Sunday, January 12, 2014

Remembering a Friend

What do Salon Selectives hairspray, Aussie Sprunch Spray, 2Live Crew, and pineapple juice have in common? They all remind me of Tracy and that's what filled my mind at midnight last night as I cried in bed, heartbroken to lose one of my best friends.

She had an asthma attack on Christmas Day and never recovered. This week, her family removed life support and yesterday at 5 p.m. she passed. Leaving behind a young son, a heartbroken husband, and parents who adored her and treated her like a princess.

She wasn't a friend I talked to often. We talked three or four times a year but when I needed her, she was there and vice versa. I haven't seen her in person in several years just always seemed like we were too busy. We always said some day, and maybe in a few months, and maybe next year. Stupid really....considering we're about 4 hours apart.

Her mom is my mom's best friend. I've known her forever and I almost mean that literally. But we became fast friends in 8th grade. My parents divorced and mom moved us to Oregon. Tracy was a freshman, I was an 8th grader. She was short, sassy, and tons of long red hair. She was a cheerleader and the boys LOVED her. I wanted to be JUST like her.

I'd go to her house on Fridays. We'd put on the 2 Live Crew cassette (mom would have KILLED me) and fix our hair....she showed me how to really make it big. Salon Selectives and Aussie Sprunch smelled better than Aquanet and that was important because guys liked the smell.

Then we'd sneak out. Tracy was so cool, she always dated the Seniors or the guys who had just graduated. (Yes, as an adult and a mother, I find this appalling now but back then I was convinced that these older boys saw something special in me).

She was "experienced" if you know what I mean. I was naive. She was sooooo cool. As I entered my first marriage, I turned to Tracy for advice. At that time, she'd been married a year or two. She gave me the best friend advice on birth control, pleasing your husband, and a trick about pineapple juice that we still laugh about to this day.

When I started this post, I had every intention of sharing some stories but now as I start writing, I feel somehow I'm betraying her. We had some wild and crazy times. Some times that I hold near and dear. Some times that make me cry. Some times that defined who I am. Some tragic. Some wonderful. Some funny. Over the years, our stupid 8th grade friendship based on my desire to be desired by boys and our friendship based on me idolizing her changed. She was kind, loving, and wanted the most from life. I could go a year or more without talking to her and we'd pick up like we'd never left off. I knew without a doubt if I needed something, she'd be there. She loved me through every bad decision. She didn't judge. She was a beautiful person. Her life ended too soon.

Life's too short for some days. I expected us to be crazy old ladies together, laughing, creating havoc, surprising people with inappropriate jokes when we were 80. Hug your loved ones!

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