Day 02 – A picture of you and the person you have been closest with the longest
Today's challenge was to post a photo of someone you've been closest to the longest. This is my friend Emily (Boyd) Bustos.
We have been friends since we were 6 months old - literally. We attended daycare together at Ms. Irene's in Austin, TX. Our moms knew each other or something like that.
We spent our toddler years biting one another and being separated and I must say, that didn't change a lot as we got older. Our friendship has seen many peaks and valleys, but here's what I marvel about in our relationship: no matter the time apart, we always come back together. A cosmic force if you will, pushing us to always be friends.
In grade school we did not attend the same elementary. Emily's parents went through a divorce (I'm not sure when) and I only saw her on the weekends if she came to church with her dad. I remember spending the night at her dad's house and it was like a museum, at her mom's, a free-for-all. Emily had a perfect combination of these personalities. It amazed me how this girl who could literally take the house down in volume could be so very quiet when she had to.
During one of my very early sleepovers, Emily was corrected quite a bit by my parents. They still say she is the loudest friend I've ever had. We painted our faces that night with a Barbie Doll make-up kit and then my parents dressed 12 sleepy little girls for church the next morning, Emily and I in the front row.
I will NEVER forget the time she spent the night at my house and during church the next morning she said she didn't feel well - the first bowing of heads turned nasty on our pew (she's going strangle me saying that - distance has its benefits right now!) and she was sick, sick, sick. It's a wonder I didn't get it - we shared everything: clothes, make-ups, drinks, etc...
In middle school we were either the best of friends or the worst of enemies, depended on what day you asked us. I was an absolute horror in the 6th grade taking up with the wrong crowd and I said things to Emily that she should never forgive me for, but she did. I remember being called to the guidance office for us to talk and she sat, tear-stained hurt at my words. How could I have been so cruel?
But, as young girls would have it, turn about is fair play and there were parties I wasn't invited to or events I didn't attend because she "hated" me. It was a rocky road to say the least and we weren't even in high school yet.
When we did finally make it to the big 9th grade year, we stuck together pretty well. Our group of friends had grown into what others called "The Get-a-Long Gang" in middle school (although I have no idea why - someone was always mad at someone else). Emily was a part of my life for my first drink and my first kiss and she frowned on both. Sometimes it was like having a parent my own age. She certainly wasn't above telling on me or toilet papering my house, and we pursued a love-hate relationship all through our high school years.
Our paths took very different tracks during the 10th-12th grade. I had a boyfriend she didn't like, and then she kissed him later. I should have been mad, but I wasn't. She decided traditional schooling was not for her and left our class just shy of graduation. I should have been mad, but I wasn't. Emily was always a picture of strength to me (she probably doesn't know this). She exuded a confidence I didn't think I had. She handled situations with more maturity and grace than I did so many times, and even when I was often at my very worst (there were screaming matches between the two of us) she was still there for me at the end of the day, and I was for her.
It was sisterly in a way - you know...only I can talk about my sister, but you can't. We were as different as night and day, but when she needed a job, I recommend her to work with me at Builder's Square. When she found out she was pregnant and she and Richard got married, I stood up in her wedding. When I graduated high school and then college, she was at both parties, even though at my college graduation we hadn't spoken in quite some time. All it took was an invitation and a phone call, and old times resumed.
When I got married, we had another falling out. She did not come to my wedding, and I admit, this cut pretty deep. But looking back, I should have had her stand up with me as a bridesmaid. While we weren't close at the time, going through one of our "outs" I should have thought of all that I'm writing right now. I was wrong to not ask her to be with me then, and I hope she knows I know it.
But, as always, we returned to one another. When my son was born and I became a mom, Emily came to my parents house to meet CJ. We hadn't seen each other in almost four years at the time, and it was if we'd never been apart. There is a constant comfort in our friendship, demons in the closet and all, and maybe an acceptance for both of us as we both hold responsibility for our peaks and our valleys.
Today, we are still friends. Not friends that talk everyday, distance and parenting and work and life tend to thwart the efforts of even the most diligent of buds, but I know if I needed to talk I could call her, right now, and she'd be there. To listen, to offer advice, and of course to catch me up on everyone's life because if there is ANYONE that knows what is going on, it is Emily!
So, with this blog I raise a proverbial wine glass to you from 1,000 miles away in TN. Our friendship has endured 34 years and I look forward to 34 more. You are a truly beautiful person, both inside and out. Your family is wonderful, your children adorable, and your heart pure. Thank you for being a part of my life.