Monday, October 22, 2007

Old Friends...

My oldest friend is Claudia. I have known her since I was in the 5th grade and she was in the 4th grade. We met when I lived in Little Rock. She lived two houses down from me. She went to a private Catholic school and I went to the all black public school at the end of our block. I don't quite remember exactly how we met, but I think someone may have introduced us. At any rate, we became instant friends, as far as I can remember. She lived with her mom, stepdad and little brother, Michael. I think he was around 2 at the time. We would watch Barney with him and sing all the think we even had a CD. At any rate. We spent many afternoons together. We rode her four wheeler, played catch, ate pizza and hid the boxes in the ditch, had many a sleep-overs that involved Dr. Pepper and Splashers in the wee hours of the morning. And that one time when we thought her mom was chocking in the middle of the night--- We sang in my living room to Alan Jackson's Chattahoochie at the top of our lungs, snooped in places we shouldn't have snooped in for things we shouldn't have snooped for---good times!

I only lived in Little Rock for about 2 years. Then we moved back to NWA. I cried and cried and cried. She was the best friend I'd ever had to date. I really believed that when I moved away, that our friendship would end. I was wrong. We remained friends. We wrote---LETTERS folks, real live snail mail letters. I have an entire box of letters that I got from her over the years. We visited a dozen or so times in person while we were in high school. At first, we wrote a lot, stayed in good touch, and then we wrote less...and then for a while we lost touch.

When I was getting ready to get married, it had been a few years since we'd been in contact...but I thought about her often. So I decided to try to get a wedding invitation to her. I googled her and had no luck. I did find an address for her mom and sent the invitations there. She wrote back. They were coming. I couldn't believe it. I loved her mom very much...she was a neat lady that was a 2nd mother to me during those 2 years. We were close.

So they drove the 3.5 or so hours to Fayetteville after years of no contact to see me say "I do." It meant a lot. It was sureal. I guess at some point I surrendered to the fact that we'd grown apart, partially due to distance and partially to growing up and becoming different people. I had grieved the loss of her friendship years prior and here they were, in the brides room huggin my neck. It was emotional, to say the least.

Since then we've been in and out of touch here and there. She had a baby a few months after Jordan was born and we've been in pretty good contact since then.

This picture is the only picture of us that we ever took back then, that I know of anyway. It was taken when I was a junior in high school. Years into our friendship.

And this is Claudia now, with her beautiful daughter, Jayce.

To many more years of friendship----


Jessica said...

Wow! What an old friend. I can count three people I still know from 5th grade- and that is through military websites since we have recently caught up online.
Yes- America's healthcare is bad. I know what you mean abvout the ER. When you are sick, you HAVE to get in, and the ER seems like the smartest choice in a healthcare system where you can be denied help. It makes me reconsider and watch that movie, Sicko. Have you seen it? I'm curious now.

Welcome to Our Lives... said...

That was a beautiful dedication to your friend. I seriously cried reading it.