I had this friend in high school. We were the best of friends. Some of my most vivid memories from this time in my life include her; our cross country practices; spending the night at her house almost every weekend in the summer; our late night runs around town; a shared love for stupid humor (how many times did we watch Saving Silverman and Orange County???; SO many concerts; SO many nights spent in a friend’s basement recording studio while she and our boyfriends laid down tracks (They were in a band. I guess that made me a groupie? hmmm); SO. MUCH. LAUGHTER. There are people who know your history, and then there are people who lived your history with you.
That was all almost twelve years ago.
We went our separate ways after high school. Attended different colleges. Married different guys than we were dating back then. Formed new lives.
But then, last Thursday…
…We got together, and it was like my head and my heart held hands and skipped off into the sunset. It was THAT good. I don’t think I’ll ever forget opening my front door to see her standing there. We’ve both changed a bit. Had babies. “Matured,” ahem. But there she was. With those silky red locks of hers and a laugh that instantly warms your heart. We both started laughing and hugging like crazy and she gave me a smooch on the cheek and I almost started crying right then and there. But then my boys, who were dying to meet her, stole the show and I got myself together during the two seconds that it took for Theo and Oliver to fall in love with my friend.
I wish you could all meet Angie and fall in love with her like I’ve had the opportunity to – twice. I think it is a very rare thing to have loved someone and allowed the relationship to dim and then get the incredible opportunity to pick right back up almost exactly where you left it. Sure, we are 12 years older. We are now married and have kids of our own.
As I sat down with my friend, you could tell what brought us together in the first place. Although so much time has passed and so many things have changed, there is so much that remains the same. She still makes me laugh harder than anyone. We seem to have both found ourselves on similar motherhood journeys (I know this is the most obvious statement of the century, but not all moms think the same.). But more than anything, she is still that same girl – with the kindest heart, the biggest laugh, and the ability to make five hours slip away like five minutes.
Angie and I reconnected on Thursday, and then the Shipper Family Shuttle picked her up on Sunday and we went to church together. As I sat next to her and listened to that amazing voice of hers that I used to hear daily but haven’t heard in years, I suddenly felt overwhelmed with emotions. I felt so happy to be with my friend, but mostly, I felt so grateful. Grateful for this amazing opportunity to be back in this girl’s life. Grateful to reconnect with someone who knew me in a different time and place. Grateful to meet her little boy and have her meet my children. Grateful to once again laugh and love someone who used to mean so much to me.
As I write this, my friend and her sweet little boy have already returned home and we are once again separated by different states, time zones, and family obligations. But this time, I know she is heading back home with a piece of me, and I, a piece of her.
And for that, I am so, so grateful.