Wednesday, May 2, 2012


If you are really fortunate, you have been blessed with a true "BFF".  A best friend forever.  Someone you can count on in all situations.  Someone who is there for you no matter what.  Someone who will always be there, even with time and distance separate you.  Someone who, when you get together for the first time years, it's like you never skipped a beat.

In the fourth grade, my family had moved across town and I had to start a new school.  I wrote "fun" little post about that school a while ago where I unpacked some baggage about that life experience.  It is amazing to look at this class picture now.  I've not kept in touch with most of these people.  Most probably aren't living in our home town.  Some of us have left Canada and are living in the U.S. or abroad.  Some of us have traveled far and wide, and I'm sure some of us stayed close to home.  Some of us have our own families.    Some perhaps do not.  Some of us have probably had lives that have been good to them while others have faced all sorts of challenges.  Two from this class are deceased.

One in this class is my best friend Heidi.

I met Heidi in the fourth grade and we have been friends ever since.  Although, I can say that in the early years, there were plenty of times where we'd "break up" as friends and then work it all out.  I've always been pretty introverted.  Heidi is not.  At least she's never seemed like it to me!  She is outspoken, gregarious, funny, silly, and just one of the best people to talk to when you need someone to listen.

When we were old enough to be dropped off at the mall and hang out without supervision, Heidi and I would often go out, which meant quarter chicken dinners at Swiss Chalet followed by a movie.  In fact, the first movie I ever saw without a parent present was with Heidi.  It was a double feature even!

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

I am wondering if Heidi still writes her "G"s like this guy:
{you had to be there}

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

We went through elementary and high school together.  In high school, we were still great friends, but we both developed new friends and kind of did our own thing to some extent.  We still had some common friends and we still hung out a lot.

We went our separate ways in university, but we still stayed in touch.  I moved back home afterwards.  She spent some time away from home.  Eventually, I met Ron and moved to Houston.  She came to visit us once!  She eventually met Landon and moved to Baltimore.

She was in my wedding.
{beside me to the left}
I was in hers.

For the past almost four years, Heidi and I have lived in the closest proximity to each other since our university days!  She is still in Baltimore, but I'm now in Charleston, SC.  It's about 10 hours.  It's great knowing that she's that close even though we haven't seen each other much.

Here's the thing about Heidi.

When my mom was sick, particularly when it became stage 4 breast cancer and we knew the end was imminent, Heidi was there for me like no one else.  She was always calling me to check in on me.  She was truly, honestly, deeply concern with how things were going - especially in light of our situation with Peyton which, at the time, was pretty difficult as she was in and out of the hospital constantly that year.

When it became clear that I needed to get back home to Canada {July 2010} to see my mom one last time while she was still living, I called Heidi to see if she wanted to go with Moira and I.  She didn't even hesitate.  While Baltimore is not exactly "on the way" home, it's not horrendously "out of the way" - especially when it was just Moira and I and about 20 hours of driving between us and my parents.  I drove to Baltimore to pick her up and we continued on home.  This was the first "real" visit she and I had in years.  We'd really only seen each other a couple times when we both happened to be home at Christmas, but hadn't really spent any good quality time together in years.  She hadn't ever gotten the chance to really hang out with Moira either.

This trip is one of the greatest, fondest memories I have of my friendship with Heidi in all these years.  What kind of person drops everything to travel home with you so you don't have to go alone?  What kind of person listens to someone for that long about subject matter that, in that moment, was pretty bleak.

One of the best moments of that trip was when we were driving back into the U.S. {my parents are on the Canadian side of the border in northern Ontario, so the U.S. is literally just a drive over a bridge away}.  It was so incredibly hard leaving home that morning because I knew that was it.  The tears were flowing.  It was heartbreaking.  I'm driving down I-75 and something caught my attention in the median.  She caught it too.  In the midst of a dead serious moment, there we were busting up laughing, my tears turning to the kind that only come from such intense laughter.  Here's what we saw.  Bear in mind, this is northern Michigan!

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

What emu could possibly be doing in the middle of an interstate in northern Michigan is totally and completely beyond my comprehension.  That said, it could only have happened with Heidi in the car!  Only with Heidi would something like that have happened.  Only with Heidi would we later stop for the night at a hotel and stay on the 9th floor of a 4 story hotel.  True story.  I don't know how people in Pittsburgh count stories, but when I see four outside and we're pressing "9" to get to our room, it makes you shake your head just a little.  Oh the laughs Heidi and I shared on that trip home.  I won't forget those memories.

And what friend would then, two weeks later, find her way back to Canada - during a time in her life where she had the most intense, horrendous back pain going on {even on that first trip} - just to be there for me when my mom did pass away?  Heidi.  That's who.

Thank you, Heidi, for being such an amazing best friend for all these years.

Happy 40th Birthday, sweet friend!!

{p.s. I raided your facebook for a couple pics!!}


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