Jen Halper and I go way back.
We met in nursery school at the age of two and were inseparable from the start.
Throughout our childhood, we did just about everything together: school (nursery, elementary, Hebrew, middle, high and the first year of undergrad,) sports teams (gymnastics and soccer,) detention, summer camp, slumber parties, carpools, etc…
We moved on to middle school and, despite being typical adolescent girls, only got closer.
We got matching camcorders for our Bat Mitzvahs and used to spend hours dancing, singing and creating music videos or episodes of “MTV’s Cribs” which we would watch immediately after filming.
I still have hours of video that I can’t get through watching without cringing from embarrassment or crying from laughter.
Twenty years later, Jen is still my best friend.
I’ve been through more ups and downs with Jen than I have with any other friend.
We have stood by each other through it all; breakups, betrayals, fights, achievements, loss, parent divorces, heartbreak, and countless other obstacles.
Throughout the best and worst times in my life, Jen has never missed a beat.
She always knows exactly what to say and do to make me feel understood, supported and comforted.
Even when I’m in a hypersensitive state, Jen manages to find the perfect balance of space and support.
Few people have friends that know them as well as Jen knows me.
Fewer people can say they have a friend that they’ve known for life.
I am lucky enough to have that. I truly have no memory of my life without Jen in it.
Throughout our 22 years as friends, Jen and I have developed a level of unconditional love, respect, admiration and support for one another that is unparalleled.
It seems as though the relationship we have grows stronger with every passing year.
We share in our feeling of gratitude and blessedness for having each other because we know how rare it is… to have a friend that defies the boundaries of friendship and merges into family.
I call on Jen for advice and guidance just like I do my parents and my sister. I ask Jen for favors just as I do family. And she always comes through.
Even when the favor is so large that I have a hard time asking; there’s never hesitation. She makes it incredibly easy, like family.
It has been such an honor to see Jen evolve into a woman who I admire, respect and am proud to call my best friend.
Jen truly makes me want to be a better person; she makes me want to make the most of every day.
She inspires me to stay strong and continue to keep my head up despite the obstacles that present themselves.
I don’t know how I would’ve gotten through so many stages of my life without you by my side.
I don’t know what the next 20 years have in store for us, but I do know that we’ll be by each others sides through it all.