Friday, July 23, 2010

16 Years

That is how long it has been since I graduated high school.  Holy freakin' crap I'm old!

I attended Catholic school grades 1 through 8.  Stop it.  I know what you are thinking and you can just quit it now.  I already know most of the catholic school jokes.  Hell, I am usually the one telling them.  But this post is about high school.  That pinnacle of your youth where you make it, break it or get broken by your peers.  Kinda harsh when it's explained like that, but it holds a lot of truth.  It really shapes how you behave in social situations.

I was never a popular kid.  I wasn't unpopular either.  I was just kinda there.  Going through the motions, making small talk with just about anyone.  I think I turned out alright.  I'm outgoing, sociable and from what others tell me, a heck of a lot of fun to be around.  High school can be brutal for some, the time of your life to others.  For me it was a bit of both.  I had very few people who were my *circle* in high school.  Dee Dee & Becky were my close friends.  We went to the movies, drove around in my car singing with the radio and sat together at lunch.  Well, when we had the same lunch period anyway.  But my best friend, that was Shannon. 

I met Shannon when I was a Sophomore.  During my lunch period, I walked myself over to the school's library since none of my friends had the same lunch shift.  After walking through the door, I saw a girl sitting at one of the front tables, on the floor next to her was her book bag and a pair of canes.  I took a seat at a table close by and threw by bag on top the table with a loud "thrrrump."  I heard a gasp and the girl sitting at the table was looking at me with her head ducked down slightly.  I kinda just looked at her and mouthed the words, "Sorry" in her direction.  I minded my own business, and she minded hers.  A minute or two before the bell rang, I packed up my bag and stood at the library doors, waiting for the bell to ring, never giving that girl another thought.

The next day was the same as the last, I went to the library, and there she was, sitting at the same table.  So I grabbed the table I had been at and this time I set my bag down more carefully.  She looked over at me as I did this and I gave her a half smile, which she returned with a much broader and exuberant one.  She whispered to me, "Hi. I'm Shannon.  Do you want to sit here?"  I whispered back, "Sure and I'm Stacey."  Then we awkwardly exchanged hellos again as I took my seat.

We began a long-lasting friendship that day.  I can't tell you how many times we were nearly thrown out of the library for laughing hysterically at one another.  We've so many inside jokes it boggles the mind.  From kissing frogs, to saving whales, circus tents, the Hilton from Hell and cockroaches in an elevator.  You probably shouldn't ask.  We've sang karaoke at bars, and I hung over her bathtub for an hour afterward from a little too much liquid courage.  She met the love of my life and future husband, K only days after I first met him.  She came to visit me after the birth of both my children & has attended their Christenings and Big C 's 1st birthday.

 Shannon & I after Big C's Christening in April '09

There was a time when we fell out of touch for a while.  We both got busy because, as they say, life happened.  But no matter how long we are apart, we are able to pick up right where we left off without missing a beat.  She is my oldest and dearest friend.  Her life has not been an easy one and she has had many challenges that she continues to face every day.  Her faith, strength and resilience are inspiring.  I am proud, elated and blessed to call her friend.

I'd like you to meet Shannon too.  You can start by visiting her blog, Confessions of A Resilient Survivor.  She is a wonderful person, loving wife, and compassionate friend.  I think you will agree!

Note:  Today is Shannon's Birthday.  
Happy Birthday, Shannon!!! I ♥ You!

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