This afternoon around 5:01 p.m. my phone rings. I am always excited to see Joe (my best friend from New York/Florida/North Carolina) pop up on caller ID. He is & always will be my Damn Yankee - I am his Southern Belle. Anyway, when I answer to my surprise he begins with: I am in Birmingham right now. Okay so Joe works for Books A Million & their headquarters are in Birmingham, he had a 1 day conference at the BJCC & it was today, he only has 30 minutes between meetings & a required dinner. He got into town late last night & tried to call me but my phone was dead from the weekend. So of course what do I do? I immediately call my husband tell him we are going to Birmingham & get home to head out the door. I have not seen Joe in person in 6.5 years. 6.5 YEARS!!!! We talk around 4 times a month, text when we can, play on facebook & myspace but it has been 6.5 years since we have spoken in person. I almost burst into tears when he rounded the corner at the Sheraton, it was like Florida all over again. He has not changed a bit - which is perfect. I was blown away by how much I had missed him, even with all the correspondence we work to keep often it is not the same. The three of us went up to his room to catch up & so he could change for the next event on his agenda. Their schedule was crazy, you should have seen how there was hardly any time between meetings/lectures. The coolest part though is the books they get copies of (almost all are signed by the authors) to take home.
I was flooded with memories of nights out late, crazy roommates, new experiences, lots of laughter, and even more love. He is one of the most amazing people I know. I am blessed to have 4 true best friends. They are all so unique & just wonderful. His place in my life was not only perfectly timed, but an addition that took me by surprise and brought me closer to who I am. He met me during a real searching for yourself period & loved me for all the craziness, naivete, sheltered, Alabama blonde that I am. I will never forget so many things - dance clubs, cigarettes (never smoked them myself - but I did like to light them on fire while sitting outside & my roommates would smoke - yeah smokers don't like you to waste their cigs for your own pyro habits :), chik fil a all the time, wakie*wakie*eggs*&*bakie*, no cheese at the Waffle House, Pleasure Island, Islands of Adventure, RENT, teaching someone how to pump gas (yes truly how to PUMP gas), & learning how to just let go.
Thank you Joe. You took me under your wing from the first moment I said armadillo & have kept me there ever since - I LOVE YOU!!