When we were both in Bible school together, we lived in apartments that were maybe thirty steps away from each other for a year and I didn't even know her more than to smile and say hi. I had no idea that her friendship would change my life in more ways than I could count.

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A few years later, we went to the same church and her daughter was in my preschool class that I taught, and one day she suggested that we go out for coffee. Coffee Haus Central. We sat at one of their tables with checkerboards and coffee beans painted on them and talked and laughed for hours. When we parted in the parking lot, I remember both of us saying that maybe we should get together and talk every week. And we did, several times a week most of the time.

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You know how sometimes you become friends with people because you work together or go to the same classes and pound through homework and develop some camaraderie. Or there are childhood friends that you have a lot of memories and shared experiences with.

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And then there are the friends, not many, who go deeper than you ever imagine. Lenore has walked the paths of my heart with me. She knows me...even the dark parts. She loves me and I feel exactly the same way about her. During a rough season a few years ago, I told her that there was really nothing I could imagine that would ever, ever make me stop loving her. She is my friend. She is my sister. She is a gift to me.

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I am proud of her. She is graduating this week, ready to head into a career in sonography.

Frankly, she is one of those people who truly can do it all. She sews wedding dresses that makes the brides cry (I was one of them). She can cook food to heal the soul. She is artistic and articulate and confident. I know that she will be a blessing to everyone she comes in contact with.

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She has worked long and hard and been strongly supported by her husband and beautiful daughter (and a lot of other people who love her too.) We're all proud.

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Ruby's middle name is Lenore. A while back I was cuddling with Ruby in bed and asked her who her middle name was after. She knew it. "Auntie Lenore." I told her that mummy and daddy gave her that name because we want her to have the same heart as Auntie Lenore, one that is true and strong and beautiful.

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I love you, dear friend, and am so proud of all you have accomplished.

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