Skyelines: For you, I'm grateful

Skye Kinkade
Here I am on a boat in the Bahamas with my oldest friend in the world, Kassie. I love her to pieces.

I consider myself a very lucky girl. I have a group of the best friends a person could ask for – people I can count on no matter what's happening in my life. I have friends I call for advice, for parenting help, to cry to, to laugh with, to recall a specific person's name, to gossip with and to celebrate with. I can tell them anything – ask them any question and I know I'll get a thoughtful answer.

The bonds I've created with these people can never be broken, and thinking of each one of them fills my heart with love and gratitude.

One of my oldest and most treasured friends is Kassie. There are many reasons I admire her, and here are just a few.

1. She's adventurous. Kassie has traveled widely, and isn't afraid to do it alone. She's lived in and visited many exotic places and is an expert traveler. She's been places that I'll probably never get to see myself, and I enjoy learning about those places through Kassie's stories, which are often hilarious and full of interesting details.

2. She's fearless. Kassie has done things in her life that I would never have the balls to do. Such as enter the rainforest with a group of complete strangers to visit a witch doctor of some sort. I probably have the details wrong, but whatever she did was incredibly gutsy. And cool.

3. She has style. No matter what she's doing, Kassie always as the perfect outfit, hat, or accessory. She does everything with a smile, even if it turns out to be boring and ridiculous, and chalks it up to another interesting experience.

4. We can talk for hours. Log car rides seem to last only a few minutes when we start talking. We can talk about our lives today and yesterday, and never run out of things to say.

5. She pays attention to detail. When Kassie plans something, she does it right. All the trips I've embarked on with her have been organized to the tee, no thanks to me. On our most recent trip to Miami, Kassie made me an entire portfolio, containing the flight schedule, a photocopy of my passport, emergency contact information and our complete itinerary. She also packed many things for me she knew I'd need and would most likely forget, such as earphones to use on the airplane, an extra pillow so I wouldn't get a cramped neck and ginger candies so I wouldn't become a seasick pregnant woman while on the cruise ship. With the New Kids on the Block. But that's another blog post in itself.

6. She's thoughtful. A few months after I had Ryder, I received a small box in the mail from Kassie. I opened it, and inside was a card which informed me this treat was "just because." Inside was a collection of little gifts she said reminded her of me – a Snoopy mug upon which Lucy calls Linus a Blockhead (a reference to our mutual love of the New Kids on the Block), a spider necklace (a reference to my own little Ryder the Spider) and a Giants teether, brush and comb (we've both been longtime Giants fans.) Seriously, who could ask for a better friend?

7. Her family is like my own. As an only child, I didn't have brothers and sisters to torture/tease/punch when I was growing up. So I used hers, instead. Her mom, Carol, is like my second mom, and her dad, Gary, was like the outspoken dad I never had. Walking into her house, even today, it feels like home.

8. She makes me laugh out loud. Random messages from Kassie have the ability to make my entire day and leave me chuckling for hours.

9. Our histories are the same. We grew up on the same street, and became friends when we were three and four years old. There are some things I look back on and laugh about, and Kassie's the one I call when I need someone else to reference this particular memory.

When we were young, we did everything together. We played in the mud, rode our bicycles around the block, picked bachelor buttons and blackberries, played Barbies and house, raced ants (yes, I said Raced Ants) and splashed in the pool. At Camp Low Echo, we sunk a sailboat together and spent weeks singing Girl Scout songs around a campfire, eating horrible food and making sloppy arts and crafts.

We blossomed into young women side by side, making friends, crushing on boys and expanding our horizons together.

We grew into adults, had disagreements and embarked on our own journeys, only to realize that no matter where we went or who we were to become, we'd always be friends.

10. She's always stuck by me. Our friendship has endured ups and downs, and though we've had disagreements and falling-outs over the more than 25 years I've known her, she's still my best friend. She's seen the ugly side of me, and she forgives me all of it. For that, I'll be eternally grateful.

Sometimes I'm reminded just how short life can be. Recently, I made a promise to myself to let the people I love know how much I appreciate them. I don't think I do it enough. So here goes.

Thank you Kassie. I love you more than you can imagine. :)