We were born 14 days apart; my parents brought me and pizza to his parent’s hospital room the day of his arrival. We lived five houses away from each other and have been friends ever since. My first memories of our friendship were in preschool, the preschool was right down the street from where we lived and across the street from the bakery/deli my parents owned. My mom and I would pick him up every morning, we would enjoy our favorite donut and juice at my parents store and then walk across the street hand in hand, looking both ways before we crossed, we always looked out for each other. After preschool my mom would drop us off at his house where his grandma would make us grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. We would watch our favorite cartoon, play outside or inside depending on the weather, and then it would be time for me to head home.
Catholic Grade School was our next adventure and we conquered it together, we knew we would always be in the same class because there was only one class for each grade level. Both of us have older siblings but there is just something about having a best friend your own age that makes childhood amazing and school that much better. We each had our own groups of friends, me and the girls, him and the boys, but our friendship trumped any others. We did everything together, we went to school functions, played basketball, made our communion, reconciliation, and confirmation together, rode our bikes through the neighborhood together, delivered Penny Savers together, built a fort in the field with our older siblings together, walked past the “scary crazy lady’s” house together, went to school dances and classmates parties together, laughed together, cried together, fought together, and experienced many firsts together. This was our friendship for thirteen years, and then it began to change. We went to different high schools so our lives became a little less in sync. Our schedules were different, our groups of friends changed, and our interests too, but our friendship stayed strong. We would meet up weekly now instead of daily but we still looked forward to each other’s company, we met each other’s boyfriends and girlfriends and gave our unbiased opinions, we attended each other’s dances when a significant other wasn’t in the picture, we spent many days driving downtown just to hang out by the lake, or just chilled out, two schools couldn’t separate us.
After high school life got in the way, I went to college and he went into the Air Force, our weekly visits became visits a few times a year and keeping in touch became a little more difficult. Our families were still close so we would meet up at family parties and celebrations and I cherished each of those moments. It had been years since I had seen or spoke with him and he had moved to Florida. Our lives were busy and we lost touch, but thanks to Facebook we had reconnected. When he saw that I was engaged as I made it “Facebook Official” it only took a few minutes before my phone when off and a text message appeared that said “my invite better be in the mail”, it was from him. I had tears in my eyes, it had been years since I had seen him and he was coming back to Illinois for my wedding. I was so excited, as the date approached my husband actually asked me if I was excited because I was getting married or because I was going to see him. To be honest it was little of both. He came in a few days before the wedding with his now fiancé and we all went out for brews and pizza, we picked up right where we left off like time had never passed. My wedding was the happiest day of my life and my life long friend was there to share in my joy, and soon I will be there to share in his happiness when he says “I do” to the love of his life.