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For my friends…

You know who you are…

It’s a sort of ‘pay homage’ to the ones that have been there and helped and supported me throughout the years.  It’s the ones that have been there even though they didn’t know it.  The ones that I knew I could call on when times were tough.  It is the ones that I needed to hear the ‘tough love’ from.  And even the ones that gave me f’ed up advice because that’s what they thought I needed to hear.  I hear all of you and I wrote all your shit down.  Lol!  I won’t name names but I will tell our stories and let you figure it out.  But know this, at some point in my life, I needed you and you were there.  I am incredibly grateful for our bond.  Thank you for your friendships.

 I opened the door and there she was with a bottle of wine in hand and her arms open.  I fell into her arms and wailed.  She held me and cried with me.  She let me scream, cry, hurt and she never ever once judged me for being so open with my pain.  She was even like that when we were kids.  Once I hurt my knee and I was trying to mask the pain.  She took one look at me and said, “You know, just cry.  Don’t hide it, you just make it worse.”  After that, I never held back with her.  Even when she talked too damned much and I told her to shut it, she’d just start singing louder until I gave in and laughed.  It was our way.  She even flew over the pond for me and we went to see a little painting of a very important little lady in Paris.  She’s the BFF that I know I can count on.  I love her guts.

Once I woke up with so much cash stuffed in my pockets and I couldn’t recall where it came from.  Then I remembered flashes of the night before.  We were dancing and bar hopping and tequila was involved.  We ended up at a strip club and we did more shots.  Mind you, when she and I get together, it’s like we bring out the wild in each other.  We were always down for whatever.  Apparently, this included daring strippers to a dance-off WITH our clothes on.  I don’t recall any of this and I’m just glad that there isn’t anything on YouTube either, but we actually made some great moola.  LOL!!!  We were friends that no matter how much time passes, we pick up right where we left off when we do connect.  I value her heart.  I still love her more than my luggage.

She is the big sister that I always wanted but never had.  I was the oldest and she lived in another village.  But we ended up attending the same boarding school.  Later she traveled the world and her smarty-pants ended up at Harvard.  She was so damn worldly that when she’d come home I’d just be in awe of her.  She has this way of saying things that would make me think critically and I’d always be better off for her advice.  She’s also a runner like me.  She probably loves it more than me.  But she’s also a gentle reminder of home, where I come from.  She sways as I do.  She is always moving forward but reminding me of who I am and where I come from.  I say this because I sooo value our relationship from when we were kids to now, as moms with families living our lives worlds away.  She keeps me centered in ways that she doesn’t even know and I’m so grateful to know her smart ass!  I love her and her family fiercely.

 “Do you see that rainbow!?!  See!  There!  It’s God smiling at us!”  And that’s the moment I knew that we’d be fast friends.  Even though she almost drove off the highway because she was so transfixed with the beauty of the sky, I immediately loved your soul.  Even my ex said it best, “she’ll outlast us.”  He was right.  Even now, when we talk, we pick up right where we left off.  Time doesn’t matter.  One of the best things about her is her realness and wit.  Once we decided to go camping in Alaska without any protection, just us single moms.  We simply didn’t think about it.  That night, after we put our little girls to bed in the tent, we were sitting around the campfire and I saw something move in the distant darkness.  I stood up and then I saw it.  It was two brown bears and three cubs.  I told her.  She got up and ran to the truck and completely froze.  I ran to get the girls and put them in the truck with us.  She remained frozen still in the truck.  Finally, she said, ‘you can take the girl out of Jersey but you can’t take jersey out of the girl.’  And that my friend is just her way.  She’d tell you exactly like it is no matter what and I love her for it.

We met on the plane to Vegas.  We were attending the same conference.  From the way she looked at my son, I thought she wanted to steal him because she looked a little too long at him.  I gave her my classic ‘I’ll cut you,’ crazy mom b-face and that was the start of our friendship.  She explained that she has a son the same age.  She is small, driven, wicked smart, and quite fierce when she wants to be.  We immediately bonded over laughter, our families, and how crazy this life is.  I got her.  She got me.  No matter what, I see her and her light. I am so grateful she stalked me and my son that one time in Vegas.  I miss her so.

He was my best friend until he wasn’t.  But that doesn’t mean that we weren’t friends since we were in 9th grade.  We were both awkward AF and he always helped me with my homework.  The shit was wicked smart.  But he did things that I will never forget.  Once I was in a bad relationship and I didn’t know how to get out.  He lived in Hawaii and bought me a ticket to Maui without hesitation.  I was in a horrible state.  He let me cry and be broken in the most amazing place.  We’ve had rocky times but always a sense of friendship has remained.  I’m grateful for him and all that he has given me. 

