Giving Her Away

It’s a happy and hard thing.

By Loren Miller

For most, when we hear the word “soulmate,” we envision two people in love, inseparably strolling hand-in-hand for eternity. For me, that word means something different. I believe we get to have more than one soulmate in life, and it isn’t limited to romantic love. I know this to be true because my soulmate is my best friend.

I met Amy in the spring of 2001. I had just moved from Perryville, Missouri, to a tiny town of less than 1,000 people tucked in the middle of a corn field in Central Illinois. I was the new girl in a school where everyone had grown up together since preschool. It was my sophomore year of high school, and I was starting over with no idea what to expect or if I would be accepted. Then I walked through the doors of the band room, flute case in hand, and took a seat next to Amy. 

By the end of that school year, Amy was one of my two new best friends. After high school, we took turns moving away but stayed in constant contact and kept our bond alive and strong. We both fell in love, had children and went through the throes of heartbreak. We became single mothers, each with two sons. We spent our fair share of time battling the ups and downs of dating, laughing at the crazy stories and holding each other up during the disappointments. For 14 years, it was just Amy and me, and we thought it would be that way forever. 

Then, in 2015, Amy met TJ. I could see quickly he was different. He was also a single parent, and he valued commitment and family; TJ was the kind of man Amy could build a life with. I’ve witnessed a beautiful change for her and her sons these last four years as she has welcomed a new soulmate into her life. Although our friendship has shifted in ways that now include TJ, I am thrilled for her as she builds her life and opens her heart to love in beautiful ways.

Last year, TJ popped the question. Even with my joy for her, it is also hard. Together we’ve spent the months since she asked me to be her maid of honor talking dresses and colors and cakes and music. But alone I have also thought of the day when they will say “I do.” For 18 years, Amy has been my soulmate, and I have been hers. Soon, much like a father of the bride, I will give her away. I will watch her walk down the aisle, to me standing at one side and TJ at the other. I will hold her flowers, straighten her train, give a speech and dry her happy tears. Then, I will hand over my best friend of 18 years to her new husband. TJ and I will share a soulmate, and I will love him because he loves her.

Amy and I are a team, and now that team includes TJ. I will watch with joy as they celebrate wedded bliss. I will be there for support as they experience the hard work of making a home and blending two families. I will be their life-long cheerleader as they build their future together. Although it feels as if everything is changing, I remind myself soulmates are forever. Love isn’t tight-fisted and doesn’t shrink back from growth; it opens and makes room for more. So, here’s to a future of deep friendship with Amy and TJ as we all celebrate the ways we are linked to help each other through life.