Monday, July 16, 2012

The REAL Fountain of Youth

Friendship isn't a big is a million little things. - Unknown

The last night in Jacksonville I am returning to my room around 9:30 pm when I get a push notification from Facebook.  It is a message from Kim, someone I haven't seen in more than 20 years.

If I had taken the picture of the castle, she said, I was about 20 minutes from her house.  She asked if I was going to be in town long. 

This is the picture she referred to.

I tell her I am going home tomorrow but could meet for breakfast if she is available.  She isn't, a conflict with one of her kid's schedule.

So I didn't get to see her but I know this would have been the real fountain of youth for me.  This is a person I spent a LOT of time with during elementary and middle school.  I ate entire cans of cake frosting in one sitting in her living room.  I wore her clothes.  We shared ABC gum.  I slept in her bed, on her couch, in the motor home outside.  Her family took me on vacation once.  Mostly, we played a lot of sports together.

Our elementary school softball team the Angels.  Those adults in the back are my parents. I am 2nd from the left on the top row, Kim is 3rd, right next to me.  I did most of the pitching, Kim the catching.

Another Angels team, different year.  My parents are still coaching joined by Mr. Davis.  Kim is on the top row, far right, I am one over, 3rd from the right.

Angels team party at Kim's house.  Kim is 2nd from the bottom of the slide, I am third.

Kim and I are in the yellow shirts, she is the one on the left.

Walking back after the race.

Kim was the pretty friend, I was the ugly friend.  When I have talked about Kim in the past people usually say - oh, were not.  Yes.  I.  Was.

During these years, Kim always had a boyfriend and I didn't.  I was jealous of her.  She was prettier, funnier, just a little bit better at everything than me.  

It doesn't even matter if that was really true or not, it was true to me.

Regardless of this, she was my best friend, my BFF.

7th grade volleyball.  Kim is the tallest one, in the middle, I am to her left, your right.

More middle school volleyball, from the yearbook.  I am third from the left, Kim is 4th.

Middle school basketball.  Kim is in the center, I am to her left again (your right).  Even our numbers are right together, she was 31, I was 32.

More basketball.  I am on the bottom row, 2nd from the left (with the leg pulled in), Kim is next to me with the basketball.

More volleyball, I am 4th from left, Kim is 5th.  This team won the city championship so there are more pictures of us.

I am 3rd from the right, Kim is 4th.

Are you seeing a pattern?  We called our team the "Attack Pack".

We even stood together in the huddle.

More softball, this time the Swingers.  Kim is the one standing up, leaning on the wall, I am seated on her right.  We don't look happy.  I assume we either lost or are getting a lecture or both.  My parents are no longer coaching us.  We did some crazy stuff while traveling with this team.  Things I am not going to share here. 

We were both on the track team during this time too.  We both threw shot put.  I remember once when we were throwing indoors (we had plastic shot puts for this) due to the weather and Kim didn't see the coach was still marking the floor from someone else's throw.  She threw and hit him in the side of the head.

During these years we both had other friends and sometimes other people even replaced one of us for a time. Erin for me, Debbie for her, among others.  But we always found our way back.

Kim on the left, me on the right.  Stacy in the middle, she was one of the few that was friends with us both.

That last F in BFF is hard to achieve.  We started to grow apart in 9th grade (junior high for us).  Kim was more popular than I was.  In the 10th grade, we had a fight that in my memory (which could be faulty), took place in the girls locker room.  Not a physical fight, just words.  After that, it was never the same again.

I left sports behind in 11th grade and she continued.  I was dating my future husband and we spent more time with his friends who had already graduated.  She made other friends, I made other friends.

Our lives went in vastly different directions after that.

Here I am at 22 years old after giving birth to my 3rd child, a son.  My girls are 18 months and 3 years old.  Kim is in college.

I saw Kim once after my girls were born.  That was the last time. I remember what we fought about in that locker room but it isn't important after all of these years.  It put me on the path to the life I have and I can't regret that.  She eventually married and has 2 beautiful children and I hope, a wonderful life.  I only regret we didn't have those things with each other in the picture too.

Forrest Gump said, "Bubba was my best good friend and even I know that isn't something you can find just around the corner."  Kim was my Bubba.

She was my best good friend and now I know, I might never find another, no matter how many corners I turn.


  1. This is one of the most heartfelt stories I've ever had the pleasure reading. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful and personal story. Keep them coming : )

    1. Thank you Tomie. It was easy to write because it was so true.