Friday, September 17, 2010

my girl



you will find the reason behind this post sitting in the front row, 2nd from the right. that is RW and today, she is turning 30.

cute as a button with that bowl haircut, don't you think? well, she may look cute, but as a fellow kindergartner that year (top row, right side), i can remember only 2 things about her. 1. she often had a kiwi in her lunchbox which was a fruit i was not yet accustomed to, and so it fascinated me. 2. she was naughty sometimes and told the teacher "no" on occasion, which my brown-nosed little self would never dream of doing. we weren't friends when we were 5. neither were we friends when we were 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12.



i think it was the year we both turned 13 that we somehow became friends for real. i don't remember too much about the specifics, but i do remember birthday parties and sleepovers, having a great big crush on her older brother and plucking our eyebrows to within an inch of their lives. we somehow thought it was cool to apply a fake brown mole to our upper lip a la cindy crawford. we devoured the pages of seventeen magazine and spent hours on the phone with one another, often using the third line to call another friend. we talked about boys a lot. (a lot, a lot.) we took the bus to the mall and purchased trendy clothes with babysitting money. we received our first kisses and begged one another to share every detail. we got into fights and refused to speak, then made up with tears and vows of a never ending friendship. funny to think that those vows seemed to stick.





throughout high school we began to drift apart a little, not as fiercely loyal as we once had been to one another. still, i was there when she had a needle inserted through the top of her belly button and later, she held my hand as i had a needle inserted through the middle of my tongue. we graduated, both unsure as to what we wanted to do with our lives, then suddenly she was being swept off her feet by some dude and then she was engaged and i sort of felt left behind.



being a married woman didn't knock her off the face of the planet like it did to many of my other friends. we still had heart to hearts and girls nights and partied hard, which once (that i remember) ended with her holding my hair while i vomited in the bathroom. i made some ridiculously stupid choices that could have resulted in consequences much more severe than what actually happened, and yet through it all she stood by me, was there for me, and always had my back.

new years day 2002 sticks out in my mind because we had a life changing conversation. i don't remember exactly how or why, but we both decided that we were going to begin turning our lives back towards God. we had each been raised in Christian homes, but had allowed our faith to fall by the wayside in exchange for temporary fun. we were both weary of the world's version of happiness and we knew that true joy and hope can only come from a relationship with Jesus. and so we took little baby steps together. we held each other accountable. when one of us fell, the other helped to pick her up and we soon found that as we grew in our faith, we were growing incredibly closer to one another in our friendship.



we started a women's bible study group and attended church and i was there when she shared her testimony in front of a bazillion people and was baptized. she was there when i made the decision to put business school on hold and pursue my dream of traveling to europe combined with learning more about my God, and when i came back home during christmas break, breathless with excitement, she took one look at me and she knew. she took one look at my pictures and she said, "so... you and this josh dude....."

she took me engagement ring shopping and promised to memorize my favorite styles just in case he asked. and then, once the date was set and the plans were made, i remember her sitting down on my bed in my little blue bedroom and crying. i cried with her. it felt like right at the peak of our friendship, i was leaving her.



she flew down to san diego with her 4 month old son and was there for me on that beach while i pledged my love and commitment to the man of my dreams. then, 6 weeks later she got all dolled up and stood by me as my matron of honor at Our Wedding Part 2: the fancy version.



over the years we've come to realize that distance can never separate true friends. we see each other perhaps once a year and talk on the phone much more frequently than that, but it feels as if each time we talk, we just pick up right from where we left off. there is no need for small talk or chit chat in our conversations; if i ask the question, "how are you?" she knows immediately that i expect her to tell me exactly how she is, and she will tell. our youngest children were born only months apart and it was an incredible gift to experience pregnancy and childbirth and those infant days with a friend who was going through it right alongside me.

RW, you are the most fiercely loyal, compassionate, loving and devoted friend a girl could ask for. thank you for being there for me on so many different levels. i love you, my friend.



oh, and happy birthday!

11 comments:

Grandma J. said...

Heidi, as a mom you will find yourself praying for good friends in your children's lives. I know I certainly did, as well as for adults other than mom and dad to be good role models for them. Thank you God for answered prayer and ... Happy Birthday RW!

Z-Mama said...

Holy cow Heidi, you have me totally in tears (and I don't do that easily)! What an awesome story of friendship and a wonderful birthday gift! Happy birthday RW!

running wildly said...

I am bawling my face off here. I can't believe you wrote this post!!!!!! Oh, such great memories over the years.....
I am blessed by your friendship & love. Thank you for this gift.

Claire said...

I am bawling too and I don't know her (or well, you really...lol). Beautiful story of friendship.

Aimee said...

I'm tearing up too. I love the journey your friendship has shared. You are so blessed to have each other. Happy birthday RW! Oh, and I love that RW was a spunky in kindergarten as she is now, imagine saying "no" to the teacher!!

Rebecca said...

What a great tribute to a friend! Lovely post Heidi. I too have been blessed with some long standing friendships over the years. Good friends are such a treasure.

Amy@Sassy Scarlett said...

What a blessing to have a friend like that, this is a beautiful tribute to a wonderful friendship.

sedachfamily said...

Oh I am so, so happy for you & RW! Few people in life have such a treasure as a friendship like yours. I pray my girls will have that too. Thanks so very much for sharing and super Happy Birthday to RW!

Anonymous said...

Wow Heidi, what a beautiful post of a beautiful friendship - it was so moving. And wishing you a wonderful Birthday RW - Love, Aunt Flo

Christine said...

Heidi you amazing me in your writing, beautiful, and yes with the others i have tears in my eyes.. happy birthday RW!

kelly ens said...

this is spectacular and beautiful. just awesome! happy birthday, RW!