|Aimee and I in Bangladesh, choosing our future vacation cottage.|
Three years ago this month, Aimee and another girlfriend joined me for a weekend in Colorado to celebrate my 40th birthday along with my sisters and friends there. It was an amazing weekend, full of laughter, fun, dancing, celebrating and silliness, and only a little bit of drama. At that time I thought that weekend was the greatest gift ever. Never in our wildest dreams would any of us have thought that three short years later I'd be accepting a check in honor of Julie, to be used in support of efforts to prevent suicide. It all made me think about gifts, and friends, and gratitude, especially my own. I'm so lucky to have Aimee for a friend.
|My 40th Birthday Weekend in Colorado|
During our years together as active Junior League members we logged hundreds, if not thousands of volunteer hours together, working side-by-side on League sponsored community projects and during two terms as League board members. Most of the time we worked in less than ideal conditions, hot, sweaty, tired, on our feet for hours. None of that mattered though, as we'd keep each other motivated by laughing, joking and talking.
|Keeping it real during breaks from working at the|
Junior League's Children's Health Connection.
We've shared the ups and downs of parenting, being full-time working moms, and juggling husbands, housework and volunteer jobs. She's been my workout partner and together we decided to give running a try. We ran our first 5k together. We pushed, encouraged and challenged each other to meet our goals of running our first 1/2 marathon, which we each did a year apart. While training for a 1/2 marathon after Julie's death, she kept me going when my motivation lagged. I kept training, knowing she was counting on me as she was then training for her first 1/2. We've now finished two half marathons together.
|Finishing the 2011 Ogden 1/2 Marathon.|
Together, we've traveled to other cities, across the country and across the world. Without her, I would never have had the courage to travel to Bangladesh. We've danced, laughed, played, worked, run, and cried our way through the last decade. We know each other's weak spots, faults, and life moments and choices we regret. Each of us knows how the other one likes their coffee, and our cocktail of choice. Even during the most stressful of times, we always end up making each other laugh. I know that no matter the occasion or dress code, Aimee will almost always show up in a cardigan. She knows that I have absolutely no rhythm and can't dance, but gets out and tears it up on the dance floor with me anyway. Even when we disagree, and we do, we accept each other. Most importantly, she understands my loss, my grief, the great gaping hole that was left when Julie died. Yesterday I was reminded of that, and how lucky I am for the gift of her friendship. Thanks for being you Gygi! Love you.