“Because of you, I laugh a little harder, cry a little less, and smile a lot more.” -Unknown
The other day I was scrolling through Instagram and found a video of Oprah & Gayle getting ready to celebrate Gayle’s birthday. Oprah had flown in yellow flowers for the dinner table and Gayle was wearing a yellow dress. She announced yellow is her favorite color and Oprah announced she owns nothing yellow. My initial thought was how lovely it is that they get each other and how nice that they have each other to celebrate life with. Then, I thought how grateful I am to have one of those friendships with Robbie.
Last week Mitch & I were working on a video about my journey toward living a pain-free life style with my degenerative disk disease in my neck. He asked me if I had any photos from around the time my accident happened that he could include in the video. You see, I was in the 6th grade when my accident happened so I had to dig deep to find my old photo albums.
Some may not know this, but Robbie and I have been best friends since we met in 4th grade. I found myself looking for photos of the two of us from back then and reflecting on our friendship. I only found this one. We were on our way to a dance (not together). When we were kids, I spent a lot of time at his house. His parents were second parents to me and
I loved being included. I also loved the street he lived on because several of my girlfriends lived on each side of him. Robbie’s mom for some reason used to let me have slumber parties at her house with all my friends. (She was a saint to me in many ways.)
During this period, Robbie and I were inseparable. We started a paper-route and delivered papers weekly. (I still attest it was his dumb idea to hook his sled up to my German Shepherd one snowy day. That ended in major comedy.) Robbie was in Boy Scouts and I even attended his meetings, even though I was a girl and not really allowed to participate. He always found a way to make me feel included after the meetings when the boys were playing flag football or other games. That period of my childhood was the best. I loved that time because of our friendship.
What you can’t tell in this photo is that I was also probably coming off of prednisone then. I can tell in photos when I was doing cancer maintenance treatments because my face was so chubby. I spent years in and out of hospitals because I had childhood Leukemia-back when there was no effective treatments. When I started at the school where I met Robbie, I was considered “cured” but periodically still had to go for tests and follow ups. This was the first time in years I could just be a kid, have friends that weren’t afraid I was going to make them sick and live a normal childhood.
People often ask when Robbie and I “reconnected”. The reality is, we never lost touch. Like many friendships that evolve through decades, we sometimes had more contact than other times. To me our marriage is a continuous celebration of our friendship. Like all friendships, there are times they are more challenging than others. But, my life with him has always made me feel normal, joyful, and adventurous.
So, let’s dedicate this New Year and new decade to celebrating our friendships with those who make us laugh a little more, cry a little less and just overall make our lives better. We look forward to watching each of you make new memories this year with us too!
PS. Here is the completed video that started all this. I think this is my favorite Om Prana video that TotoTV has produced, what do you think?