I attended high school in Knoxville, Tennessee so when we come here to visit our parents (both sets still live here), I always try to make time to get together with one of my oldest and dearest friends, Kate. We went to high school together and were extremely close in our junior and senior years. While we lost touch for nearly eight years after graduation, I sent a letter to her parents’ address when I was pregnant with J and we reconnected.
I love our relationship; it’s really stood the test of time. In addition to our high school adventures, she flew to Chicago to be the decoy surprise when Jim and my sister threw me a surprise party for my 30th birthday, I accompanied her and her husband (and toddler) to Europe a few years back, and I lived with them in Knoxville for a week after their second baby came along, to help around the house. We are polar opposites in so many ways (for example, while she says that I am good at “creating my own party”, she is “not a joiner”), but I think that’s part of why it works. She is one of my very favorite people.
I was fortunate enough to be able to snag some time away from family activities to go to her house and visit with her, her husband, and the kids (I’ve called them Bean and Squeaks on the blog) this morning. (The kids are growing up as kids tend to do. Yikes! Stahhhhp!)
While I was there she gave me a birthday present, and it was one of the best gifts ever. She made a CD for me (a mixCD?) that includes songs that are associated with a certain memory from our friendship. She wanted to see if I had the same memories with each song and my gosh, was it fun (and funny) to sit there and guess what she was thinking regarding each song. Her husband was sitting with us and so there was one memory which we had to practically speak in code about and one that I had to whisper in her ear because I didn’t want to say it out loud and we just giggled. I only missed two, and she reminded me of a bright (BRIGHT) yellow and white striped shirt and sweater vest I used to wear (mid 80s, you know), that I had forgotten all about.
I have actually spent a lot of time wondering in general if my friends from all parts of my life have the same memories as I do; and of course they do and they don’t because we’re all different and we all put different levels of importance on things. It was so much fun to sit with one of my oldest friends today and laugh over the history we share; in the end we both reminded each other of a couple of things that the other had forgotten.
The CD and our little guessing game today was one of the most special gifts I’ve ever received because of the thought behind it. Many of the songs already brought memories of her into my head upon listening; now the rest will do the same. I can’t share the memories here, but I will share song number one.
Thanks for the memories, Kate. xoxo