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When I was a freshman in college I met my best friend.

We were constant companions. We ate our meals together in the dorm cafeteria, and he’d meet me at 6:15 a.m. every day to eat breakfast with me before my 7 a.m. class. He studied and exercised with me, he listened to me and sacrificed for me.

We took every opportunity to spend time together.

This is particularly poignant because I had a boyfriend back home, so Todd was truly being a good friend, and, even though his friends gave him a hard time about our relationship, he stuck by me as a dedicated friend.

Eventually, though, he won me over, and I realized how much I had truly grown to love him.

After our freshman year, he served a mission for our church in Norway for two years. We exchanged letters every week, and our relationship grew.

One Saturday morning I was cleaning my apartment when a young man came and told me he had just returned home from his mission in Norway and had a message for me from Todd. This young man had brought his guitar and played this song as he sang the words from “If” by Bread:

If a man could be two places at one time I’d be with you Tomorrow and today Beside you all the way.

I couldn’t help but get choked up as I reflected on the love that had grown from our strong friendship over these many months. I realized again how much I wanted Todd in my life, and I was so grateful for the connection this “messenger” had made between Todd’s heart and mine, from halfway around the world.

Those two years were long, and I struggled sometimes to remember if I had really just imagined the special feelings we’d shared or if what we had really would be strong enough to pass the test of time.

Always when I thought back to the words of that song and the feelings I got at that time in my little student apartment, I somehow knew we would make it.

Even now as I’m writing this, tears are at the corners of my eyes while thinking back to how it all started and how special our love is. It’s even better today, 11 years later.

We’ve been married for over seven years and have three beautiful children, and there is still no one I’d rather spend time with, or my life with, than my best friend, Todd.

– Caren McLane, Billings

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