Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Road that Led Home

(I just found this in my drafts. I meant to post this months ago, but I guess it never quite made it. So here's an easy blog to compose today :)

"The friends who grew up with you deserve a special respect. The ones who stuck by you, shoulder to shoulder, when nothing was certain, all of life lay ahead, and every road led home."- The Wonder Years

I absolutely love The Wonder Years- always have- and I especially love its quotes. (I even secretly put one into my high school annual my Senior year- oh, the perks of being an editor). Obviously, I love this quote above then, but it also goes along with some wise words I heard this past year during a weekend at home. My Uncle Rick was talking about friends, and he said that in life, you were lucky if you had two true friends. In the back of my mind, I smiled because this was the exact number that had been beside me throughout my childhood. Throughout elementary school, middle school, and especially high school, two friends were there for absolutely everything. We stood "shoulder to shoulder" in the midst of bad hair days, embarrassing days where one of us spit a carrot across a table and nailed the current boyfriend straight in the face or another hit a parked school van during the middle of the first soccer game, days of celebration when one of became Prom Queen and when another was becoming the next Sharapova, days of trials when we experienced death and loss and failure, days where boys broke our hearts and proved they had no heart themselves in the process, days where the sun couldn't shine brighter and days of learning to dance in the rain- basically days where nothing was certain, all of life lay ahead of us, and days when these girls WERE the road that led home. So without further ado, please let me introduce to you Dos and Tres (we will get to that later).
DOS. She is absolutely going to kill me when she sees this picture, but I can't help it. It sums up why I love her so much and what role she played in our friendship. If you can't tell, she is dressed as a tiger (isn't she adorable?), and this is what Maidee Parker has been for me throughout growing up. If you read my blog back in October, you read where I said Maidee Parker puts you in her box and fights for you when you can't fight for yourself. Likewise, Maidee Parker is a tiger for me in the sense that she is fierce in her life, and this strength permeates into the lives of those she surrounds. Maidee Parker has literally been that friend who has been around since Kindergarten, and she has always been a fighter. From pulling me up a THOUSAND times on a mountain in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, forcing me to not give up and learn how to snowboard as a thirteen year-old to literally sitting in the emergency room stretcher with me as a nineteen-year-old with TWO concussions, Maidee Parker has always been the magnet that held everything together. She was the tiger who wouldn't let you roam the "jungles" of life alone, and she made you strong in your moments of weakness. Looking back at all of the hard times in life, Maidee Parker was always there with an outstretched hand and a hand that taught you how to fight.As I also mentioned in the "Some Things Never Change" post, Maidee Parker has always been the one in the middle of Allison and me, shaking her head at all of the idiotic blunders that Al and I found our way into, not knowing if she should check on the clutz who fell flat on her face first or the one whose rolling in a bush screaming from laughing. I think Maidee's role can be perfectly portrayed through one of our favorite pasttimes- tubing- and as Allison and I would be flailing around about to fly off into the murky Reservoir waters, Maidee Parker would be in the center holding one of us down and reaching for the other idiot who was about to drown. On a serious note, Maidee Parker has been and will always be the tiger in my life. She has helped me find strength in times I couldn't imagine to find it and has helped me face life with a fierce passion. She's my fighter, and I am so blessed to have her in my "boxing ring" of life.

TRES. It is said that pictures say 1,000 words. This picture has one- ALLISON. If Maidee Parker helped me face the world and its obstacles with a fierce passion, Allison helped me laugh in the midst of its craziness. I can just look at the picture and hear her either laughing, screaming, singing (probably the infamous Boom Diggy at that), or a mixture of all three. If you have ever heard Allison's laugh, you know what I mean when I say that it is one of her hallmarks and that it could light the darkest room. No matter what kind of day I was having, if Allison started laughing, a smile instantaneously spread across my face. There are not many funny stories that line Memory Lane that do not incorporate Al in some way. In fact, the craziest stories ALL pretty much centralize around her. From dancing to "Pop, Lock, and Drop It" in broad daylight on the beach in front of a rather large condominium to endless calls from Meredith Minschew and L.A. Nails, Allison has always been the "noise/music" in my life. Whether it was her Spanish rendition of the Star Spangled Banner to her beloved Christmas music, Allison is always singing her own little tune. Furthermore, wherever she goes, Allison is definitely heard :), and there's something special about her that makes her song unforgettable. Allison does NOT meet strangers, and if she does, five minutes later they're automatically a "new best friend." Yet again, she spreads her "joyful noise," as she once called it, to someone else. Allison's "joyful noise" is contagious in that she brightens your day and encourages you to brighten others. Her "tune" is one that inspires and one that draws people to it. She has helped me laugh when I thought that was the last thing possible, and she has challenged me multiple times by the "tune" of her life. Although I am no longer able to hear that laugh on a daily basis, when I do, it still brings an automatic smile to my face, and I know that those who get to hear it are blessed by it.

I don't even remember how old we were when we came up with Uno, Dos, and Tres, and I am sure it was a moment of pure idiocy that we had and one of the multiple names we chose to call each other in high school. Yet, it was more than a ridiculous name. It was more than a pose that we did for every picture in high school. It was more than three best friends. It was growing together when "nothing was certain." It was "sticking together shoulder by shoulder." It was facing "all of life that lay ahead." It was "the road that lead home."

I love yall.