Daily Prompt: Something So Strong

Published March 13, 2014 by suejansons

Daily Prompt: Something So Strong

I have been friends with Liz since what feels like the beginning of time……. or over 40 years, but who is really counting? She is like the sister I never had. We met in elementary school. Not really sure what grade, but I think it was 1st or 2nd. I don’t remember much about that time, but she went by Betty Ann back then.

As I believe most elementary school friendships go, if you are not in the same class, you drift apart and don’t speak until you are in the same class again. LOL Our friendship didn’t rekindle again until high school. I remember a lot about those days!

There are so many funny stories about our friendship in high school. My favorite one is when my friend had a crush on this guy named Andy. She was afraid to talk to him (like a lot of high school girls would be) but wrote him a very long letter about how she liked him, etc. She was even afraid to give him the note. Back then, I would do a lot of things on a dare, and sometimes not on a dare. After trying to talk her into just giving him the note, I told her to give me the note. She asked what I was going to do, and I told her I was going to give it to Andy. She gave me the note, and without even a second thought, I walked right up to him and said “Here, this is from Liz. Read it.” I went back and told Liz what happened and she was so embarrassed. I hadn’t thought about how blunt I was about giving him the note. The love affair with Andy never did come to pass, though. But Liz and I still laugh about it when we talk.

There was also the time when we followed my high school crush, Louie. His nick name was the Blonde Beauty. Anyway, we were following him because he happened to be walking on my block, and Liz called out his name. I was mortified! HE stopped and my Liz made me walk up to him. I was shaking so bad from nervousness, I didn’t think I could even stand there, much less talk to him. But we did talk to him for a while, and as it turned out, he was not very smart. In fact, he said he would sometimes forget how to spell his last name. But, he was really nice to look at. LOL

When Liz and I talk about the “old days,” I find it funny that we remember different stories. I guess each person has their own stories that left a lasting impression more than others. I love it when she reminds me of things I had forgotten about.

After all our crushes with the wrong boys, we both had boyfriends. These boyfriends would turn out to be our husbands. We both got married within a few months of each other. Liz was the witness at my wedding. I say witness because we were married by a judge. I was very pregnant at the time. She had a big church wedding. I attended, but was not part of her wedding party. She was also pregnant, but not showing just yet. And soon, we each had a son. We would visit with each other when we could, but didn’t live very close to each other and it was tough to get around. Being so young and having started families, cars were a luxury that neither of us could afford.

We sort of drifted apart, but not totally. Liz moved to upstate NY and I eventually moved to Florida. We each had a rough time financially during this time and we lost touch due to changing phone numbers, moving, etc.
I got divorced, and she had her own troubles over the years but stayed married. I tried to look her up via the internet (pre-Facebook era), but her last name is very common, so my searches gave me too many people to know whether or not it was her. Fortunately, for me, my name wasn’t as common and she was able to find me. She called my phone and she started talking and I immediately knew it was her. We must have talked for hours, catching up. We each had 2 more kids since the last time we talked and I told her all about my divorce, etc. She told me about her issues as well. But, really, it was like there was never a time we didn’t talk.

We planned a trip to Long Island at the same time because we both still had family there. I stayed with my brother while I was there. And I was only able to spend one day with Liz. We decided to go to the Museum of Natural History. We had a great time. The picture is of us in Central Park. My youngest son took the picture which is why it is from so far away. I think he was 13 at the time.

Another year or so later, I went up to Lake Placid to visit her. She works at a time share and was able to get me a unit for a long weekend. I got to see the site where the Olympics were held, including the ski jump, and the famous hockey rink!

Liz called me about 3 years ago with some very sad news. She told me that her oldest son, Stephen, had passed away from cancer. He was only 26. It was a complete shock. I was shaken to my core because this was awful, awful news and our sons were only a few months apart. I asked her if she needed me to come up there. She said no, she had enough support and to save the time to spend together for happier occasions. During the first year following, I called often to make sure she was doing well. I can only imagine how devastating that could be. She vented to me a lot, and sometimes we didn’t talk about her son at all. I was just there for her. It took about a year before she could actually laugh, but I was so happy to hear it.

We haven’t been able to get together since my visit to Lake Placid, but she is trying to plan a trip to visit me here. She has been talking about it for about a year, and I hope it happens soon.

So, what has kept us being friends for this long? I guess growing up together, doing silly and stupid things together. I never had a sister, and her sister was much older than she was. I guess we both needed each other. And we still do. We laughed at the stupidest things, cried about the stupidest boys, hated the stupidest teachers, and were mad at our stupidest parents. We bonded so much during those formative years that no one can ever undo it. In a lot of ways, I think we are closer to each other than to our husbands. We have certainly known each other a lot longer. I could not imagine my life without her.

I love you, Liz!

central park

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