I have moved around a lot in my lifetime which makes it hard to keep friends. The kind of friends that add value to your life, that you can turn to when you need support or a favor. You know, not the fake kind, not the acquaintance kind, or the kind that turns out to not really be a friend. People don’t seem to take the time to keep up with long distance friendships. There are the kind of friends that you don’t see for a while and then you pick right back up where you left off when you connect with them. This kind of relationship takes time to form. As the years go by, I feel less inclined to put so much work into the people who don’t put work towards sustaining our friendship. I used to not mind doing the heavy lifting, since I seemed to be better at than most (thanks to all that moving). Now, I want the same effort in my direction that I put towards others. I know it’s possible because I am doing it.
I have known my friend Kim for 23 years now. We will know each other until one of us dies. We met in Colorado Springs, Colorado in the 1994/1995 when I was a mere 20 year old girl. Colorado Springs had 3 military stations at that time; Fort Carson Army Base, Peterson Air Force Base and the Air Force Academy.
Most girls growing up in Colorado Springs have an Air Force boyfriend which really bothered the civilian guys in town. I can imagine how frustrating it must have been to be a regular guy having to compete with the appeal of pilots and the military uniform.
My Air Force Academy boyfriend’s name was John. John had best friends that were fraternal twins – Jim and Steve. Steve’s high school sweetheart, Tracey, moved to Colorado Springs when Steve got accepted into the Academy. Tracey lived in an apartment with a girl named Stacy. I became friends with them both.
One year Tracey moved away. Turns out she had some kind of bone cancer, went home and passed away within 5 years.
Stacy got a new roommate named Kim. It seems that every time I called to talk to Stacy, I got Kim. Kim and I chatted a lot. One day, we were chatting and I mentioned I was going to the gym. Kim said she works out and would also come to the gym so I invited her to go with me. We were to meet at my apartment and go from there.
There was a knock at the door and when I opened it up, to my surprise, I didn’t recognize the person standing there. Hi, Who are you? “I’m Kim” she says. Wait! What? We have never met? Nope, she says. Well alrighty then, let’s go workout!! We have been friends ever since. Twenty three years and counting…
Kim and I went to Europe together for 16 days despite the fact that we had not seen each other in over a decade. We were both 40, we both were single, we both had never traveled to Europe. We had a blast in Amsterdam, Paris, Rome and the Amalfi Coast. It is hard to decide where to go next since we plan to see some more countries together in the future!
I finally went to visit her home in Michigan this year, where she has been living for the last 19 years. I have talked about coming to visit so many times over the years. It almost happened (twice) when she was going to marry her son’s father. I was supposed to be a bridesmaid however he ended up marrying someone else and having another child. Kim lives down the street. They spend Christmas together as one big family. I like it when people are able to genuinely get along. Kids benefit from that type of positivity. Can’t fake it though.
The reason for this years visit was because her son was graduating High School. They were having a big party to celebrate – all the friends and family were invited. It was so great to meet her son, meet her friends from second grade, and meet her mom and dad! It made my heart so full. I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.
Thanks Kim, for being the kind of person you are- Fun loving, generous, sweet, caring, and one hardworking Momma. I am proud to call you my friend.