Thursday, February 10, 2011

These (friends) are a few of my favorite things

Let me tell you a little something about these lovely ladies below. They make me smile.

This picture was taken a couple of months ago at a wedding. It makes me happy—to have us all back together again, if only for a night. It was probably the first time in 5 or 6 years that we were all in the same room together, much less the same photo. But in high school, and for at least a year or two after, we were inseparable. There are one or two girls missing, but this was the group.

I (along with one other girl, the bride in this photo) was the youngest of the group—a year behind the others in school. Most of the time, the age difference never mattered. We still spent every weekend together, went to school dances in the same group, and shared secrets and sleepovers on a regular basis. We had the most random of weekend pastimes—hanging out in fast food parking lots, bowling alleys, parks, or like most teenagers, in the basement of someone’s house. But it never mattered what we were doing. It only mattered that we were together, and when that was the case we always ended up in hysterics.

But when it came time for the majority of “the group” to graduate, things started to change. A few of them went away to college, a few stayed close to home. Regardless, it was never the same. The morning my best friend Katie left for college (she was the first to go), we all gathered at her house in our PJs to say goodbye. I was devastated after that; people joked that it was like I was going through a breakup. Joke all you want but she was my best friend and she moved to a different state. It was like a breakup (or so it felt at the time)!

We all continued to spend time together on weekends and over holidays, but slowly things started to change. We were each gaining new friends in our new lives, whether through college or work or elsewhere. We stayed in touch, and of course still saw each other on occasion, but our lives were moving forward. It was virtually impossible for things to say the same.

Over the years we’ve all grown up in incredible ways. We’ve experienced tragic losses, we’ve become mothers and wives, we’ve successfully checked some of life’s major milestones off our bucket list. And whether we go weeks or months or even years without talking, we’ve been there for each other.

Because when I see these beautiful women, I’m instantly taken back to the incredible friendship we share. We’ve gone through endless laughter, sad and happy tears, joy and pain. These are the people who know my deepest secrets, my most embarrassing moments, and my biggest dreams. I see in their faces a familiar love, a comfortable camaraderie. I am so thankful for the friendship we shared many years ago, and the one we share today. Though it’s different in many ways, I love them all the same.

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