And then there are those friends who are our friends through absolutely everything - through the thick and thin and everything else in the inbetween.
Yeah, you know the kind of friends that I’m talking about.
These are the kinds of friends who listen when we whine about how pathetic our lives are at a particular moment of time, and are completely nonjudgmental towards us—they are the type of people who keep our confidences and secrets; the individuals who always seem to come through for us in the times of our greatest need.
In my life I have a handful of these types of friends; I really do. The type that go the distance and whom I count as the ‘above and beyonders’ in my life.
But today I wish to focus on only one of them.
I won’t mention last names here, and I really shouldn’t need to. After all, you either know Gerb, you know of her, or you really should know her - the woman with a unique name and personality to match. Gerb is the type of person who is always thinking about others, she is constantly looking of ways in which she can scatter sunshine into the lives of those around her, and is always trying to be the best person that she possibly can. In fact, I would say that I’m trying to be like Gerb, but that would just sound creepy - simply from the fact that we are different genders, but I am more than happy to admit that I am trying to act in more ‘Gerblike’ ways in my own life.
I’ve known Gerb for what feels like a lifetime, but truthfully it’s a time much shorter than that. I don’t think either one of us truly remembers how we ever became such good friends, I think it had something to do with a thunderstorm and eating popcorn under the porch as kids and getting our clothes all muddy - but details such as these don’t really seem matter in the greater scheme of things, now do they?
Can I share a secret about Gerb with you?
Just don’t tell her I shared it with you, okay?
Gerb. is. awesome.
Okay, that’s not really a secret because everyone who knows her already realizes that it is true. You see, Gerb is one of those people who goes out and makes a difference in the lives of others. I’ve seen her do this all the time…but she likes to strike in secret so that nobody knows that it’s really her; Gerb is the queen of anonymous service so if something wonderful happens to you and you suspect that she did it, don’t ask her because she’ll only deny that it.
Can I tell you something else about Gerb?
I can always count on her to come through for me when things are in the thick.
Over my entire teaching career I’ve depended on my good friends, Melanie and Courtney (better known as Cjane) to come in to my classroom as a variety of characters for literature responses and interviewing lessons; however, with the onset of years and subsequent marriages, birthages of offspring, and changes in employment, it became increasingly difficult for either of these two to come into my classroom to help me out any longer. Well, once Gerb discovered this little tidbit of information, she was more than willing to step in and provide a treasure trove of character opportunities as an accordion-playing wonder, Aunt Spiker from James and the Giant Peach, and even the unique young girl from Jerry Spinelli’s book, Stargirl.
I could go on and on about how wonderful Gerb is. I could tell you how fantastic she is, and what a difference she makes in the lives of people around her. I could brag about how I have been fortunate enough to have 4 of her children (so far) in my classroom. But instead of doing all that, I’d like to invite you to take a peek over into Gerberta’s little world—that is, if you haven’t already and learn a little more about this individual who is making the world around her a better place a little more and more each and every day.
Oh, and Happy Birthday.