Today is one of my best friend’s birthdays. She’s turns 30-something. Listen, I’m not gonna throw her age around, mainly because it is so far less than mine that I am a little peeved about it, but the important thing is we have known each other so long, that the two young women who met, well before their brains were finished developing, even before one of us could legally drink alcohol, are so far from those two young girls now, yet somehow still need each other, that it’s remarkable and a little sad, because the fact of the matter is, we have never lived further away from each other than we do right now and that’s saying something since most of our twenties were spent in the same town, usually under the same roof, and now here we are miles and miles apart (1800 miles to be exact) and some days that is really bad because some days, many days in the last year or so, we wished we could be nearer, drinking wine on my back deck, or sitting on her couch watching “90-Day Fiancé” while we hide from the world and watch the kids play around us. Ho hum.
Okay, enough about the sadness, it’s Melody’s damn birthday! Last year I was in Tucson to celebrate with her, remember that? Remember back when we could fly places, Mel? Here look:
I’m not in the picture because I’m taking the picture (which we know I love to do, you can read more of that trip and my love of snapshots here) of the girls’ day we spent in the Sonoran Desert last year, going to wineries and generally wrecking havoc on our livers while we laughed under the high desert sun. Oh, the memories. I so wish we were back there again today, Mel.
But alas, you are there and I am here and this is us. I know this year hasn’t been the best one for any of us. I know it’s been a struggle between deaths, and sickness, between learning to navigate losing parents and learning to navigate the terrible unknowns of the world. But sandwiched in between there have been good times. Like getting to see Nashville this summer, or the videos of Bexley learning to walk, or the games nights with the Squad, or the Facetimes just to vent to each other. It’s a crazy world we live in, but it’s also a beautiful world, and as we have grown into the mommies, the wives, the women we have become, we have realized that, slowly but surely.
So today, on your birthday, I want to thank you, friend. Thank you for the lessons of life you have taught me. Thank you for listening to me when I don’t think anyone else will understand. Thank you for always thinking of my kid, for loving him as fiercely as you love your own. Thank you for pushing yourself to see my side of things, for always being down for whatever adventure I want us to go on (and haven’t we gone one some)! Three cheers for Mardi Gras, and Tijuana, and Nashville, and all the other places and times we have fought with each other (wasn’t there some petty shit on a beach on the Mississippi Delta?) Who knows, we’ve always made up, that’s the important part, and we always will. Because friendships like ours are built to last, because women like us are built to last, to get through the turbulence of life, and back round again to the things that make us whole. Thanks, friend, for always helping to make me whole.
I love you, and I hope you have the happiest of birthdays. Let’s drink wine via Zoom with the Squad one day soon. Kisses to the babes.
Pictures for posterity (PS…Thanks, Kasey for always being along for the ride! And at times, Rachel, Julie, and Jerimiah)