Back in my “former life,” I was known to celebrate my birthday for an entire week. But this year, in addition to an array of events during that time, the celebration now continues this month with a much longed for and anticipated visit from two of my dearest friends, Amy & Melanie.
I have a long history with these two precious women. Melanie and I were in grade school at the same time, but in different classes, so we didn’t really know each other then. But we recognized each other and reconnected in college and began a deep and rich friendship. We were in each other’s weddings, and I shared in the births of her four children and all the up and down life events that go with a close and long friendship. (She is also the person who got me my “bee call” job and is my alternate day co-worker).
Amy and I have been close friends for even longer – having been through school together from fourth grade through the end of high school (and we even sang together in a trio for our graduation). She too was in my wedding, and I shared in the births of her four children, as well as the other events of our lives. In fact, my life is literally in her hands – she kept the remainder of my packed suitcases to be brought to me later, maintains my stateside mailing address, is my power of attorney, signature on my checking account, as well as executor and inheritor of my estate.
Amy is the last friend or family member to see my mother alive. She came to sit with mommy for me in those last few days, when I had to leave the hospital to get the Medical Power of Attorney and meet the hospice people to deliver the hospital bed (that she never came home to use). Both these women sat beside me alone in the cemetery as I watched my mother be lowered into the ground. They sat beside me in the courtroom as my husband ended our marriage of 22 years. I don’t think I have to say any more to relate how precious these two women are in my life.
And now they will be the first house guests in my new home! I always knew this trip was something they could never afford to do on their own. But thanks to the generosity of birthday/Christmas presents from my birthmother & birthfather (who’s gifts last year also helped fund my ability to take the cruise with Robert and see him one last time) they are coming to visit me in my new life. I am so grateful to them for all the details they had to work out and effort they had to go to in order to come here, and also to their families for cooperating in enabling them to make the trip. They are flying here as I type. I will be picking them up at the airport tonight – and poignantly, it is one year to the day of the last time I saw Robert, when we parted from the cruise.
We have a lot to catch up on in a short time, having not seen each other for two years (they were also the last people I said goodbye to – both came to see me off at the airport when I left. My last memory of them is their tear streaked faces as they waved goodbye after Charcoal and I successfully made it through security). So stay tuned for highlights of our adventures in the coming week!