Friendships are important at any age. I’ve been truly blessed to be surrounded by some amazing women and men over the years. They have carried me through a myriad of issues over the years and continue to provide me stability when I’m surrounded by insanity. One of my friends compares me to Lucille Ball or ‘most likely to make some crazy decision that will lead to catastrophe.’ Her role is to pretty much help me piece it all back together afterward – a role that she fills nicely.
Relationships like ours develop a certain amount of trust. I remember one evening when I texted my son “I love you.” It was late so I wasn’t completely surprised with his lack of response. All was revealed the next day, however, when my very good friend, Loree, called me. She very nonchalantly asked “Was there a reason you texted ‘I love you’ to Ted last night?” Ted…being..her husband. I texted her husband “I love you” at 11pm. What is funnier is that Ted picked up his phone at 11pm and announced – “Sheri just texted me that she loves me” and they just went off to sleep and decided to ask what craziness I was up to the next day. I love my friends. They look at my lunacy and just expect a good laugh when I explain the details..and they obviously know it is not ill intentioned.
If you read the post about our Four Day Wedding, you can piece together that Loree’s home is my perpetual venue for all parties, memorial services and more recently, wedding receptions. Her house is party ready at all times. She should have a second career as a decorator. My house is covered in dog hair and is decorated in random coffee cups and stacks of books…and an eternally open game of Scrabble if my Dad is in town. No contest…every time I walk into her house, I’m amazed we are friends. Until we meet with our other best friend who recently was dressed as the Mad Hatter while going to Comic-Con. If opposites attract, we will never separate.
One of my favorite memories of Loree is during our Komen Three Day Walk. We trained for months – once taking a train to Oceanside and walking back. I was the one that forgot a hat, enough water and sunscreen. She was the one running to get the car when I almost passed out. After walking 20 miles on the first day, we headed back to camp, a little worse for wear. Thankfully, the camp was full of scouts that were willing to help us set up our tent. We got settled and hit the showers, gratefully falling into slumber in our sleeping bags. Except I didn’t sleep…a wink! It was storming all night long and I lie awake hearing the monsoon hitting out tent. Loree woke the next morning to hear me ask “how did you sleep? The storm kept me up allllllll night long!” As we took our first steps out of the tent, something was very obviously absent…Mud. The ground was bone dry. Not a drop of rain has fallen. Loree casually threw out…”maybe you slept more than you thought you did!”
Loree took care of all three of my boys while I was in school. I ended up with three 12 hour shifts per week for my Nursing preceptorship….and not just any three 12 hour shifts but Friday, Saturday and Sunday 12 hour shifts…for six weeks. Six weeks of having my boys 13 hours a day (when you include travel) every weekend. She piled them in her van with her own kids and just made them part of the family. When Eric and I got married, my ex-inlaws stayed in our house for a week with the boys while we were on our honeymoon. I believe my father-in-law left skid marks in Loree’s driveway when they dropped the boys off for church the last day. They headed back to Temecula, a bit traumatized from seven days with my kids, and Loree just opened the door and welcomed the kids in. She was their other mother and still is.
We have spent almost every Christmas and Easter dinner together for the past 20 years (at her house, of course!) We have seen each other through surgeries, deaths, breakups, job changes and now the transition to empty nesters. I couldn’t ask for a better partner in crime. When I’m truly a knucklehead, she will tell me…and love me anyway. I am in awe constantly of her strength, conviction and ability to be a friend to so many. She is going constantly and continually calls me higher by her example.
We all need a Loree…or an Ivy, or one of many other people that have impacted my life. I am blessed to know them. This is my way to tell my friends what they mean to me. Thank you ladies for all that you’ve done! Who is in your life that shares your ups and downs? Go tell them what they mean to you. Sometimes it’s nice to hear…even when we already know!