If you’re like me, your friendships with your girlfriends are some of your most valued relationships. We are so blessed to have these smart, strong and talented women in our lives. I am in awe of my friends and grateful every day that they let me hang around them: My high-school pals who gratefully have allowed me to grow up and out of my geeky phase, my college roommates who know the real me but love me anyway, the moms I raised my children and many many glasses of wine with, my margarita- and book-loving co-conspirators who can smell a shoe sale from 10 miles away and the wonderful women I continually am privileged to meet and get to know. What would we do without these special people? I recently witnessed once again the healing power of friends and laughter (and shoe shopping, of course) when a friend needed our help preparing for her husband’s funeral. Read about it in my newspaper column, http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20090220/ARTICLES/902200301. And while you’re at it, you’ve got to read this wonderful piece from national columnist Sharon Randall: http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20090221/ARTICLES/902210301. It’s her birthday list of life lessons she’s learned so far. And I don’t know her, but from her list I think she’d make a good friend, too.