This one has been brewing for a while and it is dedicated to my bestie of nearly four decades..... Nikki. It sounds crazy to even say that - four decades! It warms my heart and makes me feel old.
Friendships are so special, and I think we too often take them for granted. Friends come and go as we move through the different phases of life. Any friend that I have shared mutual affection with has some place in my heart and had an impact on me in some way whether they are still present or faded into history. Friends, like family, shape us.
Family is all about love, compassion, and support. Nikki is my family. We may not share genes, but we are family in every sense of the word. We have been around, even if at a distance, for every special moment, milestone, and sadness. We have seen it all through each other’s eyes. We felt the joy and sadness for each other. It is so frickin’ special when you think about it. To have this person that has been there through it all? (And quite frankly remembers it better than I do!) LOL
The early years..... Between the lip stick and beer bottles, WOW.
After my parents divorced at the age of 10, we moved from a small city in MA to small upstate town in NY with one stop light. Culture shock, yes! I walked into 5th grade looking vastly different than everyone else. Let us just say there may have been blue eye shadow involved and I MAY have been missing my front teeth. I can’t even make this shit up! It was not easy. My memory is not as good hers, so the details are foggy but there are a couple girls that had the courage to talk to me and be my friend. Enter Nikki. 37 years later she is still by my side.
15 years ago, I left that small town and started a new chapter in NC. Despite the distance our friendship continues to grow. Is it perfect? Hell no. What relationship is? But we have this foundation built on honestly, although sometimes brutal, and loyalty. We have had stages in life where our lives took us down different paths, but we always found our way back. We are alike in so many ways but also different. Anyone who has met us both can attest to that.
“The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can
grow separately without growing apart.” - Elizabeth Foley
Just like a good marriage, solid friendships take some work and lots of mutual respect. That means I may not always agree with her but respect her opinion regardless and she affords me me the same respect. This. Is. Precious. It is the standard for which I base all other friendships.
We live in a society now where we are so quick to judge and just throw away relationships with a simple text or comment in someone’s feed. We take less time to understand and be empathic to each other, or understand each other’s pain, sadness, or struggles. We often blame society, leaders, social media, etc… but the responsibility lies with each of us. We alone are responsible for our actions. We alone CHOOSE kindness and empathy over judgment and hatred.
This friendship has endured over nearly four decades and it is one of the most special things about me. It is also so comforting to know that we will always be there despite the miles between us, to support each other, to make each other laugh, and to cry together. For that, I am eternally grateful.
I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light. – Helen Keller
At least once a year we do an annual trip together. No kids, no husbands, no dogs, no responsibilities. 48 hours filled with so much laughter, dry martini's, good food and catching up on all the "things." Our latest trip to Baltimore we reminisced a lot and it struck me how much history we have. So many memories. The good, the bad, the ugly and we have the ability to treasure all the moments and find humor in it. It was such a good reminder of how damn special that is. The history we have, the lessons we have learned and the incredible friendship that has grown from it. I am so incredibly lucky and excited to see what the next four decades brings. Love ya like a sister Nicole!
So, so many memories and annual trips. So, so many drinks....
a perfect representation of our friendship!