I heard her laugh before I met her.  She has this larger-than-life laugh and presence that completely sucks you in.  And that’s exactly what she did.  This mama bear drew me in with her sincerity and kindness.  I’m so grateful for her and her family.  Along with other mama expats living in Denmark (at the time), we formed this group bond.  We had a ‘Thanksgiving Dinner’ at her house and damn it, afterward, I went home and cried because it was such a great meal with great friends that I could finally relate to.  We had many times where we laughed until we cried.  We related to the fact that we were far from home living this ‘abroad life’ with our families.  I am so glad that this mama bear and I crossed paths.  She is good people. 

I loved that she sparked a movement just by one simple word.  It was a word that I connected with and immediately gravitated to.  She spoke her truths and invited me in and we could probably talk deep into the night about everything.  She made me and my family feel at home in her home and land.  She is a reminder that not everything has to be perfect to be kind, to stand up for what you believe in, to use your creativity to your advantage and that love is love. 

The last time we spoke, we talked for over two hours on the phone and I never laughed so hard in a long time.  It had been years before that.  But somehow, we always managed to connect.  She was my Alaskan ride-or-die BFF back in the day and man did we love to dance:)  And she’s kind, the kind that would give anyone the shirt off her back if I asked.  She’s just that way.  I love her so;)

She endured my dumb mean arss when we lived together.  It was a time I’m sure we’d both like to forget but I do recall Boone’s, a puppy, dancing, and singing to country music.  Holy shit she was always wicked smart and funny as hell.  And how come she always had flawless makeup on all the time?  Even when we drifted apart, I thought of her from time to time.  She has a heart of gold and I missed it.  Thanks to the Creator that she forgave my younger waste, and we reconnected.  Grateful for her. 

Once you meet her you can never forget her.  She radiates happiness.  We crossed paths because our kids went to the same daycare and later we found out we were close neighbors.  We gravitated to one another and shared similar expat stories of strife living in countries far from home.  We’d share dinners and laugh until one of us usually spilled wine on ourselves because we were either dancing or talking too much.  I saw her.  She saw me.  I send this Mamacita all the love and joy!

It was open-gym and they were playing volleyball at the community college.  I immediately gravitated to her because she looked a hint native and familiar.  She’s sassy, quick-witted, honest and she always made me laugh.  And the best part, she played volleyball.  That was our thing.  I always appreciated it when she kept my Gemini arss in line as I was flying through life.  She was my voice of reason even though I always did what I wanted anyway.  I love her.

The sky fell as she said it would but I didn’t believe her.  I turned a blind eye because she was my friend and a good person with a kind heart.  I listened as she talked of this massive outbreak from China that will shut down the world.  She said it was coming and I didn’t believe her.  It wasn’t until I couldn’t take it anymore that I wrote her an email and told her how nuts she sounded.  But I was too harsh and I should have talked to her in person before I sent the email.  I was wrong.  She then completely wrote me off.   As she should have. I would have done the same thing.  Who knew that the sky would fall and the world would literally shut down because of a global pandemic?  It was all bananas.  But it happened and I can’t blame her for ending our friendship.  She gave a lot and all I did was tell her she was off her rocker for believing in such things.  I am so sorry.  She is a kind soul that crossed my path when I needed a friend.  My sincere apologies.  I wish her and her family well and I still care about her dearly.

I once ranted on a FB expat moms group because I was lonely for friends that were real…like no-filter-real because I missed that.  Then she showed up, British and shining in all her witty fabulousness and glory.  If I ever met anyone so brilliantly funny it would be her.  I couldn’t understand half of what she said but it didn’t matter because she got me.  I knew we’d be friends when we went out dancing and I looked over at her and she was doing shots off an ice luge with random people.  She’s my tribe.

When she took out her fanny pack that looked just like mine, I knew we were destined to be fast friends.  We talked and talked and related to one another like we were old friends.  Only we had just met.  But somehow everything was easy and relatable.  The shit of it was that she left back to her motherland.  But I know I’ll see her again because this one is a forever friend.

One commonality you’ll find through this is that I always gravitated to strong women who love to laugh, speak their minds and they are always up for an adventure.  These dear people were fast friends at points in my life when I needed them most and no matter how much time passes, we will always immediately connected when we met.  It’s like we were destined to meet, share and damn it, my cup has overflown with love just thinking about all the amazing people I’ve come to know and love.  Thanks for you. 

If you have friends that mean the world to you, let them know.  Let me know!  It’s always important that we stay connected.

 

 

 

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