My friend

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Do you ever look at a friend and wonder where your life would be without them?

17 years ago, I began working with a very sweet 6 year old and today, I couldn't be happier to write that she is still a huge part of my life. Her mom and I both agree when we first met, we never thought our friendship would still be growing strong 17 years later.

I have a two priorities in my life, my family is definitely first and my second is the friendship with my friend. Over a year ago she graduated from high school, and shortly after I began working with her again. But when I really think about it, it's not work. She's like my little sister.

My girlfriend grounds me. While she has a developmental disability, she truly honestly grounds me. Just when I begin to have my mind spinning with everything in life....she somehow is able to force me to just stop and breathe. There is never a day that she isn't happy. She is honestly the happiest girl I know. She's always smiling. Always willing.

While I look at her and think of how lucky I am to have her be a part of my life and my kids life, I also see her and want more for her. Sometimes I'm a bit hard on her because I want to see her do more. I'm that big sister that pushes her.

I love this girl with all my heart and as much as I love my own children. What pains me the most is when I look at her and I wonder...what is she really thinking. And, this past year...when I ask her what she's thinking about, she'd always tell me about everything that made her happy. It was then that I realized, that's exactly what she thinks about day and night. She truly just thinks about what makes her happy. I love that about my friend.

My closest friends that see me most know that she's my kids big sister as she's often with us. She can often be heard telling them what and what not to do. Picking them up when they want to be held. Helping them solve problems. Telling them to get along. But, what I love most is when I see her playing with them. When I see her playing games with my kids that I used to play with her my heart melts.

I went looking through my pictures for a birthday present I want made for her and couldn't resist sharing a bit about my friend.

Horses are one of my girlfriend's favorite animals! There isn't one thing that she doesn't know about them. When we go to my parents house, she is in heaven when she gets to help my dad feed and care for them.

Horses are her little slice of heaven on earth!

And now, for a little stroll down memory are a few pictures from the earlier years of our friendship. After two and a half years as her instructional assistant, it was time to move on. Her mother gave me an amazing little memory book that my girlfriend and I still love to look through together.

Here is the opening page of the memory book.

Again, I couldn't be happier that my kids have known her since they were born and honestly think of her as their big sister! There is no better gift I could ever give my children then Lauren's friendship.

Lastly, here is the poem that her mother included on the last page of the memory book!

I'd like to be the sort of friend that you
have been to me,
I'd like to be the help that you've always been
glad to be;
I'd like to mean as much to you each minute of
the day
as you have meant, old friend of mine,
to me along the way.

-Edgar A. Guest

Happy 23rd birthday Lauren!


Anonymous said...

Tami, What a great post. I loved that girl. Sure do miss those days. Hug her for me!

Kara May said...

Oh Happy Birthday to Lauren!! Love seeing the pictures of when she was little also. And that last picture is priceless. Love Easton's expression. Great post my friend.

NP said...

Happy birthday beautiful sweet Lauren. What a nice tribute to this special friend. Of course I LOVE the picture of her with the kiddos, but the ones of her with the horses and with you when she was young brought tears to my eyes. in the one picture she was a true horse whisperer :) LYG, N

Kathryn said...

Those are great pictures. She is so happy w the horses. And how well I remember the early years. The poem at the end suits you! (I have 2 of his books).