It’s funny but I’m not exactly sure when we met. It was definitely at work – we sat quite close together but different teams, different jobs, different lives. But it wasn’t until we found ourselves on a work trip to Birmingham for a conference that the friendship began.
It’s true… I value my friendships greatly. Whomever I am lucky enough to count as a friend will hold a very special place in my heart and MJ is no exception. There’s a great big space in there for her.
She’s a great girl… kindness oozes out of her being and she cares for everyone. I don’t think I’ve heard her ever say anything unkind about anyone. Nothing is too much trouble for her. If she can help in any way you can be sure she will.
We have done many things together. We decided to nurture our creative side and start a knitting group. This turned out to be just the two of us and soon deteriorated from an impressive looking jumper to a scarf until we abandoned the knitting altogether.
Another of our grand plans was taking up walking in the beautiful Gloucestershire countryside. One one occasion, I remember huffing and puffing our way up one hill and then hearing her say “I think I’ve read this wrong… this walk is actually twice as steep as the last one” as we nearly collapsed in a heap. We decided on one of our expeditions to abandon our coats as it was such a sunny day and then have to hide for cover in a disused little chapel as the heavens opened and we got soaked through to the skin ending up in a country pub having lunch and feeling slightly out of place as we resembled drowned rats.
We have hung out as girlfriends are prone to do. Discussing make up, hair styles, life and my love life. She has listened patiently to me as I have meandered through happy times, sad times and perhaps even slightly ridiculous times and not once has she judged me, pitied me or criticised me. She’s held my hand as I wept and we have also laughed a lot together.
When I came out of hospital after an operation and couldn’t walk without crutches she came to my home to help me even getting down on hands and knees and scrubbing the floor after I randomly dropped a bottle of nail varnish.
I don’t think many of us escape life without our own heartache and I know this is true of her but you would never know it. She puts others first. She’s one of life’s givers. She’s funny, feisty, beautiful inside and out and I’m honoured to count her as one of my greatest friends.
She’s a trooper and I salute her and I would love to have just a little of what she has… it would certainly make me a better person.