Our family moved to Florida in June of 1960. That was long before 436 was six lanes and there was no I-4 at all. The Bear Lake area was a brand new development and it was safe to be outside and play. I was four years old when we arrived.
Three houses down from us was the first family I remember knowing. Kathy was the oldest, she was my age. Kay was two years younger. Terri, Patti’s age, was not even born yet.
Kathy, Kay and I always played together. Whether it was Barbie or bike riding, swimming or playing games, it feels like I was always at their house. We went to separate schools through eighth grade so we had different schedules. During the summer we were either swimming in their pool or playing endless games of canasta at their kitchen table.
There was this one album called Hootenanny with the Highwaymen and we used to laugh, dance and sing along with it over and over again. Kathy and I still talk about those silly songs. I particularly remember Mr. Noah. I can still hear us singing away in my memories. It was a wonderful carefree time in our lives.
When I returned home from my visit to New York the summer I was 12, Kathy threw me a surprise Welcome Home party with all my friends. This was a wonderful surprise in itself, but that a lot of these people were more my friends than hers made it truly special to me. She really did everything possible to make it a great party.
As Kathy and I entered high school, we kind of left Kay behind. We lived in a new world of boys and dreams of tomorrow. We used to go for walks after dinner and talk and talk and TALK about everything and anything. Mostly boys I am sure. We both had boyfriends from church, and we had boyfriends from school, I don’t remember us ever fighting over a boy.
We had different friends and interests at school, but somehow we always found time to take our walks.
We both got married and I was the one that moved away. There were lapses in time but we managed to stay in touch. Whenever I was home, we would always get together and it was like we had never been apart.
Life has taken us to different cities, even different countries and we ended up living 5 miles away from each other, totally unplanned. This is the way it has always been. We each live different lives but know the other one is right there, just around the corner.
Our friendship has survived marriages, divorces, children and no children, deaths of parents and everything in between. Kathy reminds me that the people I love have different journeys than mine and the best way to love them is to let them go. I remind her to trust God and keep marching. We share a very deep faith and hold each other up as best we can when needed.
Kathy and I have always joked that 2010 would be our 50th Anniversary. So here it is, June 2010, Happy 50th my dear friend. I think we should at least be good for another 25! Thanks for being there for me all these year. I love you.