Friday, July 2, 2010

White eyes.

it was back in mr. flynn's 4th grade class that we met.
well, we weren't really friends.... yet.
one day, she was in tears.
she wouldn't talk to anyone really.
and i asked our teacher if i could sit with her in the hallway to try to help her feel better.
to my surprise he let us sit in the hallway.
we took 2 chairs out there and sat there.
i pressed my glasses up between my eyes, and sat there.
i didn't know what i was going to say, but i just wanted to say something to make her feel better.
she finally began talking to me.
it was her dad.
he had just passed away.
he wasn't even sick!
he just passed away....
suddenly.
she was so upset.
she loved him sooooo much.
i didn't know much, but i learned empathy. i learned sympathy without even knowing what the word meant.....
i remember us hugging, and thinking to myself, "i hope she doesn't think i'm weird. i hope she knows i just want her to feel better."

....
and from then on, we were inseparable.
she was my buddy.
my best buddy.
she was quiet and had an attitude unlike anyone you've ever met in your life,
but we loved her!
she did this thing, where she'd rolllll her eyes and cross her arms, and bite her long thumb nail (all of her nails were long)....
her toenails were even long.
"they're easier to paint," she said.
but we loved her.
all of us.
my whole family.
we had sleepovers all of the time.
we would turn our closets into "ships," hanging flashlights from ribbons, hanging down from the hangers and swing it back and forth as if we were sailing the rough seas....
when it got too hot, we'd come out for a drink or for some food.
we used to stay up late to watch jerry springer....
back when a "fight" wasn't the norm, but it really spiced things up.....
it came on at 11 pm, and if we were able to stay up THAT late, we were shocked!!!!
we both has passes to knott's berry farm. and we went ALL of the time.... together.


(no, that's not blossom in the top picture, it's me.
no, that's not a boy in the 2nd picture, that is us, and yes, we ARE sniffing deodorant.... "Smells like teen spirit," remember??
and that photo was taken in a photo booth in Knott's berry farm)

yes, we were inseparable!!!
we used to walk to McDonald's outside the park, and offer homeless people food.
at our sleepovers, we would play this game called "white eyes."
it was when we'd stand in the front yard, at night, and yell "white eyes" when we'd see a car coming, and we'd drop and roll alllll the way to the edge of the sidewalk.
and laugh hysterically....
we would toilet paper people's houses.
and eat lots of junk food.
one time, we were at a pizza joint in our old neck of the woods, and i had to go to the bathroom, she came to the bathroom with me, and stood by the sink and waited.
there were a few other people in the bathroom at that time.
i totally farted, and laughed and farted some more.
i couldn't stop! it was hysterical.
she was outside by the sink, laughing SOOO hard, she almost peed her pants!!!!
we laughed about that for a long time.
when i spent the night over at her house, we would go to the grocery story and spend SO much money on toilet paper!
we'd stack it SO high in the middle of the aisle and take pictures of us in it.
our next mission....
to cover someone's house in toilet paper!!!!
next morning, we'd eat blueberry bagels.
she loved blueberry bagels.
i'd never had them before her.
as cheesy as this sounds, i still think of her to this day when i eat blueberry bagels.
we had boyfriends in middle school, and although i broke up with mine, she stayed with hers into high school.
i think it was during high school that we slowly started drifting apart....
she had a new group of friends.
she split from her middle school boyfriend, and she began dating a new guy....
they dated for many years....
our senior year in high school, her mom decided to sell their home and move up north.
lauren had 2 options.
1. move up north with her and finish high school in another state,
or
2. find a place to live

she was 18 by now, so....
they bought a home together, her and the boyfriend.
she had worked as a waitress for a looooong time, from high school and even after.
it was all she'd done.
a while later, they became engaged, and she became pregnant.
Lauren had endured MANY tough times up to this point.
her dream was finally coming true....
she was going to marry her high school sweetheart, and have their baby....
a little baby boy....
Lauren was scheduled to be induced on July 7th of 2006.
her entire life changed the night before she delivered, when her fiance passed away on July 6th.
We hadn't talked a whole lot up to this point, but the second i heard the devastating news, i texted her.
i still had her number, of course i did.
and i'm not entirely sure why we hadn't spoken for quite some time.
i texted her asking her to call me immediately....
it was a few days, but she called.
she called and we talked.
for a long time, we talked.
we caught up on what we'd missed in our time away from each other....
no matter how much time had passed between our conversations, we always seemed to pick up RIGHT where we had left off before....
the closeness never left....
I got my own place when Dylan was a few months old.
she would come and visit.

i remember staying up with her at all hours of the night, because Dylan wouldn't sleep through the night very well.
i remember how frustrating it was, and how we both sat and told each other, we hadn't planned our lives to be single mothers....
it wasn't how it was supposed to be.....
but it was....
we just didn't know that at that time.....!!!!
we sat there, sometimes angry at God for putting us in this position....
how were we supposed to make it with kids and no fathers?
we'd stay up late, into the wee hours of the night, rocking dylan with a bottle, while making soft brownies, just because we could.... (and no, we weren't on drugs. it was more like sympathy food)
i remember for the first time, us sitting and talking about what had gone on the past few months and crying together....
i KNEW....
from that moment, that she was going to be okay,
but i wasn't thorougly convinced SHE knew she was going to be okay.
she had so many questions left unanswered.
she had so many feelings she couldn't put names to.
it was a rollercoaster for her,
and rightfully so....

