The story of how I met my best friend, Terri, is pretty darn adorable. It was the summer of 1988, and my parents bought their first and only house, and moved my newborn sister, Angela, and I to the next town over from where were living.
I was nearing my 7th birthday, and would be starting second grade that fall. Up to that point, I had not had very many friends, and I was incredibly shy.
I kept to myself A LOT, so when a girl my age said “Hi, Wendy” to me as I rode my bike down our new street, I panicked and rode back to my house, and ran inside as fast as I could. Not only did I not have a clue who this girl was, but she didn’t even call me by the correct name.
The next day, my cousin Michael and I were riding our bikes up the street together. I thought I would be safe from this strange girl with him by my side. As we rode up the street, however, a middle-aged woman stopped us at the end of her driveway. She told us that she graduated high school with Michael’s Mom (my Aunt), and that she had a daughter our age who would love to play with us. Once again, I completely clammed up and rode off on my bike. Michael stood and talked to her for a minute. I wondered if her daughter was the girl I had seen the day before.
Not long after that incident, there was a knock on our door. It was that girl again, and she confirmed that it was her mother that stopped Michael and I as we rode our bikes. She gave me her phone number, told me she lived just two houses up the street, and that we should get together to play sometime. I laughed nervously. She went back home.
I’m not exactly sure how much time passed before my Mom coaxed me to take her up on her invitation, but I did eventually go play with her one day, and we actually hit it off really fast. I honestly don’t remember the exact day our friendship started, but by the time we went back to school in the fall, we were BFF’s.
Terri and me, first day of school – 3rd or 4th grade.
Throughout our elementary and junior high school years, Terri and I remained close. It was easy to do when there was only one house in between our houses. If she wasn’t at my house, I was at hers. Her Mom, Dad and older sister, and even her grandparents and aunts and uncles, became like a second family to me. Terri’s parents had a camper, and after my Mom and Dad bought one too, we all went camping at the same campgrounds each summer. It was awesome.
When high school arrived, we kind of grew apart for a bit. We were still friends, but we didn’t hang out as much as we used to. We had both made new friends and were hanging out with them more than we were with each other. Some times we would get together with all of our friends, but not a whole lot. By the end of our senior year in high school, we had found our way back to each other and were very close again.
After we graduated high school, Terri went away to a college that was more than 3 hours away, while I continued to live with my parents and go to a local college. I made the trip to visit her at college quite often on the weekends, when I wasn’t in class or working. I never had the real college experience myself, so I got a little taste of it whenever I stayed in her dorm room with her.
Terri eventually moved out of the dorms and into an apartment with some other girls, and she got into a serious relationship. Through all of that, though, we still remained close friends, and I still visited quite often. She then moved in with her boyfriend, and I still visited them as much as I could.
One day, Terri and her boyfriend were back in town visiting Terri’s family, so I headed over to spend some time with them. We all decided to take a trip up to the mountain. Terri, her boyfriend and I took one vehicle, while her parents were in the vehicle behind us. On our way up to the mountain, Terri turned around, looked me in the eye, and told me she was pregnant. At first I thought she was joking. Then, I realized she was dead serious. I couldn’t believe it!
Terri and me decorating for her daughter’s birthday party.
We were only 21 years old, and I had never expected her to get pregnant at such a young age. I was quite shocked. She and her boyfriend were both very happy, though, so I was happy for them too. They got married a few months after the baby arrived.
A couple years after Terri gave birth to her daughter, and shortly after giving birth to a son, she moved to the same town I was living in. We saw each other off an on, but not nearly as much as I wanted. I was living with my ex-husband at the time, and he made it very difficult for me to go spend time with her. That’s something I really regret to this day.
Terri and I spending some quality time together at her parents’ house a few years ago.
A couple years later, Terri and her husband made their way back to southern Maine, a few hours away from where I live. Terri’s parents also moved to Florida last year, and sold her childhood home, 2 houses away from my parents’ house, so I rarely see her. I’m lucky to see her once or twice a year now. That makes me really, really sad.
Whenever we do get together though, it’s like we’ve never been apart. We are truly BFF’s, and I am so lucky to have her in my life. No matter how far apart we are, or how rarely we see each other, she will always remain one of the most important people in my life.