Friday, October 17, 2008

I thought she'd always be there.

I pulled in the driveway with my family to a new home, a new city, and a new school. I saw her across the field outside with another girl. I later learned her name is Kelly and her friend, Anna. I can still recall a photo I have tucked away somewhere of the two of them on her father's riding lawn mower, and it makes me laugh. And a whole series of images floods my mind; holding our noses outside an outhouse at Girl Scout Camp, the hot air balloons we watched take off that weekend, hundreds of them, and the tour of the Kellogg's factory. The many Halloween costumes. Dancing and singing along to Prince while jumping on the two beds in her room. Playing Bank. Making peanut butter covered crackers. Watching Entertainment Tonight with her mom, her mom's favorite thing on T.V. as I recall. Making popcorn. Her father in his chair that everyone knew belonged to him. Baking cakes. Blushing uncontrollably around her brother and his friends that were much older than I. Sleepovers, lots of sleepovers. Taking turns tickling each others backs and I always went last and she always let me. Yes Todd, that would be where the whole back rub thing comes in, and why you never seem to get one! He he! She was always good to me. My best friend. And the very best friend she was.

I can remember a weekend we went up to CMU to see her sister for sibling weekend. I remember being completely embarrassed for sticking the tape in the tape deck backward. I don't remember if I broke it. One of many stupid things I would eventually do to be embarrassed and ashamed of. I doubt this will be as funny to you, and I can't remember why it started to begin with, but we got excited about something. Her mom said "yeee-haw," Kelly followed with something like "yahooooo" or something along those lines and for some reason I screeched "yip, yip, yipeeeee." They both laughed so hard at me, not making fun, but for some reason it was just funny.

I can remember by dumb brothers climbing on the roof of their house with water and dumped it on Kelly's sister and her friends while sunbathing. Mortifying!

The worst of it comes later. When we entered junior high school. Actually, now that I think about it, it did start in elementary school. Kelly would be my best friend at home. But, I was so desperate to fit in at school that if I was forbid to hang out with her then I'd ignore her. At least until the rest of the "clique" got angry with me for some stupid thing and kicked me out. Then I'd run back across the playground with my true friends. Only I was too stubborn, selfish, and ignorant to realize these girls (who always accepted me) were my true friends. One of them, Stacy, I keep in touch with via e-mail only. Two of them, Molly and Christy, I have the pleasure of seeing all the time. I have the pleasure of attending Christy's wedding as she marries the man of her dreams next month. I am grateful to have had the chance to redeem myself with these ladies.

I never had that chance with Kelly though. Not because she hadn't offered but because I seemed to have thought I didn't need her or I was better or I'd prefer to be friends with others. I think I assumed she'd always be there. Not sure what the heck I was thinking! I moved from that house in high school, she moved also, and moved again, then left the state for a while. While I was getting married and having children. Our lives got in the way. Or, I let mine get in the way.

There is so much I would like to change, to take back. I know it isn't possible though and I regret all that I have missed with her and the way I treated her. I have recently had the chance to get in touch with Kelly and I'm so looking forward to seeing her face to face. So I can tell her all about my brothers and my parents. So she can meet my husband and my family. I can already image it. My children will adore her. But, she will be overwhelmed with my zoo. They are all so loud and exuberant and friendly. There is so much I have to say. So much I want to know about her, who she is today, how she met her husband, when will she have babies, how her siblings and mom are now doing.

I already know in my heart who she is today. I know her heart has not been hardened by the world and she is still as gentle and sweet and pure as ever. Oh, how I have missed her.

I want to thank my blog friends for your prayers, kind words, and encouragement. You lifted my head and allowed me to let the peace in. Blessings to you especially knowing that we each seem to have found ourselves in a bit of a funk recently. I'm so blessed to have a network of great woman I can turn to who also know the ultimate source of our peace and joy.

1 drops of sunshine:

Tabbie:) said...

Praise God for opportunities to redeem ourselves and reconnect with friends from yesteryear. He recently (within the past year & 1/2) reconnected me with my best friend from childhood. We are both now Christians and now get to be positive influences on each other. God is good!

It is wonderful to have a network of friends and for God to use each other to uplift. You do the same for us!! You ROCK Kari!!!

Have a wonderful weekend!!