Saturday, October 12, 2013

Happy Birthday Friend Series: Happy Birthday Lee

When I was twelve years old, a boy got off the bus one day in junior high and caught my eye. ''Hey, he looks like Joe Mc Intyre from New Kids on the Block.'' I said to myself. ( I don't think Lee knows this story...) My quest begun to know who that boy was! I used to make our friend Carrie walk home from school the long way, so we could follow Liviu. I truly think, that sometimes you know when someone is important to your life.

As we went to high school, from my many days of following Liviu home. I started going to Christian club with Carrie so I could hang out with her and Liviu. I am truly thankful that I made that choice, being the little Catholic girl I was, I went to enough CCD that I didnt feel the need to go to Christian club. I am so glad that I followed them both there, it became a time of seed planting in my life.

As the high school years waned on, Lee and I got stuck in ''special math'' with a football coach together. He loves to tell the story about how we stink at math because we were taught by a football coach! That is when we truly bonded as friends.

Our senior year was a great year. We had nearly every class together and spent much of our time together along with our friend Gaby. We were the three amigos and enjoyed joking around together. '' U R A Dork'' was our affectionate nickname for our group. We had fun laughing, crying and supporting each other through our senior year. We realized, we had a special bond as friends, we just knew that we were brought together by God to be friends.

Gaby, Lee and I homecoming 1994

Lee and Jules prom 1994

We all three went off to college together continuing our friendship on a third campus. Eventually we all went our separate ways. I last saw Lee at my wedding to Marty, it would be years until I talked to him again. We went on with life.

Senior Yearbook picture. ''Most likely to cry at the movies''

In 2001, I called Lee's parents house and his dad got me in contact with him. We chatted, he was in a tough place in life and this time I could be the one to lift him up. I remember having some tough talks with him and praying for him. He came to visit my family in Visalia, I remember him saying how much he wanted a family like ours.

Lee the prom king with our favorite teacher

He moved away to TN, changed his name to Lee, met Flavia,got married. I still laugh when I see pictures on Facebook that he has commented on in years past. He kept telling Marty and I, ''y'all should move to Tennessee'' to which we just shook our heads and laughed. ''Crazy Lee'' we would say.

We would see each others pictures, comment on them and that was it. Until Marty decided he wanted to move to Tennessee and I wrote Lee a note. By the end of that day, we were moving to TN, so I could work for Lee.

It has been fun being together again. For me the best part has been finally getting to meet his better half Flavia and darling daughter Nora. I have a new sister of the heart and niece whom I adore. Working together has taught us a lot about each other. We have learned some tough lessons from each other about each other and I truly know it has been God using us in each others lives. I like living nearby and having our families together.

 Best thing Lee ever did was marry Flavia!

Sometimes we have special friends come into our lives. Lee has been a friend that has always challenged me, we have learned a lot from being friends with each other. We have been through a lot of things together that most friendships wouldn't survive. We always overcome obstacles and remain friends. We have gone from being friends, to best friends to being like brother and sister. We've known each other longer than we've known our spouses and most other people.

I love little Nora!

Lee, you big dork. I am thankful for all you've done for me throughout the years. Thank you for being my friend through thick and thin. God brought us together, kept us together and will keep us together. So thankful you taught me to love him at a young age. We have survived so many things as friends and always will as we keep our eyes fixed on him. Most people don't get our unconventional friendship, I am just glad that we do. Thanks for all you've done for me this year. Happy birthday, wishing you a year of blessings and happiness. I love you Dork!