My Love Letter to “The Girls” :: My Lifelong Friends

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Friendships as adults can be hard. Life gets busy, jobs separate you by miles or even states, and paths can naturally diverge. The great thing about lifelong friendships (whether formed in high school, college, or early adulthood) is they don’t have to be perfect, flashy, or present daily to have a continual influence on your life. These friendships allow for an extra level of grace, space, and distance.

My oldest and dearest are called “The Girls”. We met as wide-eyed, passion-filled, and somewhat naive college freshmen. At the start of every new school year, I get nostalgic thinking of how our paths crossed on freshman move-in day. Our memories span from road trips and late night talks to wedding toasts and real life mess. Regardless of when and where you met your lifelong friends, the gratitude for these friendships is all the same. 

To “The Girls” ::

I am grateful. You know me at my core and love me still. You have seen me through years of triumphs, failures, bad fashion (and worse hair!), canyons of depressions, and hilltops of joy. You know by the sound of my voice when life is too hard for me to talk and you sit quietly beside me. You cheer loudly from my sideline. You show up when it matters most. You support, love, and encourage relationships that are good for me. You challenge those that are not. I am a better person, wife, mother, and friend because of you. For you . . . I am grateful.

I miss you dearly. I never seem to have enough time to give you all you deserve. We could never talk enough, and when we do, I am usually juggling a backseat of kids or rushing into a meeting. I yearn for our (almost) yearly trips or a quick visit when I’m passing through town. A coffee date with you makes my heart sing for weeks and a late night phone call makes me miss you more. For you . . . I yearn. 

I love all the versions of you. Some people know you as a carefree, passion-filled girl and some people know you as a grounded mature woman. I know and love both versions. I remember and remind you of your dreams. I am thankful you do the same for me. By this point, we have seen the best and worst of each other and we continue to show up, regardless. I love and respect your “deal breakers” and your core values that remain intact all these years later. Even though we have evolved and most would call us “responsible,” there is nothing like a girls’ weekend to bring back the carefree, passion-filled girls of our youth. Of you . . . I love all versions. 

I love your children as my own. Our children have the greatest aunts ever! The tribe that surrounds our boys and girls is wide and strong. We prayed deeply for this generation we now all mother and then called each other in sheer panic when our prayers were answered. Seeing you as a mother is a great joy of mine. Seeing your children rock your world is, however, somewhat comical! I will tell them about your passions, serious dance skills, and one day share the “what happens in Kentucky, stays in Kentucky” story. I know you will do the same. I love your children.

I’m not going anywhere. From this point forward, there will be more joy and more heartbreak. No one said this adult thing is easy! Whatever comes your way, know that I am here. Let’s just say that freshman move-in day was a life-altering day for you and me both. Almost twenty years later, I can step back to see how your life has been woven together and I am in awe of you. I am honored to be a part of your story and your lifelong friend. For you . . . I am here.

Happy Girlfriends Day!

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Kathryn returns to Birmingham Moms Blog as a guest writer after being part of the contributing team while living in the area. After attending Mississippi State University, she married her high-school sweetheart, and they moved back home (Birmingham) to attend medical school and graduate school at UAB. Their first house was a 1920’s bungalow in Avondale that they renovated before Pinterest and Joanna Gaines. Home renovation would become a hobby or obsession, some might say, in every city they lived. After moving to North Carolina and Mississippi, they returned to Birmingham in 2015, as a family of four. Kathryn and her husband James lived in the Liberty Park community with their two boys and two adopted pups. In 2017, Kathryn's shift from a traditional careerwoman in hospital administration to a work-from-home entrepreneur was equal parts thrilling and frightening. Kathryn has pursued her passion for clean living by partnering with Beautycounter, a clean beauty movement, and she loves having the ability to build a business while simultaneously having a significant social impact. In 2019, their family relocated to Tuscaloosa where they are now renovating yet another home. You can often find Kathryn at a ball field, either cheering for her two boys or passionately ringing a cowbell at a Mississippi State game. (Hail State!)