Anyway, I don't remember much else about First Grade, but Melissa and I were tight until she moved away in 4th grade. I remember crying hysterically in the shower when I learned she was moving to Maine. Thanks to our parents, we were able to switch vacation weeks (February at Melissa's, April at mine and vice versa). Our families skied together when we could. I would go visit her at Sebago Lake where she had a summer house. In high school, she came and lived with my family in Ogunquit, Maine during the summer. We became "sisters". We talked, we argued, we loved. She went to Wheaton in MA, I went to Bates in Maine (irony). She moved out to Chicago after college while I moved to the Cape. Through it all, we stayed friends.
We were in each other's weddings and our kids are all friends. We still try to go to Sebago Lake to visit in the summer. Once we got out to Indianapolis and sometimes she comes to Cape Cod. When she asked me a few weeks ago if I wanted to go to Aruba with her, I couldn't get "YES" out of my mouth fast enough. So we went, 4 nights and 5 blissful days in the sunshine. A well needed break from the worst winter I can remember in a long time. I didn't tell many people about it because I actually felt guilty getting a little sun in the winter of snow and more snow (and yes, a little more snow). We were able to talk without being interrupted, we were able to plan our day without planning meals and taking kids too and fro and we were able to float in the ocean for a 1/2 hour at a time without anyone saying, "I'm bored". It was a true gift.
We told some people while we were there that we were celebrating 42 years of friendship. We stunned people speechless. I think we made a few people jealous and maybe we pushed a few people to call an old friend. There was nothing weird about being together. We were not tired of each other and at every meal, we found something to talk about. I am honored to have Melissa as my oldest/dearest friend.
I am also very, very lucky.
Me and Melissa at 10 years old....
Me and Melissa in Aruba....
No difference, right?