Thursday, May 15, 2008

Friday Frienday

Lucy and Ethel’s Friendship Recipe:
Full Measure of Laughs and Tears
Dash of Wacky Fun and Frolic
Sprinkle Generously with Celebrations
Blend with Phone Calls as Needed
Warm Over a Full, Loving Heart

Today, I’d like to introduce you to three of my great friends: Nellie (Penelope Primrose), Randie (Miranda Everlove), and Tillie (Matilda Chamberlain). We all went to school together from the 8th grade through high school. I actually joined them in the 8th grade but they were already school chums for some years before I came along. I feel very blessed to still have my high school friends so close to me after ten (plus a few) long years out of high school. Before I continue, I should mention that the names above are actually aliases, as their real names were changed to protect their innocence (if there is any). One of the friends in particular seemed a little worried about what I might post about her, but maybe after reading this, she’ll trust me and I can reveal true names in a future posting; maybe pictures too!

We were always in the same click throughout high school but afterwards we drifted back and forth within each other’s lives but never were more than a phone call away.

Nellie is my party buddy. She is single like me so we have lots of time on our hands to hang out. She has a sassy teenage daughter who is really sweet but doesn’t want anyone to know it :) We were in 8th grade English class together and I sat right behind her but she doesn’t remember that :( Up in high school, I tried to make sure I sat next to her at lunch because the school played music for us on the intercom during that time and I liked to sing to Nellie. She hated it but that made me more determined to "wow" her with my talents every day. Little did she know she'd be having to hear my "caterwauling" 3 times a week later in life! We never did just a whole lot of stuff together in high school but occasionally did go “ridin’ around” together with other friends when we started driving. We’d also gather at another friend’s house in the summertime to watch soap operas. She and I have been pretty constant companions for the last eight years or so. We go to karaoke together, lay out and stay very tanned all summer together, and occasionally hoist a little toddy together but mostly for medicinal purposes. We make sure we head off any sickness well before it can get into our system. We never have any money but always want to buy a new shirt. When we do have a few extra dollars, we hit our favorite Mexican restaurant with our kids and load up enough to satisfy us until the next time we have a few extra dollars, unless we decide to go buy a shirt instead. Nellie is a forever friend!

Randie is my level-headed buddy. She is married to a great guy who is perfect for her. She and I really grew up together and were inseparable all through high school and into young adulthood. We weren’t the best of friends at first sight because we liked the same guy. She already liked him and then I came to town and started liking him too. I didn’t know she had dibs on him but she figured I was moving in on her territory. Anyway, when we both finally realized that he didn’t, and would never, like either one of us for a girlfriend, we decided we’d become best friends and still pal around with our “boyfriend”. The three of us hung out a lot for the rest of our high school years. It was revealed to us later on that the boy was gay. Of course we felt better because that had to be the only reason he wouldn’t choose one of us. I just hope we didn’t turn him gay :) After becoming best friends, I was at Randie’s house as often as I could get there. She had horses and we rode them and just hung out most every weekend. It was great. I was just telling my son the other day about my trip Mount Rushmore as a kid. I went with Randie and her parents and we got to ride in a helicopter up to the presidents’ faces. We were so close, I think Randie picked Abe Lincoln’s nose! We later lived together for a while in her sister’s house; we had the upstairs. We’ve been working at the same company together for 10 years now but we rarely see each other at work. She is very professional and has a real position. I am not and don’t. However, when we do see each other and email, and talk, it’s like we’ve never had a pause. We have a great time and enjoy each other’s company very much. Randie is a forever friend!

Tillie is my same birthday buddy. Guess what? We share the same birthday. She is married to a great guy and has two adorable daughters. Tillie and I used to be a part of a group that would gather at another friend’s house in the summertime to watch soap operas. She and I really didn’t do a whole lot of hanging out together during the school years. She always had boyfriends and I never did. We did walk home from school in the same group though, and once she knocked my beautiful, new purse off of a guardrail and into a ditch of sludge several feel below us. Of course, it was a total accident (I’m admitting that I know this for the very first time) but I’ve always said she just “threw” that purse in the ditch. We still laugh about it today. Tillie was a world traveler and lived in a foreign country for a few years and we missed her a lot. Over the years we drifted and were not really close but we did get together on occasion as we all did, to have lunch to catch up and keep in touch. I will always be so grateful to her because she asked me to sing at her wedding when she married her current husband several years ago. It was such an honor and a total thrill. It was my first wedding gig! It will never matter how long we may go without talking or seeing each other, but the moment we do get together, it’s like there was never a pause or any time apart. Tillie is a forever friend!

Several months ago, Tillie was diagnosed with breast cancer. That was all it took for the four of us to buddy up and hold tight once again. We started emailing, calling, and we try to plan get-togethers for at least once a month. Just the thought of one of us being so ill brought us all together again. Tillie has had surgery, chemo treatments, pain, sickness, and has lost her hair but has a great prognosis and should make a full recovery – Praise Our Lord! She’s been wonderful and has had the most positive attitude and it has really inspired us. She is a total joy to be around and we always part ways in a better mood. This new-found friendship with my old friends as adults is such a wonderful blessing to me. It’s so easy to be friends as kids because everyone is the same and that is all you have. When you’re adults, you have to work at it because everyone has their own lives, families, and different interests. We are so lucky to still have each other and to still live close after all these years. I was so frightened at the possibility of losing one of my dear friends and it really changed me. I’ve always loved my friends but now, I have a much deeper love and a real appreciation for them. I’m gonna make sure they know it. I’m so happy that we are all close again and right now, I’m looking forward to seeing my buddies in a couple of weeks to do lunch. We’re gonna celebrate Tillie’s end of treatment, and also each other and our re-kindled friendship. I love you guys with all my heart!



Amy said...

That was an awesome post, Denise!

I look forward to the day, your friends are no longer scared and we can see their true identities....until then, I will just picture each of them like Ethel Mertz. (I don't know if I spelled that correctly.) :)

When I return from my trip I will be lurking around here often...But don't let that scare you; I'm pretty harmless.:)

Happy Blogging!

D said...

Denise, Tillie here! Just want you to know that you made me laugh and cry which you always do! You are the best and Praise God for his healing as I plan to be around many more years for you to make me laugh until I cry!!!

Thanks for being you!

much love