I've really been missing my best friend lately. I mean, I miss her all the time, but for reasons I am about to explain, I desperately miss her these days. If you don't know our history, here it is. We met in pre-school, yes PRE-SCHOOL, over 30 years ago, and our storied friendship was born. My grandparents house (now my house) was just a walk through the woods to her house, and we spent every possible moment with each other from the age of 3 until the age of 8, when we were tragically ripped apart by her dad's new career opportunity on the other side of the country. She moved to CA, I stayed in CT, and despite all the odds against us remaining friends, our friendship grew stronger and deeper over the years. We visited each other as often as we could. In fact, my first solo plane ride at the age of 9 was to visit her (and bonus! first trip to Disneyland). There were random back and forth visits during our middle school/high school years, and then for almost two glorious years in college we were only separated by a few miles on the Mass Pike. But then she transferred back to school in Cali, only to reunite with me 2 years later in London for 8 months of debauchery after college. In fact, we shared a room and it was like, well, sharing a room with your best friend. We gossiped and laughed until we cried. We nursed each other's hangovers and heartbreaks. We made up for the near 20 years of being separated by savoring practically every second we had together.
And although that period of our lives doesn't seem that long ago, it's been over 10 years since we've been able to spend an extended amount of time together. Since then, we've both fallen in love and gotten married (participating in each other's weddings, of course). I gave birth to a little girl last May, and now SHE is expecting her first child in late August. It just seems so wrong that we can't be near each other to share in these experiences, though. Sometimes it physically pains me that I can't see her growing belly in person, and that I can't hug her when she is having a particularly tough preggo day. In fact, I think I cried more when I found out SHE was pregnant than when I first found out I was having a baby of my own. But I wish wish wish more than anything that I could just call her up and say, "Hey, Jo, let's go grab a decaf and talk about your weird cravings and ligament pain." But alas, we have to talk over the phone or by text, and it's just not the same. There is something so bittersweet about experiencing all of these life moments together, but from a distance. On one hand, every time we talk, or send a letter or a special gift to each other, it is a reminder of how much she means to me and how incredibly lucky and blessed I am to still have her in my life. But then there's the fact that I can't just put my arm around her shoulder whenever I want to, and tell her to her face how much I love her and what a great mom she's going to be. This fact creates a lump in my throat that takes a while to dissolve.
So, I guess not only is this a lamentation of what seems so far away from me right now, but it is also a little love letter to my bestie. The one girl who knows most of what there is to know about me. HOBART! (sorry guys, private joke from 25 years ago.)
And my little Lena Jo will always know how special it is to be named after her momma's best friend.