Through going to different high schools and universities, traveling to different countries, and now living very far apart (she in the Northwest Territories and me here in Ontario), we've always managed to be friends.
I missed her wedding because I was in England.
We've missed graduations and birthdays and all sorts of special occasions, but have always stayed friends.
I wish I had access to a scanner and my mom's photo albums because inside them you would be able to see the two of us as cute little kids playing at birthday parties, growing into awkward pre-teens who were so cool that we decided to do a lip-sync and dance to "Heaven is a Place on Earth" by Belinda Carlisle in grade 7. When we became teenagers and discovered boys, we spent hours and hours giggling about our latest crushes and dreaming about our futures.
Julie was the yin to my yang when we were growing up. She was always on my side (even when i didn't deserve it), and basically lived at my cottage during the summers when we were teenagers. I can't even count the number of hours we spent in the attic at my camp playing Super Mario Brothers on our Nintendo, drinking copious amounts of Pepsi and inhaling giant bags of chips, with chocolate bars and candy as desert. These yummy snacks were almost always courtesy of Julie's dad*, who would show up every week or so to bring her more clothes and drop off a bunch of food so my parents wouldn't feel like they'd adopted a third child. **
I can remember a golden three days year ago when the sun shone and the temperatures were at their summer best. Children played outside in the woods, went swimming and did all sorts of exciting summer things. We sat in front of the Super Nintendo without moving (except to get more Pepsi and take trips to the bathroom) for the entire three days. Imagine two young girls sitting in a dark attic on bean bag chairs, surrounded by pillows, with a garbage can on each side, one filled with Kleenex (Julie had a bad cold. Might've been from lack of fresh air and sunshine...), with tiny cups of Pepsi beside a two-litre bottle, half-eaten bags of dill pickle chips (mmmm), no less than 5 chocolate bars, and brown paper bags filled with mixed up candy.
And they say today's children don't live healthy lifestyles. Imagine what experts would say about OUR parents - letting us do something like that!
Eventually we grew out of the little girl stage, graduated high school, and went our seperate ways to university. Still keeping in sporadic touch, I always got excited when it was mentioned that Julie was coming back for a visit. The months or even years apart disappeared and we would talk just like we'd seen each other yesterday.
It's the kind of friendship people find once in a lifetime and I'll always be thankful for that.
Since I'm the type of person who purchases 40 post cards during a year abroad without mailing even one (yes, I suck at mail), I haven't been very good about sending letters, etc. to my oldest friend who lives so far away. Even though she sent me a card and bridal magazines (my first!) when she found out Jeremy and I were engaged... If I can make New Year's resolution, it's to be better at sending mail.
So I thought I'd write up a blog post so everybody (and by everybody I mean the 5 people who read this blog) will know two important things about my friend Julie:
1. She's a fantasticly-amazingly-wonderful person and I'm glad we've been friends for 22 years
2. it's her BIRTHDAY!!
I can't remember what it was like to not be your friend. We might not be a daily part of each others lives, but please know that I think of you often and always smile at the memories of years past. When I was terrified about moving to London, your pep talk helped get me through it - and for that I can't thank you enough.
It's funny to say we've been through so much together when we've spent a lot of our lives apart, but somehow I always feel like you're with me, cheering me on.
I hope your birthday brings many wonderful things (your first as a Married Lady!!) and that you know how many people are wishing you all of the joy and happiness you deserve.
Thanks for being in my life.
Love & Miss you lots,
* Interesting fact: we gave her dad credit for YEARS for bringing us all of the unhealthy treats I mentioned. Last summer, we all got together before the move to London and it came out that her mom was actually the person who bought the pop, candy, chocolate bars, and chips for us, with her dad being elected to bring them to us. Still trying to figure out a way to thank her mom properly ;)
** Both of my parents would probably say that it still felt like they had a third kid since she basically lived with us for weeks at a time and would only go home when her mom complained about forgetting what she looked like.