i remember just wanting to hug her again.... to sit and talk with her again, just like we did in the 4th grade....
i wanted to empathize with her.
i wanted to sympathize with her.
i wanted to help her to see that she was going to make it.
that she had made it THIS far,
with Dylan....
she was going to make it even FURTHER than she could dream possible at that time....
i knew she was going to make it....

and she still endured more since then....
(including our RANDOM trip to vegas. HA!).... i texted her on a tuesday, on my lunch break. "wanna go to vegas?" she asked, "when?" i said, "today. pack yo stuff and les roll!"
(ready to take on the town, and yes i was TOTALLY squatting down so that i could be more at her level.... i'm like a foot taller than her.)


she needed someone, sober, to tell her when to walk away from the tables.... (me!) even though she'd accuse me of taking her money and hiding it from her.....

me: "Lauren, it's on the table."
L: "Yeah, cuz you just put it there."
me: "yeah, i magically put it there.... i'm still in bed. shut up and go to sleep."

but today,

today she has since finished some schooling and is working as a Medical Assistant, with every intent on becoming a nurse.... she works in a great office by the beach....
she has an AMAZING little boy, who she just loves with all of her heart and soul....
and it shows....
she has since, reconnected with her middle school boyfriend and have remained so close since Dylan was a few months old.
They are now, officially back together again, and it makes me SO happy to see someone care for the BOTH of them as much as he does....
his family has accepted that little man into their house, into their lives and into their hearts like he were their own blood....
Lauren has taken a stand, against everything this world has thrown at her, and we are going to be celebrating his 4th birthday next weekend!!!! how cool is that??
Lauren is finally as happy as i think i've ever seen her, and that makes me INCREDIBLY happy too!!!

I want her to know how VERY proud of her I am for finishing her school, for going outside her comfort zone in doing things she didn't even think was possible.... i want her to know, now, that even when you feel like there isn't any hope left in this world, there is.... even if it's a glimmer that's SO small, you can't even see it.... even if you can't even IMAGINE it.... it's there....

i'm SO glad she is finally able to feel the love and the happiness that i always knew she had coming for her....

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Awww, so shweet Ashley!!

buymebarbies said...

OH Lauren!!! What a journey you and Ashley have had!! I remember you spending the night all the time and you girls acting CRAZY!!! What a wonderful young lady you've become and I'm so happy you've found the happiness you so deserve!! Thanks Ashley for taking care of Lauren's feelings when it was needed the most! You are a lifesaver!!

Ms. Anthropy said...

What a good friend you are and what an amazing tribute!

Bixler Brood said...

I am so glad you took it upon yourself to become her friend when she needed it most. I love Lauren too!!! God has a plan for us all and we were all meant to be in each others lives =)

Anonymous said...

Ash- *sigh*you made me cry my eyes out!!! Man. We are getting old!! I definitely remember ALL the good times we shared!! We will definitely have to teach the kids how to play white eyes! The toilet papering, fun times in the closet, knotts... ALL memories I will NEVER forget. Through good times and bad, you have ALWAYS been there for me. ESPECIALLY after Dylan was born. I could tell you ANYTHING and I know you would NEVER judge me. You always told me it was ok to feel the way I did. You told me things would get better. you told me I would be happy again. I didn't believe you. But like always, you were right. You always pushed me. You always said I could do things that I never thought were possible. you will NEVER know how much all our talks, all our time, and all our AMAZING brownies mean to me... I love you SO much!! Thank you for being there in 4th grade, and thank you for being there now. We have that "one of a kind, LIFETIME friendships" that will last until we are gone.
love you
LAUREN

Ms. Christina said...

Ash, must you make me cry every time I read your blog? You're an amazing friend to me & I know Lauren is so thankful to have a friend like you. The type of friendship you offer is so hard to come across, but I'm so thankful that God made us cross each others paths. =)

Most importantly, I too am proud of Lauren! She's just a wonderful woman! Both of you ladies are seriously testaments of God to continue doing what seems impossible and make it possible!

Anonymous said...

I think I had Mr. Flynn. Tall, skinny, Dennis the Menace's Dad lookin' dude with a crazy thick mustache??

Pat Tillett said...

Whew! A great post Ashely...Made my "allergies" bother my eyes again. I remember those days. I also remember those TOE NAILS Lauren!!!

buymebarbies said...

Lauren was my 4th daughter, coincidently, Michelle was named Lauren, until we changed it, just before signing the birth certificate, after we came home from the hospital!!! Love you Lauren and love your compassion for other people, Ashley!!!!

Marlene said...

Beautifully written tribute, my dear.