I have a BFF… best friend forever. I am so lucky to have her but our friendship was hard earned, because of that, I don’t think there is anything that will ever ‘break us’ from standing up for each other and encouraging one another. In fact, we are such BFF’s that she decided to get diagnosed with fibromyalgia as well! No! Sadly, about two years ago she received the diagnosis but I suspect she’s had it for many years.
Holly was the typical tomboy, athlete, outspoken, and loud child in school… I was not. Shy, withdrawn, frightened, quiet me. Until my mom sent me to a summer program for dance and drama. I just completed the 7th grade. I literally cried when she dropped me off at the bus to go to the college campus 40 miles away for a summer program. I got on that bus and I knew NO ONE. I was from a town of 400 people, I was USED to KNOWING who was around me. I changed completely after that summer. I went into the 8th grade quite sure of myself (thank you, Mom). And now, Holly didn’t seem so different from me.
We became besties after drinking too many vodka slushies at a party! (Yes, we were underage but there wasn’t much to do in a small town.) We shared the same toilet to throw up in. (Endearing, huh?) We talked about why we weren’t friends? She really liked me and I really liked her. The deal was sealed. We were besties by the 8th grade. We ran with a group, but when it came down to brass tacks, it was Holly and me.
I often look at this group of pictures and see how illness progressed in me. The first picture is us in the 9th grade, the following at her wedding in 1996… still healthy. Then after my car accident, fibromyalgia taking my wellness, and idiopathic pancreatitis had begun eating away at my body. It was Christmas but I can’t remember the year, Holly would know, I’ll guess 2011? The last picture is a week after getting the final tube removed from my belly after 7 operations on my pancreas, July 2013. I look like death warmed over and Holly still alive and vibrant.
Through everything in my life, whether Holly is visiting me in Minnesota or back in Washington where she lives with her husband and son, she is with me. There are frequent calls, cards in the mail, and prayers… it is Holly’s voice I remember on the phone when I was in the hospital. It is Holly’s voice I remember when all I could do was lay on the couch and cry. It is Holly who never questioned me but kept me truthful, faithful and sane.
Here is hoping you all have a BFF. Treasure that person. I know I treasure mine.