Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Fav - The Friends Who Get You Through

Happy Friday! This past week I received an unexpected surprise, an email with some of the nicest words I've ever read. After jotting down a Friday Fav for the past 2 years, I still can't stop smiling that I was on the receiving end of this gift. I know I've mentioned her before, but probably never given our story the details it deserves. When you've had a week with an upset you didn't see coming, 5 days of blurring your vision even more by staring at spreadsheet rows and columns all day, and a tear in your heart from not being in the same city as your mom to celebrate her birthday properly, you remember that friendship is at the heart of lifting our spirits.

Because I would say these words back to her in a heartbeat, today's Friday Fav is brought to you by my bff, Whitney Strong. When she isn't surprising me with postcards from her travels, treats for Baris, or actually participating in our bookclub, she's blogging herself over at The Brand Next Door.

Disclaimer: It's weird posting a blog that you didn't write, and is about yourself, but when you feel the same way and hope others have this type of bond that we share, you take a step back and hit "Publish."

Friday Fav: The Friends Who Get You Through 

Brittanie and I have been friends since my first day at Bishop Kelly High School in October 2000. Just writing that took some thinking, and it sounds really scary. But I suppose we might as well own it. Four. Teen. Years. Of. Friendship. Our ten year reunion is approaching, and although it feels like just yesterday we were becoming locker buddies, a decade and a half has almost passed. Those years have provided ample opportunity to really get to know each other, to have vulnerable moments, to show up. 

To provide a little context, you probably all know Brittanie lives in Baltimore. Well, I live in Seattle. That's a veritable 3,000 miles away from each other. But our geological divide hasn't been an excuse to not check in with each other. 

You see, Brittanie and I are daddy's girls. We both super love our dads. We spent time on our dads' Harleys, went on adventures for ice cream with them, called them when we wanted to hear someone tell us they loved us. And we both lost our dads too soon. My dad was diagnosed with brain cancer in June of 2010 - he fought, but it took him in August of 2012. 

And who was cahooting with my now fiance to order us Thai takeout on random Tuesdays? Who was one of the few people in the world who truly got it even though she wasn't going through it? Who was the one checking in with me constantly even when I didn't want to be checked-in-with? Who was the one sending care packages full of gossip mags, M&Ms and nail polish directly to my dad's care home when he was put on hospice? Brittanie. She was always completely present with me, even from 3,000 miles away - which, given how people react when you're going through something major, is absolutely huge. When her dad was taken three weeks after mine, neither of us could believe it. Both of us? Now? It all felt so cruel. We smile thinking about them riding Harleys in Heaven, but we still ache the way two little girls who love their daddies would. But, in the midst of so much pain, we have each other. 

So, here's to the friends who get you through. They are invaluable. They are rare. You find them at different points along the way, but they should be held as tightly as you can manage while remaining cool, and sometimes being okay with not being cool at all. They are the ones you stay up all night giggling with, the ones you send inspirational quotes to pin on Pinterest and links to your fave Utah bloggers (Cara Loren). They are the ones who gave you mixed CDs full of illegally-downloaded music and chatted with on your AOL dial-up for hours. They listen to B2K Christmas songs with you. They send you birthday presents every year and shamelessly sing "Happy Birthday" to your voice mail every year. They are the ones you miss all the time, but know are always there.

I'm so lucky to have found Brittanie when we were brace-faced little high school freshmen. I hope you all have someone like her to get you through, because Lord knows, the older we get, the more we need them. 

And just as she said, I hope you all have someone to get you through.
Whit, I'm so thankful I have you, too! 

Have a fabulous weekend!