Saturday, April 27, 2013

Happy Birthday Friend Series: Our Crazy Rachel

The summer of 1991, I begrudgingly marched into a classroom at Buena Park High School to re-take Algebra 1. It was summer, I should've been swimming in the pool but instead I was sitting in a classroom. Twenty years later, I tell you  "Thank goodness I failed math!"

That fateful summer, I met one of my life long friends Rachel.

Summer after summer for three years straight, Rachel and I took summer school math together and forged a life long friendship. In high school, we weren't particularly close. We had many friends in common, shared the love of the color purple, loving to talk and being rather boisterous.  Other than summer school math, we didn't spend much time together outside of school. After high school, we lost touch and remained out of touch for over ten years.

During the advent of Myspace, we reconnected online. It was during this time that Rachel's high school BFF Lori died of lung cancer. Her sudden death prompted a very heartbreaking time for Rachel and many other of our classmates. It was during this time our true bond was forged.

Rachel like myself is a night owl, many nights after Marty went to work at 10 pm, she and I would get on the phone and talk until one or two in the morning. It's no secret, Rachel and I both LOVE to talk  and never run out of things to talk about!

After a few months, Rachel surprised me by stopping by my house to visit. She was driving through my area and wanted to visit. It was the first of many, many visits and it was on that visit we discovered that Elizabeth and Rachel are birthday buddies.

Rachel's first visit 09' ( Conner was 11, E was 9)

During the darkest times of my life when Marty was sick, it was Rachel who helped keep me going by coming to visit. She was that little piece of home when I couldn't go home and see my family and friends. She kept our family cheered up along with my cousin Sarah who also visited often during that time.

Birthday Month number 1

We stink at math
Rachel and E's birthday 2010

Visiting Facebook in Palo Alto

Our self made fascinators for the Royal Wedding

Somewhere along the way, during a car ride with Rachel my kids started calling her "Crazy Rachel" because she loves to sing in her purple car "Bianca" while honking and waving at people. They loved going places in the car with her. She is another step in "aunt"' to my kids and they love her dearly.

When Marty was transplanted, it was Rachel who drove my Dad and the kids over 8 hours to see us one weekend. I cry just thinking about it, she didn't have to do that but yet she did. How did I get so lucky to have such a wonderful friend? Even my Dad loves ''crazy'' Rachel.

When the Royal wedding came along, Rachel drove up to spend the night with me and watch the festivities together. We even made our own fascinators!

This year, it just seems weird not having seen her this birthday month. Yes, you read that right ''month'' Rachel has taught Elizabeth that their birthday is a month, not a day. She celebrates the entire month with friends, events and activities. Many years, we had a birthday celebration for the two of them and this year we are missing out.

Rachel went back to school, got her degree and found happiness in the last couple of years. We spent many,many years praying over so many things together. So wonderful to see those prayers be answered in unexpected ways.

Rachel, you've shown me so much with your friendship. When we talk, it feels like we're still those two girls sitting in math class together. It's like life has never skipped a beat, we haven't grown older and we are just the same. Thank you for not only loving me but loving my entire family. You truly are a fourth member of the T family. We love you so much and miss you terribly. Your happiness makes us so happy, we can't wait for you to come visit us in TN!