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Tomorrow it will be five years to the day that my best friend (who was like a sister) passed away. I thought I’d share the tribute I did at her funeral. “When I was a little girl I asked dear lord Jesus to send me a best friend. I was very specific: my best friend had to be a girl (because at the time I thought boys were smelly and a general pain in the butt) but most importantly I wanted us to be kindred spirits (that’s almost like a soul mate: to know each other inside and out). I have many friends. But nobody fit the description from my prayer quite like Shantal did. We fit each other like a glove. Shani inspired confidence! I fondly remember our girl’s nights out: she’d force me on the dance floor. Sure, she laughed at my chicken dance (it’s an acquired taste) but when I watched how she moved: with such grace and confidence, how she’d melt into the music …it was magic. Luckily, I was able to pick up her skill and now I dance better than she did. (ha ha ha). Jislaaik! But Shani was bossy—some might even call her tjatjarag. I’d often have to remind her that I was one year older than her and thus she should be the one listening to me. Her constant refrain was that age ain’t nothing but a number. She was mature beyond her years – like a good wine. Shani had the most infectious laugh. I was so infected by it that I’d go out of my way to make her laugh. But she wasn’t an easy audience. She thought my knock-knock jokes tedious and boring, rolling her eyes in reply. I guess she just didn’t have a sense of humour. Have I told ya’ll my chicken joke? Ha ha ha Shani had the warmest smile. She could smile all your troubles away. She always seemed to know exactly what to say or do or more importantly when not say anything. Many times I’d tell her that she grounded me. And that’s true. I often think the sky is falling, but Shani always managed to show me the rainbow. You guys remember, Shani loved the colour red. She experimented with all the different shades of red hair dye. Her hair was so red that I don’t think even the most accomplished