Today, I am picking up one of my best friends from the airport. She is coming out to visit for an entire week. The only solid plan I have is to run the half marathon on Saturday and Mary has promised to be at the finish line. She probably just wants to drink my free beer. What kind of slacker flies in from Atlanta and shows up at the finish line for free beer? My BFF.
Mary and I have been friends since I moved to Colorado almost 25 years ago. Mary’s husband, Kelly, worked with my husband and we met during various get-togethers in the early years. We quickly became one another’s surrogate family. She and her family moved to Boston and then Atlanta 17 years ago and while she has lived somewhere else longer than she lived here, our friendship has endured.
After our girls were born we literally spent most days at one another’s house. Mary used to call me after breakfast to see what we were doing. Regardless of what we had planned it was always better if we did it together. If I said we were cleaning out the playroom she would respond, “okay, we will be right over.” The kids would play, have lunch, and take naps together on most days. During the summer, they would swim in the inflatable pool while we sat in lawn chairs watching them splash one another for hours. There is nothing we didn’t talk about during those days and rarely a decision was made without consulting one another.
In fact, when her second daughter, Emma, was born Andy and I went to the hospital to see her. As soon as I walked through the door and before I could even lay eyes on the newest addition she said, “are those new shoes? You went shopping without me? I have to try those on.” And she got out of bed and made me take my shoes off so she could try them on. I think about that every year on Emma’s birthday and it still makes me laugh.
Over the years, Mary and I have had many adventures but my favorite memory of all was G’s bachelorette weekend in Vegas. Back then Mary had never met G, but she felt like she knew her. So, when G called to invite me to her Vegas weekend with her college friends, of course, I told Mary about it. I was a little apprehensive about going because I was married and had two little girls. I wasn’t sure if I fit into the bachelorette crowd. Mary’s response was, “I want to go, let’s go together.” So, I promptly called G up and said, “I know you have never actually met Mary, but how do you feel about her crashing your bachelorette party?” I think G would have agreed to anything to get me to come, but it turns out it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Mary and I flew into Vegas the night before everyone else to get a head start on the weekend. By the time the rest of the bachelorette party arrived we’d had a full night’s sleep in the “honeymoon suite” (that’s another blog), been to the spa, and laid by the pool for hours. We were already having the time of our lives and the party hadn’t even started yet. G’s other friends were slightly concerned about our apparent drunkenness. It was the first time we had been away from our kids and we were DRUNK ON FREEDOM. Literally, we had not had a drop of alcohol up to this point.
So, what happened next? You know what they say, “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!”
Shortly after our weekend getaway Mary and her family moved across the country. Other than the day Andy and I left Ohio 25 years ago, this was one of the saddest days of my life. I think we both felt like we were starting over again that day.
Our friendship doesn’t look the same as it did back then. We don’t sit in each other’s back yard everyday and we don’t even get to talk once a week, but today when I pick her up at the airport it will be like no time has passed at all.
That is the mark of a true friend and I am so grateful to have Mary in my life after all of these years.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G