Seven years ago I went looking for a job and found a unexpected and extraordinary friendship. (The job was pretty awesome too.) Quite literally, from the moment I met you I loved you. You began as a welcoming and encouraging co-worker and evolved in to a person who has left a significant imprint on my life.
We have gone through a lot together in the years that we have been friends. Death and loss, birth and joy. I miss the long conversations we had in your office or mine and the sensible, thoughtful advice you always had to share. I have learned so much from you. Through your relationship with your family, you've taught me the importance of patience and the value of believing in yourself. You showed me how to face adversity with grace and how to love with all you've got. Your friendship has made me feel loved and cherished and beautiful. That, my friend, is not something you find every day.
I regret that time and distance have pulled us a part a bit but I love cheering you on from afar. I am so very proud of you and the person you continue to become. You only get better, even when that hardly seems possible. If only everyone had a Mike in their life! How much more wonderful the world could be. I'm so grateful you are in my life, Mike. I am a better person for knowing you and I love you more than you could ever know.
P.S. Something just reminded me of the mini-Beyonce cardboard cut-out that you made me for my desk and I can't stop laughing. Good times.