I have an . . . interesting history of female friends. Starting in elementary school, with a controlling best friend who would go on to scorn me later for being too nerdy. In middle school, I had two 'friends' who treated me like absolute trash, but hey, at least they'd talk to me. High school helped me find a few nerdy, quirky girls who I became very close with, and college introduced me to a few more. Still, when I got married, my bridesmaids were my sister, a friend I'd known most of my life, one of the few rare girlfriends from college, and my best guy-friend. Girl friends were somewhat hard to come by, in my world.
And then I started Festival, and met some of the most amazing women in the world. I can now name a great number of girlfriends that I can call on at any time, for any reason, that I know will always be there for me.
Of these friends, a few are special. They are my She'endre - my sisters-by-choice.* These are women who are more family than friends. Women who will always catch me when I fall, support me in my endeavors, and tell me honestly when I'm wrong. Women who will laugh with me, cry with me, hug me, applaud me, and pray with me. Of all of my many blessings, I count my She'endre high on the list.
So, to each of my She'endre (you know who you are): I love you. Thank you for showing me what it's like to have true female friends. You all rock.
*She'endre is a Lowara Romani word, and its literal translation really is "sister(s) by choice". I stumbled upon it by accident while researching my Romani character for the Festival.