Thursday, May 1, 2014

Old Friends

This weekend I am in a wedding of one of my oldest friends.  Nicole and I knew each other when we were really young but became friends in 7th grade.  We are going on 20 years of friendship.  Every teenage memory includes Nicole.  Our group of friends were always together in some form or fashion.  I know this friendship is forever because it is that type of friendship where we don't see each other or spend near as much time together as we should but when we are together, things just fall into place.  It's comfortable.  And real. 

I'm super excited to be a bridesmaid in Nicole's wedding and celebrate this incredible time with them.

In honor of the wedding and since today is "Throwback Thursday," I want to share this beloved photo.

E, K, Me, G, and Nicole (the bride!)
This photo was taken our senior year of high school - homecoming actually.  These four girls (I'm in the center) made up my entire high school career.  We had other members of our group but this was the core.  I have so many memories that include these women.  It's amazing how much we have changed.  Our lives have taken unexpected turns but we are all still hanging on for the ride. 

E went on to work full-time for I guess all of these years.  She earned a bachelor's and master's in English.  She's as sassy as ever!  When I saw her at a celebration for Nicole, it has been years since we saw each other.  We never skipped a beat.  She's the exact same tell-it-like-it-is gal and I would never want her to change.  Oh, and she drives a convertible.

K went off to school right after graduation.  She is now a science teacher at our alma mater and lives in our hometown (as does E). She has a cute little boy - the only one of us with a child in fact.   And soon she will begin teaching kids of people we graduated with! Scary! 

G has a degree in art and works for a research department for the same univeristy I do (and Nicole too for that matter).  I gave her a reference when she was hired.  :-)  G was never a fashion guru in school.  Just be glad she showed up.  She didn't care for hair, makeup, and definitely not clothing.  Today though, her closet is probably 3 times bigger than mine.  She always looks amazing and her hair and makeup are flawless. 

Nicole is the same as she always was.  She's genuinely sweet and thoughtful.  She was always sort of the mother hen to G and I and she's still that way.  She plans everything out to the minute - which came in especially handy for wedding planning.  She has a degree in interior design.  It fits her.  She works for one of the academic schools on campus.  And I think she's thinking of going back to school to be a teacher.  She'll be a great teacher.  And hopefully she will add mommy to her list soon too.  If there was one person who was born to be a mother, it would be Nicole.  And she had plenty of practice helping to raise G and I.  :-)  G's parents adopted Nicole.  It was so very fitting that she and G became "real" sisters.  I can't wait to watch their mom this weekend.  She's going to be a puddle of emotion for sure.

So that's them.  My old friends.  Four incredibly strong, beautiful, and independent women.  In this group of women, three of them lost their mothers before they turned 25.  It shocked my soul each time.  But they kept going. 

Once upon a time we were just five band nerds with no responsibility.  Now we have husbands, kids, careers, homes, retirements, and the list goes on.  We have each traveled the paths in front of us and I don't know about myself but they are traveling with grace and strength.

I'm glad to have each of them in my life - even though we don't see each other as much as we should.  Maybe this big celebration will help bring us together more often. 

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