Not many people truly understood my friendship with Dale. Strangers often looked at us suspiciously when we were out. Maybe it would have helped if we had the same skin colour and people could imagine us as mother and daughter? Some of my friends and some of hers were confused by our camaraderie, and my mother on more than one occasion was jealous of the time I spent with a woman only 2 years her junior. But Dale was my very best friend.
27 years divided Dale and I, (shortly after she passed away and I was scouring online articles for some form of comfort, I learned this is called an inter-generational friendship). I am 27 years older than my daughter, yet the dynamic between Dale & I was never maternal.
Whenever I would introduce her as my best friend people would do a double take, and we would share a chuckle or a sly laugh. The last time someone asked me how I knew Dale was at her memorial in November. She was my very best friend I told the woman who looked like she was a year or two younger than me. She was confused. The look on her face almost said, are you sure you are at the right memorial?
The thing is, I never saw Dale as defined by her age. If anything, she was the living definition of age is just a mindset. From the moment we became friends, age had nothing to do with it. We shared our histories and pain, and championed each other’s greatest goals. We had 3 hour coffee dates and never ending wine nights. We called upon the spirits together, and read the same books. We truly were sisters.
I celebrated Dale’s 60th birthday with her, it the first time I drank a great bottle of champagne! Actually, I learned a lot about classy living from her. Our next milestones were supposed to be the Great Wall of China for my 40th and dinner at the Eiffel Tower for her 65th. Sadly, cancer took my darling friend way too soon and we won’t be able to celebrate those days together anymore, but I plan to do both, and expect to feel her right by my side.
Dale taught me so many things, and although I’ll miss her every day forever, I am so thankful that I got those 7 years of friendship. In honour of Galentines Day, I’m sharing 7 lessons I learned from my best friend:
Always Wear Clothes With a Zipper
Dale took great pride in how she looked, and it was impossible to be a slob around her. She once told me that the best way to watch your weight is to wear clothes with a zipper. An elastic will keep stretching, and you won’t realize you are gaining weight.
You Can Survive Anything
The thing about being friends with someone so much older than you, it’s pretty much guaranteed they’ve seen more tragedy and trauma in their lives than you can imagine. She was my daily reminder that this too shall pass.
French Wine (and Men) Are the Best
While I might not be on the market for a guy, I will always be thankful to Dale for teaching me to spend a few dollars extra on things like wine & cheese for quality over quantity.
There is No Age Limit on Dreams
The lady walked the Camino at 61. Living proof that dreams don’t expire.
Everyone Deserves Love & Pleasure
Before meeting Dale I would never have talked to a girlfriend about intimacy and sex. She liberated me from so many stereotypes and beliefs I had about personal relationships and pleasure. I wish more young women could have shared her wisdom and compassion on the topic of relationships.
There Can be Dignity in Death
I’ve seen my share of death in my life, and I’ve watched people suffer to the end. Dale lived and died with great courage and dignity. She chose to forego certain treatments that could have extended her life by days or months, but she felt would have deprived her of dignity. I will carry her courage in my heart forever.
Women Don’t Have to Compete
My number one fan, my cheerleader, my rock. Dale was confident, self-assured, and never competitive. She is the reason I learned to work with my female counterparts, not against them.
The last time Dale and I met, she said to me… when you become famous and win a big award, when you go up on stage for your moment, I’ll show up and flicker the lights to let you know I’m there. Cheering your bestie on from the beyond, if that’s not girl love, I don’t know what is. Happy Galentines Dale <3