I don't remember when we became friends. She was just always there.
Amy grew up across the pasture from my grandparent's house and since I practically lived with them, we were neighbors. Man did we have fun... When we were little, we spent hours underneath the big tree in the backyard playing in the sandbox or riding our bikes. When Amy got a swimming pool, we were there. She even tried to kill me once, it was in a go-cart on highway 16. Someone
When I was little, my parents weren't happy. They were angry and I took a lot of the brunt of the emotion. They were two different people... One person in front of people and a completely different person behind closed doors. Amy knew that. She was there and witnessed it. She was the only person who really understood. We didn't speak a word of it, we were just there for each other. Amy covered my bruises with makeup, she braided my hair tenderly when my head was sore. She showed me love that I didn't understand.
Softball was our thing. Our dad's were coaches... we spent many hours at those softball fields together. Looking back, it was fun. There are lots of times I wish I could go back... just for a week. I would go back to the summer before we moved to New Mexico. We were so amazing that year. When we were winning, things at my house were good. (now you know why we were so serious, girls. not because we liked to win... but because we had to win.) We played 73 softball games that summer. We won all but 2. Why do I know that? Because my dad, to this day, talks about our glory days.
That summer, Amy and I spent a lot of time walking through the woods 9 miles south of Bristow. We tried to get lost, but never did. We spent hours on the phone. We had no idea it would be the last summer together. Had we known, we wouldn't have had as much fun. I'm so thankful for that summer.
In January of our 7th grade year, my family thought it would be a blast to pick up and move to Hobbs, New Mexico. It changed my life...
Lots of letters were written and long distant phone calls were made. I was able to keep up with my friends back home, but as time went along... we all grew with it. Holes in my heart were filled with other friends, whom I love dearly, but nothing filled the hole where my very best friends lived.
As we became teenagers we would fall in and out of love, our letters were filled with boys and dates and dreams. We were going to go off to college together and play softball once again. dreams.
When I was 17, a few weeks shy of my 18th birthday, I wore my mother's shoes to school without asking. I ended up with my bags packed and sitting on the porch waiting for my grandparents to arrive to pick me up... I was moving home. 5 years later... I was nervous.
My senior year was amazing. Although we didn't appear as we did when we were in the 7th grade, our friendship was as strong as ever. Our lives were changing, which was great. I was able to play softball with my girls one last time in 1997. Sitting here writing this 17 years later seems outrageous. It was just yesterday!
We graduated, went to college, got married, (divorced) married, had children, lost parents, celebrated victories... things were going great. Then the unimaginable happened and Amy was forced to bury her husband. I can not explain how sad I was for her. My heart broke in two that day for the sadness of my very first oldest best friend. I was sad because I felt I wasn't there enough on the last 15 years. I was sad because she had to deal with such a tradegy. Sad.
But my friend, the one who talked me through all of the those dark hours so long ago. Who held me when I cried. She is resilient. She is so beautiful, and strong, and happy.
Today is her birthday... I sat down to write a quick, "happy birthday heifer" note and it turned into this. Funny how God works, isn't it?
I love you today. I always have... I always will. I am so incredibly proud of you and honored to call you my sister. This is YOUR year... I just know it. I am praying for you and can't wait to celebrate with you this year. Have a wonderful day...