Books; Life Long Friends Looking around my living room, I see my greatest friends of my life are all around me on my book shelves. Every book I lift off the shelf pinpoints a time in my life. They represent all the joy, sorrow, and laughter felt in my life. The large, shiny red poetry book my father read to me reminds me of all of these. It is probably my favorite. Then I recall my people friends that attended school with me through the years.

What great fun they were! I doubt I " ll ever forget the smell of my kindergarten class and my first meeting with Belle Hudson. As I get older, I realize how precious that friendship was. It taught me how to be a friend and what I have seen in her is what I have looked for in friends ever since. Now as an adult, I see Belle in friends like Tiffany, Rachelle and it seems my favorite characters in my books have always reminded me bit of Belle. Belle had a profound effect on me in childhood as well a slater on in life. She was my finest friend throughout grammar and Junior Highschool.

We fancied relishing our lunches together. Laughing about the boys " wicked ways and planning our revenge at the ensuing recess. This always made lunch go by so swiftly. It was hard to tear us apart.

Hell, it was hard to tell us apart. We were both round bodied and a bit out of shape. But I always saw Belle in a jovial light. She had a merry way about her, and her laugh was infectious; it reminded me if Christmas bells, tingly, jingling and warm. I miss her. She was happy, giving and warm.

Upon reflection, these are the attributes I look for in friends. Rachelle holds a special place in my heart. I work with her and have found her to be a superb listener and always seems to know how to dole out the right advice. It seems no issue is too large to solve, and I would love to duplicate her upbeat nature in me.

It was our mutual interest in books, not our hiring at the same company that brought us together. She desperately wants to be a great writer. I know she will be. As our friendship deepens, she has helped me realize my own potential. Although younger than I, Rachelle has lived a much tougher life. I could say I know this as hear her words of advice.

It's not only in her words. She has the oldest eyes, and for all of cheerful nature, there is a immeasurable and profound sadness. I have such deep affection for her. Perhaps one day I will have the words that will quell the sadness in her big brown eyes. My books, of course, would be my life long friends. Oh the joy I feel to crack open a new book.

I am desperately trying to come up with the words that would describe the anticipation. As I flip through the pages in contemplating of the next, I am in constant thought of the person that breathes life into the characters. Do they see themselves in them? Are they writing about that which they aspire to be? Is the dying child theirs? Then there are all my old favorites. Lying in bed at night I would wait ever so patiently for my father to come in and pick up that great big shiny red poetry book. Ican still vividly feel how Jack did climb that giant beanstalk. I remember the sleepless nights after discovering the very next year, I would learn how to read.

Then I recall my father telling me he would teach me prior to class in the fall. He couldn't possibly watch me sicken myself from lack of sleep. Oh the excitement! How helpless Rapunzel and Cinderella's prince were! I recall the feeling when Belle and I had discovered "Are you there God, it's me Margaret?" We had not yet gotten our periods, so we read with breathless anticipation as Margaret discovered her body grow. Needless to say, Belle andI had much to discuss. On and on I could go. Indeed knowing my books have always been my greatest passion and my books have always been my most distinguished friends.

It is a wonderful experience verbalizing how precious my friends are. While I shall always love Belle, Rachelle and the friends I make in the future, I celebrate all of those marvelous pages that have guided me through my life. o.