This is the last year in my 40’s!! Next up??? 50 years YOUNG!! So to celebrate ALL YEAR LONG…. I’m celebrating and paying tribute to the 50 women or groups of women who have shaped me over the years and have made a personal impact on my life.
Happy birthday next week to my long time BESTIE Aimee, Aimers, Aim BFF ….. She is #4 on my Woman of Impact Tribute list! Aimee and I met in the fifth grade.
Before Aimee showed up in my life, I had been “friends” off and on…. And I use the “friends” term loosely…. with a little group of gals who made being friends tough …. Just your average typical mean girls. Every morning on the bus on my way to school, I had to remember who we were mad at or if they were mad at me…. Honestly, the girl drama just wasn’t for me and it was exhausting…. Even though I didn’t know it, I was looking for something different.
Enter…. My bestie for almost 40 years now!! To say this woman “gets me” is an understatement. She knows every aspect of my life upside down and backwards. Whenever I have something challenging going on in my life, a little chat with her will make it all right as rain….. or at least set me on a course to find balance and peace.
As I was saying, we met in the fifth grade and instantly hit it off. We spent our tween and teen years riding bikes, buying candy at the General Store in Eden, playing ColecoVision (early video games), talking about boys and laughing…. There has always been a lot of laughing. We became inseparable and over the next few years it was rare to see one of us without the other.
Aim taught me really important things like, Diet Coke goes really well with Chinese food and Rave 4 hairspray is even better than Aquanet. Her big sister taught us all the “stuff” about boys we didn’t want to ask our moms (thanks Nikki) and her mom became my second mom. I, in turn, taught Aimee how to fall off a snowmobile, tip over a three wheeler, and get thrown off of a horse. These are important life skills y’all! We also encouraged each other with a healthy diet, back in those days, of a Chocolate Chocolate Chip cookie and Diet Coke for breakfast from Leon’s Market up in the Valley…. Through our Valley Junior High School days…. (DO NOT tell my mom!)
I feel like we had the BEST time growing up. We worked at the same retail clothing store and spent all our hard earned money on clothes!! We rotated boyfriends from time to time (it was a small town… stop judging!). We competed with each other to see who could get the best grades…. (This definitely paid off when it came to scholarships for college.) We went on a school trip to Japan together and still laugh and talk about the fabulous memories from that adventure. We had sleepovers every weekend and talked on the phone for hours when we weren’t together. We had an amazing childhood together!
As we got older and moved into our college years, we sent each other cards and letters (which I still have tucked away nicely in my “treasures” box.) We got together when we could and went out dancing at The Bay, whenever possible….. (Where Aim met her future husband.) We still laughed all the time, cried whenever we said goodbye and kept in touch with letters. (It was before email or cell phones existed… and long distance calls were way too expensive for us.)
Aimee got married and I moved to Portland, OR, eventually getting married. We caught up with each other via phone calls once in a while (we finally had enough money to pay those big long distance phone bills) and we still got together whenever I was in Utah.
Our birthdays are in January and February so for our thirtieth birthday present our parents all got together and surprised us with a Bestie Trip. My dad bought Aimee a plane ticket to Oregon. My mom arranged a bed and breakfast over at the Oregon Coast, complete with a cake and rose petals on the bed….. The rose petals were weird and we still laugh about them!! Aimee’s mom treated us to a massage and our first pedicure …. It was a fabulous way to celebrate a milestone birthday TOGETHER!
The best thing about our relationship is we can go for months…. Maybe even a year and never talk…. When we get back together it’s as if we just left off yesterday. There is never any girl drama…. NEVER…. Oh except that one time at the Environmental Center when we were in seventh grade but I’m pretty sure we have vowed to not speak of that! Lol.
When life was going a bit sideways for me back in 2008 Aimee was always there to calm my panic attacks, listen to me ugly cry and fall apart. When I was struggling as a single mom, she slipped me a couple hundred dollars and told me to use it for the kids school clothes and supplies. (Seriously!! Tears when I think back about just how much that meant to me!!!) She knew I’d never ask for help but she also knew I needed a little assistance to make it through the month. She has always been like that….. When we were little we used to watch the movie Beaches. I honestly can’t remember what it was about but what I do remember is telling Aimee countless times that she was the Wind Beneath My Wings….. And she still is!
I didn’t think I would ever move back to Utah but here I am and one of the amazing bonuses is that I get to see Aim all the time!!! We dance party on Saturday mornings, just like The Bay only now it’s Power Pump with Paula at Alta Canyon Sports Center. One of my favorite things is I get to watch her be a mom and I love it!!! She is so good at it!! She second guesses herself all the time but SHE-IS-AN-AMAZING-MOM. She is raising the best little human. I absolutely adore her little Danee and I’m so blessed to get to be in her life as she grows up! I think of her Danee as one of my nieces and Aimee treats my boys as if they are her family too. I love that my kids know her, know how much we love each other and know what best friends for life looks like…. It’s a rare treasure and I do not take it for granted.
When my dad died a couple of years ago…. Aimee was there for me…. I was so angry, I yelled, I screamed, I cried and I raged. I was so mad at him for leaving me and she sat with me through all the discomfort that anger can be….. She sat with me until I was brave enough to face the hurt that the anger was protecting me from…. Then she sat with me through all the tears…. ALL-THE-TEARS!!! There were so many tears. Then she was by my side at his memorial. He loved us both so much……
She is the one and only person in my life that if I get a text that says, “I need a favor”….. The answer is “Yes.” No matter what it is…. And she does the same for me. We trust each other that much!
Recently, one of those favors was to party all night with her so that she could do a sleep test or something the next morning. Of course the answer was “HECK YES!” I showed up at her house about 9 pm…. Usually the time both of us have settled into jammies and are looking forward to some nice Z’s…. but instead, I brought games from our childhood as well as a whole bunch of “bags” full of tricks to keep us up ALL night…. she was such a good sport!!! She went along with all my crazy ideas and just like all those nights in our teens we stayed up ALL NIGHT LONG!!! It was such a gift to relive some memories from childhood, do a little dreaming together and again…. A WHOLE LOT OF LAUGHING!!!
Aimers….. YOU are truly my soul mate….. The one who will travel this entire life by my side, in my heart and as a piece of my soul! I love you to the moon (whom we both adore!!!) and all the way back to this crazy planet earth.
As the lyrics from Wicked, the musical go…..
“So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You’ll (always) be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have rewritten mine
By being my (best) friend
I do believe I have been changed for the better
And because I knew you
Because I knew you
Because I knew you
I have been changed
I Love you Aimers!!! Thanks for always having my back….. And being my person…. No matter what!