Monday, December 31, 2007

Friends

I've never been one of those people who had a lot of friends. Now, before you start to feel sorry for me, it's not a negative thing.

When I was growing up, I had one "best" friend. You know, the one that was labeled your official "best friend". Her name was Amy and we met when I was five and she was four. She was only younger than me by six months but was a grade behind due to that cut off birthday crap with school. Only one house separated us in the neighborhood we grew up in. I grew up in the 80's (a truly safer time, I believe) and people were much nicer and more friendlier about "boundaries" then. Our neighbor didn't believe in fences, so we had free reign to run back and forth from my house to hers and vice versa. We were even allowed to play in the neighbors yard. They had a hammock which was soooooo cool to us. We had a ditch that ran behind our house and separated the neighbors directly behind us. I had such an idyllic childhood. I truly had a happy one but that's for another post.

Amy and I did everything together. Then, I moved. I moved far, far away. So far (at least in my mind though in reality it was only 3 states away) that it appeared that my friendship with Amy was doomed. But, we managed to work it out. We kept in touch by letter and phone and when I would come back to my home state to visit the male parental unit and his cheating partner (again, a story for another day), we would visit. As per the course of nature and time, we did gradually drift apart but re-connected when we were about 15 due to a phone call from her mother. She had called to tell us that Amy had been in the hospital with a brain tumor and was back home after an operation to remove it. She was having some memory problems and really couldn't remember me that much but wanted to hear the sound of my voice and wanted me to talk about our childhood. We talked for about an hour and she could remember bits and pieces of our childhood but didn't seem uncomfortable talking to me. We sort of stayed in touch a bit after that and after I turned 16, they came down to visit me and when they were leaving, I bought a plane ticket and went back to stay with them for a while. We had a blast reconnecting. A couple of years later, they came back to visit again and again, we reconnected. About a year later, we found out she was pregnant. She was 20. She married the dad and had a beautiful little girl. Not long after that, the brain tumor came back and eventually, when she was about 23, she died from complications of the brain tumor. It was never cancerous, just a large growth that wouldn't stop. About two years after she passed on, her mother passed on as well. That just left her brother and father as well as her husband and little girl. I'm not in touch with any of them anymore and am a bit sad about that.

When I moved from my home state to the sunny state, I made friends. I had a couple of girls that I ran around with. One moved away and the other gradually made other friends that she had more in common with. I then found Jenny my freshman year of high school. We stayed real close for a couple of years but eventually grew apart. I really didn't have anyone close again until I started working for a major theme park and met Mimi. We hit it off so well we ended up moving out of our parents homes into an apartment. Issues occurred and that friendship ended as well. We've since reconnected via the internet, so that's cool.

After that, I really didn't have anyone real close. I eventually moved from the sunny state to the watery state and hung out w/co-workers and got pregnant and married and divorced. It wasn't until after a whole lot of water entered our lives that I discovered what a friend I had in my next door neighbor. We had always been friends and neighborly and occasionally done things with our kids. Her son is 2 years older than the love of my life and they get along pretty well. However, since he's a boy and mine's a girl, it wasn't all that conducive to do things with the kids together other than museums and the movies. In 2005, the friendship just exploded and we started hanging out more and started to become real friends. Since I'm an adult, I don't believe in the term "best friends" but she is probably one of my closest ones.

I've since moved again. Oddly enough, back to my old home state. However, not to the old stomping grounds but about 3 hours north. We've stayed in touch and I just saw her yesterday. I never realized the impact we had on them living next door to them. She got emotional yesterday when we were visiting. It touch my heart like nothing else to know that we were loved and cherished as neighbors and friends that much.

When I made the HUGE decision to pull up roots and move elsewhere, I worried about my daughter making friends but that was a silly worry as she made friends quicker than you can say "jack rabbit flash". In fact, we ended up moving right across the highway (yes, highway) from her best friend and her family. They are over at each others houses CONSTANTLY. But to be fair, I'm over there quite a bit myself. I'm surprised at how quickly I've become friends with B and her husband, L. I know myself and I'm slow to make friends so it came as a surprise.

I guess the whole point of this post is just to acknowledge the friends I have in my life and to wonder at the marvel that is friendship. I know I haven't written down specifics to signify just how great the friendships are, but that can come at another time.

Later,

Mama Dawg

P.S. I do have to give a big shout out to my friends on Yahoo!!! This is a big thank you to my Early Bird girls that have gotten me through so much just by being a click away. I've had the honor and privilege to meet a few of the ladies and I'd love the chance to meet more. Maybe one day that will happen. Fingers crossed!

4 really cool people who give a rat's patootie:

Jodi

some of my best friends are my virtual friends :)

Mary

Mine too!

Tracey R.

And I can attest to the power of virtual friends turning "IRL" friends. My BFFs, aka my Dallas posse, started out as all internet buddies. And now we make the 3 hour trek to see each other at least every other month, even with kids and husbands and jobs and graduate school, because we start to get the shakes if we go that long without seeing each other.

I can totally relate to your "friends" thing. I have never been one to have a lot of friends. Which is why my current state of abundance in the friendship department is perplexing, albeit much loved.

God bless the internet.

Karen

Shout out back to ya'! I still have your mardi gras beads hanging here in my office. I'm glad you've started a blog so I can continue to keep up with you.

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