We are quite the unexpected pair. You with your long, wild hair, loud, contagious laugh, and bedroom without a proper floor for the clothes that pile on top of it. And me–always in a ponytail, calculated, more reserved.
But somehow we both knew. On that January night when we decided to get to know each other over dinner–I still remember ordering a spinach salad–we both knew that we’d be great friends.
And time went on and I got to know your heart, your deep love for Jesus and others, your passion for teaching, the way you light up a room, the friendship you have with everyone (you’re such a 9).
In all the years I’ve known you, with all the friends we have in common, I’ve never heard one unkind word spoken about you. Your character is admirable; your personality magnetic.
We’ve both keeled over laughing well into the night and spent hours sharing sadness and sorrow and disappointment. You’ve spoken truth to my life when it was hard to be honest, you’ve told me to forgive when I would have rather walked away, you’ve encouraged me to make a change when it felt impossible.
You talk about your students in a way that is kind and loving and full of hope. When I visited you at school last year, I fought back tears watching you breathe life into the souls of your little kindergardeners. Their faces glowed bright as you encouraged them, and I can imagine years from now there will be a lot of children saying “Ms. Muntean made all the difference.”
There are few times of the day that I look forward to as much as my drive home from work each evening checking in with you. Your sense of humor, carefree spirit, and kindness make this world a better place.
Happy Birthday, best friend. Life without you wouldn’t be right. Here’s to your next year of life.
I love you!