People are always on about how ‘friends are family you choose’ and all that other stuff. I don’t think I chose my friends, not intentionally anyway. I don’t really remember the in’s and outs of how our friendships developed or lasted this long. I have a hazy memory at the best of times (two kids and the sleep deprivation will do that to you) but I do remember this;

I remember at 10 years old, mostly as a background memory, a glimpse of mousy brown hair and a flash of bright red school jumper.

I remember at 13 years old, the red uniforms now black, only a splash of colour on a tie. I remember staying near each other because neither fit in with a particular crowd.

I remember at 16 years old, greying black jeans and WKD at mine, pizza Tuesday at yours with a group of similarly misfit friends huddled together in your parents living room.

I remember at 21 years old, occasional phone calls to see how I was doing and ‘my I haven’t seen you in ages, how are you, are you coming to London soon?’

I remember at 24 years old, you walking up the aisle ahead of me, mousy brown hair now redder then those jumpers we wore so long ago, holding my bouquet as I said my vows to the boy I loved.

I remember at 29 years old, you head to toe in white speaking your own vows to the boy you loved.

I remember at 30 years old, beaming face as you announced you too would be a mummy.

I remember you in all the in-between years, and the moments in our lives and our days that I would happily erase for you if I could.  I remember you, this friend, a part of this family that I did not choose.

In years to come I will remember you at 32 years old as you eat cake and open presents with the boy you love and the daughter you made.

Happy birthday old friend.