For forty-five years, we have been friends. Through thick and thin. Through births and deaths and all the life stuff in between. We have worried about everything together. We have mourned together. We have shared fears and joys and blessings. Our faces have grown lined together. Our hair turned gray together.
I can’t really remember what it was that first made us friends. Maybe it was our mutual dislike of Physical Education. Perhaps we sat on the sidelines together. She was so bubbly and normal, not my usual pick in friends really. She knew everyone in school and everyone loved her, which normally would make me dislike someone. Instead- she became my best friend.
She adopted me. She brought me home to her family and shared them with me. They didn’t quite get me at first. They thought I was too fast for her- and I was. Too experienced, too edgy, too worldly- already at 15 or 16, whatever we were.
We spent holidays together; we walked down Magnolia St. with our pink lemonade and vodka in our short-shorts and halter-tops, watching the Fourth of July Parade. We spent every day together. If we had secrets from each other, they remain so to this day. I don’t think we did though.
We had a million laughs. With her family cracking crab, making tamales, lecturing us, drinking our wine, telling our crazy stories. And we had a million tears too.
Her family became my family. Her parents bossed me around and for the first time in my life, I liked it. Her nephews were my nephews. Her sister, my sister. She even let me fall in love with her brother for a while.
I was protective towards her. Hating anyone who would dare to hurt her. Like an older sister- I kept an eye on her- hoping she wouldn’t make the mistakes I had already made.
No boy ever came between us. Her husband understood from the start that I came with the deal. (thankfully)
Tomorrow is Renee Ellen Mistron Gallagher’s 60th Birthday.
I am so fortunate to have you as my friend. My support. My sister of the heart.
I can’t imagine what my life would have been like without you- so I just wanted to say thank you for being born. (oh and thank Elsie for doing the work ;o) )
Love you much,