“I’ll miss you, Aim.” “I’ll miss you, too, Kase.” “Let’s not let another six years go by this time.”
If it weren’t for her little three-year-old darting out into the street, I may have just held onto my best friend in the whole wide world forever. Amy. But, motherhood called and called quickly as the need to let a very eager-to-get-goin’ child know the dangers of stepping into a street-any street. “You scared me, honey!” Now, the lil’ one was crying, just as I was. Regardless, tears flowed down my cheeks as the day of our reunion after six years of being apart came to an end. Maybe I was just really happy that we actually got to spend almost five hours together with our girls meeting for the first time ever, or maybe I was already wondering how long it would actually be before I got to see her again. I well up with tears right now because I know that so much happens in just one day-let alone years and years and years.
In the moments leading up to our visit (planned for over a month), I thought I might just come straight out of my skin with excitement. Friday night I called my mom, “Well, guess what? I just won Maycee and me baby pillow pets! Ya! With the claw game, you know…they said you could either try to win one or just buy one for $5, but I won TWO for only $5! Ya, two of them! Mine’s a bee, and Maycee’s is a tiger. (Maycee shouting in the background, “I helped her win mine!”) I think I’m going to bring it with me for our visit…so we’ll be leaving in the morning and should be at your house between noon and 12:30, okay? Amy said we should plan to eat around 1:00 after they get there, so you should have the pizza ready by then. I can’t wait!” Mom said I spoke so fast she was exausted after she hung up the phone. So, you could say I was looking forward to seeing the most special friend a girl could ever have along with her daughter whom I’d never gotten to see in person. Meeting at my mom’s house, our old playground, homemade pizza, old pics to laugh at, all the fixings for precious new memories.
If you’ve had a best friend, especially a childhood best friend, then you know the depth of feeling I have for this now-grown woman, wife, and mother. We lived next door to each other from my age of six months old; Amy was one. We grew up as sisters would, virtually spending every single day in company. Back then we could walk to school, and in the mornings we listened to the Mighty 690 singing, “I love rock ‘n’ roll, put another dime in the jukebox, baby!” Ahhhhh, Joan Jett-she was super-cool. Friday nights we could hardly wait for our sleepovers, alternating houses between us, but typically staying at mine. Mom makes the most delectable homemade pizza, and of course, Friday nights were all about Bo and Luke Duke. Yeeeeeeeeha! Our last year in grade school together, the fourth grade, Amy and I had different teachers. It was a year where she branched out a bit friend-wise, but not me. I was puny, scrawny, easily picked on, teacher’s pet, and Amy was my protector. Then, what seemed like the end of the world in a matter of months occurred: Amy moved away-far away-to the ends of the earth, or what may as well been: Arizona.
We kept in touch over the years between fifth grade and high school, making our parents drive us back and forth on vacations. Can you believe they did it? Yes, Readers, they did. I, however, had to make due without Amy otherwise, and for a skinny recluse of a kid, this was tough. By the time I hit high school, I’d somewhat found a niche-a mixed-up, barely productive niche-but nonetheless, a niche. Called: drumlineboyfriendpartying. And, unexpectedly, suddenly, in the tenth grade Amy was moving back home.
Best friends forever. Way too much has happened since then to write in this blog-lest I completely and totally lose your interest before half-way through. The point is, that ultimately, nothing stood in our friendship’s way. By the time we were grown and out of college, marrying (lucky for Amy she’s only had to do it once, not the “Kase” for me-pun intended), working, and setting up house, all of the roadblocks had crumbled. Time, distance, exploration, brought us both back to Southern California and to each other. Amy was able to be there with me while I was in the hospital giving birth to Maycee. She was the first person to give Maycee a bottle of formula whilst I was being “doctored” up and Maycee’s dad was out making phone calls to notify the masses.
Eventually, life would see us living in separate states again, but thanks to all that makes staying in touch easy these days: cell phones, Facebook, and good ol’ email, we would not drift apart as in childhood. This brings me to last Saturday, July 30th, at 1:0oPM, and Amy. Who could fathom that we’d make it this far separate but together? Having travelled vastly different paths but loving one another and accepting each other for who we’ve become today. And to see each other, nothing would hold us back, bringing our daughters-would be cousins-into communion, sharing Hello Kitty and black ponies, laughing, swapping kids tales, getting hugs from a three-year-old sweetheart, Maycee dealing with “mommy” issues (you’re making me jealous, Mommy), even more nostalgic to be in the house we spent so much of our childhood in, Amy calling my mom by her first name (no more Mrs. C.), regardless of where we’ve been, there we were. Pictures-we took pictures-and Amy exclaimed, “We look so old!” Ha, ha, ha, ha…yes, seasoned perhaps, 37 years such. Imagine what we’ll say in another thirty-seven?
“I love you, Aim.” I love you, too, Kase”.
The world is so fleeting, and what one thinks should be steadfast can easily be ripped away with a storm. In this life, I believe it is relationships such as mine and Amy’s, enduring the ups and downs, the distance, the curveballs, accompanied by mom’s pizza, true BFF’s before “BFF” existed, that remind us of who we are as people. Let the world whiz on by, certainly brace for the storms, but then slow down to spend time with the treasured souls you love. I wouldn’t be who I am today without Amy. I have to surmise she wouldn’t be the same person, either. In my heart, I’ve been holding on to her ever since we said “good-bye” Saturday, ever since ever…and to my dearest friend, I don’t plan on letting that go.