One of the most pinacle points in my thirty five shorts years of life is the fall of 1981. For the start of kindergarten, I received a cornflower blue Strawberry Shortcake Rain Slicker. It was a classy looking slicker -- had long sleeves, a deep pocket on each side, a lined hood, large blue snaps. On the back was a picture of Strawberry Shortcake and one of her gal pals. They were standing under a large umbrella with some happy little saying below. There were butterflies, rainbows, and everything was happy! One of the happiest days of my life happened because of that jacket, because of the rain.
I met a life long friend the day I wore that jacket. She was shy, had braids on each side of her head, her smile was infectious, and her heart was beyond big! You see this friend (and her awesome parents) have been my umbrella from alot of rain. In 1982, my parents were in the middle of a muddy divorce, my dog was ripped away from me, and I found myself living in a one bedroom apartment with my sister, mother and grandmother. I was a crushed kid. But I could go to my friend's house and remember what it was like to be a kid, to play with no worries, to eat great snacks, to love, to live. That jacket brought me more protection I would have ever known.
In the thirty years we have been friends we have lived apart more than we have lived together. And even in a time before email we still remained in touch. We have walked each other thru childhood, thru girl scouts, thru bee stings, thru pruperty, thru heartaches, through marriage, thru infertility, thru the birth of our children, thru cancer, thru grief and still celebrated each in a special way only life long friends can!
My friend lives too far now. Just when I think I am going to see her another battle comes and the time between visits grows. I miss my friend but can not begin to tell you how thankful I am for her cards (underlined in all the important places), for her calls, for her emails, and most of all for her. She is true and blue - constantly loving and constantly giving.
I am not sure what my life would be like today without a friend like Alison. One thing I do know is that I sure am glad I got that blue rain slicker -- it has carried me thru alot of storms.