As I mentioned in my last post, 25 years ago this September, I met a 15-year-old girl on a school bus.
Little did I know then what a difference she would make in my life.
We saw each other every day at the bus stop. We were both new to Newport Harbor High School; she was starting her sophomore year, and I my freshman year.
It seemed we had little in common. Like many teenagers, we were opinionated and knew we were right. Somehow through our teenage angst and antagonism, we began to spend time together and see the positives in each other.
By the end of my freshman year, we were no longer antagonistic, and when Kendra celebrated her Sweet Sixteen, I spent the day with her. I still remember the two of us giving one of our friends a complete makeover that day.
So many memories over the years . . . trips to the Balboa Fun Zone,
to Knott's Berry Farm,
her 17th birthday, with us attempting to make a flag to fly (the 17 was lopsided, and we couldn't figure out what to fly it from) at the fire pit in Huntington Beach. Her graduation from Newport Harbor High the following year. What would we do, separated, no longer in school together? That separation seemed like nothing the following year, when I graduated and decided to go to Berkeley for college.
400 miles away???!! It seemed like a million. But, instead those four years flew by, and Kendi made many road trips to visit,
as did I back home to Newport Beach. Kendi was there when I graduated from Cal and helped me pack my life up, taking much of it back home in her car.
We have been through so much together. Milestone birthdays, first boyfriends, proms, graduations from high school and college, my wedding day,
the losses of too many family members, the birth of both of my sons,
She is another sister to me, another daughter to my mother,
and now, we have reached one more milestone.
This last week, Kendra turned 40.
It is unbelievable to me that this girl I met 25 years ago, is now a grown woman. Forty??!! My mother wasn't even 40 when I met Kendra.
What would my life have been without Kendra? I don't even want to imagine. As I review the memories that are my life, she plays through the big ones and the small ones over and over again. Would I have met my husband if it weren't for her? Unlikely. Would I be the same person I am today if I hadn't met her? Again, unlikely. Through the good and the bad, the sad, the happy and the absolutely silly (who else would have chased me down the street to have Vanilla Wafer and frosting fights?), she has been a part of the tapestry of my entire life.
Even today, I often talk to her more than once a day. Where were text messages when we needed them in high school?
A chance meeting on a school bus 25 years ago has led to a lifetime of memories, smiles and tears.
So, as Kendi turns 40 and I reflect on the 25 years of friendship with which she has gifted me, all I can say is thank you for always being there whether I need a laugh, a hug or a good cry. I look forward to the next 50 and expect that she will be where she always has been, no more than a call away.
What about you? What memories do you have of a special friend who has been a part of you forever?
About the author: Christine Donovan is a California Residential Real Estate Broker with experience in assisting clients buy and sell residential real estate.
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