She was there to help me pick out a basenji on a cold January day.

She was there to help me pick up the pieces when my first boyfriend and I broke up.

She shared wild and crazy nights (and days) in Boston, when we were young and foolish and just trying to find love and happiness. (And in a different way, we did.)

She made a welcoming home for everyone, no matter where she lived, and she brought us all together without expecting anything in return for it.

Most importantly for me, she opened her world to a guy who wasn’t always sure of himself, widening his circle of friends and enriching his life. For that, I am forever indebted and grateful for her presence in my life.

She continues to bring a passion to everything she does. She loves – and she loves hard. I can respect that. It hurts a little more to be in the world when you love like that, but she wouldn’t have it any other way, and neither would I.

Happy birthday to my dear friend.

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