When it comes to girlfriends, I’m the luckiest the jackpot. My first and oldest girlfriend is Nancy P. We share a birthday and met when I was 3. Our mothers were friends, probably because they both had a boat load of kids and husbands who worked too much. I enrolled in a small liberal arts college mostly because Nancy was there and thought she and her roommate Diana were THE coolest: confident, funny, preppy and independent (they had a righteous stereo set-up and what says “let’s party” more than Michael Jackson at full blast?). Fast forward to last month when we had breakfast together and she nonchalantly shared with me her success as a published writer and college English teacher. I still think she is the coolest and am so very proud of her.

I have CrossFit girlfriends, summer/lake girlfriends, church girlfriends, journalist girlfriends, neighborhood girlfriends and sister-in-law girlfriends. We have to all work hard to stay close. It’s not easy. And, when we meet after long stretches of time apart, I’m quickly reminded who I am with their laughter and listening.

I tell my daughters (two AMAZING young women) not to expect to find everything they need in one person (boyfriend or girlfriend). But, some of my closest girlfriends sure come close to filling me right up to the brim. They make me feel like the best Sue.

In this women’s issue, I’m proud to introduce a handful of women from the community who make life brighter for everyone they meet.

I hope you’ll fill your days this month with friends who make you feel like the best you. I have a feeling you’re pretty amazing.