They're the ones you never have to pretend with. They have seen you at your best and worst, and nothing can change their love for you.
For all the times you laughed with them through the night, for always being a second mother to your children, for all the miles between you that don't matter, there's just no way of thanking those special few. They are the ones who have set the bar for friendship much higher than expected.
These are the people who turned from friends to family. And there's nobody in the world who can replace them in your life. They have seen you at your best and worst, and they love every bit of you. The bond that you have with those close few friends is probably one of the purest one, the kind that you can trust blindly because they have been there for you, time after time.
When you got cold feet before your wedding day, this was the friend who reminded you how wonderful your relationship with your partner is. When you went into labor, this was the friend who waited eagerly outside to wrap their arms around your little one. When you want a day all to yourself, this was the friend who took your children off your hands for a while because they love your kids almost as much as you do.
But more than anything, what really matters is that you never have to pretend with them. They have seen all the messy parts of your life and that never changed the love they had for you. They cried with you when you had your heart broken and they stuck by you to put the pieces back together when your world fell apart. And you did the same for them. While everyone around you may have told you things that you wanted to hear, the one person who never hesitated to tell you the truth you needed to hear was also the friend you could lean on when the truth was too harsh to accept.
When life got overwhelming and busy, they still made time for you. You can never thank them enough for being with you through it all. There are many burdens we carry as we cross our 40s, but the one thing that eases everything is having your best friends by your side. Some of them might be miles away, but the distance doesn't change anything between you. At the end of an exhausting day, you rant to each other over the phone and it's all the 'pick-me-up' you need to carry on.
You would never trade these friends for anything in the world. They have been by your side through the decades, when the wrinkles started appearing and when the hair started greying. You pushed each other as life changed for both of you and even when things got complicated, your friendship was always simple. You both changed, you both grew up, you both fell in love with other people and started your own families. But through the many changes and challenges that came with it, the one thing that you could count on is your steady friendship.