Name five friends who were there when you needed them.
Mom - who was the steel in my spine while going through an awful divorce and who taught me to speak my mind. That occasionally led us to some rather prickly conversations, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I see much of her in StrongOpinions, who was a mere sprout when she passed.
PH - who taught me that loving after loss is deeper and richer than I could have imagined. He also gently has encouraged me to try many things I thought I wouldn't like (ranging from Wagner to pickled herring) and has been my rock through my illnesses and my discernment process, which resemble each other more than I care to admit.
LyricSoprano - to whom I can tell ANYTHING without feeling judged, and who shares my very quirky sense of humor (which causes us to misbehave regularly in choir).
MathTeacherSIL - I didn't know what good friends we'd become when I first met her - we were so very different. I've laughed with her, shared parent-of-teenager struggles with her, gone shopping with her, had my eyebrows waxed with her...that's true sisterhood!
SeminarySIL - she has the biggest heart in the world, and I love her thoughful mind, too! She also has passion for family that I, who have had so little in the way of family, really cherish. She was the first in PH's family to make me feel really welcomed, for which I'll be forever grateful.
DocSIL - she reminds me so much of my early mothering days, when I had more questions than answers. I still have questions, but I'm more at peace about the fact that I don't have answers. A great doctor with extraordinary patience. I wish some of that (the patience part) could rub off on me.
And because I can't leave well enough alone, I'm adding a couple of bonus entries:
MIL - because mothers-in-law get a bad rap, and I'm the most fortunate of women to have one who loves me like a mother and respects me like an adult, and not just because her son loves me.
L - She started out as my priest and became a dear, dear friend. She has the mind of a university don and the joie de vivre of a twenty year old, and shares my frustration over clothes for women priests. And on our road trip to the Gulf Coast, we both got a wicked case of the giggles...