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Girls from the hood.

You know them…the people from your early years, the ones that shape you, the ones that you share your earliest memories with.  These people just get you.  And you never want to let them go.

For me, I did.  Not out of spite, not out of anything other than drifting.  We just simply drifted apart.  My earliest memories, are tied up in my Lakeshore friends.  Actually, they are wrapped up in following Johnny Bus around as a 4 year-old, thinking he was the best darn thing on two legs.  Tall, blond and nice to me…

My Lakeshore friends, Amber, Scotty, Terri, Johnny, Kernie and Jonathan….these were my crew…we ran and ran until we were exhausted and the vapor lights came on.  We vowed we would be friends forever…how little did we know, things happen.

My thing that happened was my parent divorced and I went to live with my father when I was 12.  There, in that place, at that age, I met my girls…Ursula and Shawna and a few years later, we added a Daymion, an Ivan, a Stacey, Robin, Shelly and Lorri…these girls and boys, who grew to lovely men and women, they shaped me.  And I adore them all.  To.this.day.  I have a safe, warm spot in my heart for them, for the memories, for the heartaches, for the fashion sense, most of all, for the friendship that spans decades and will always be there. 

But the Lakeshore crew, we drifted.  And with the advent of Facebook, we have in a way re-connected.  Not always face to face, but I see them from time to time on here.  I may not be in their orbit any longer, but it doesn’t change the fact they are a part of my childhood.  And as with childhood memories, they tend to get put to the side for another day…

I get to see, through my Girl, what those childhood friendships look like when they are kept alive, when they are kept tracked and when these girls who share these memories, these experiences stay in touch.  I get to see what a 30+ year friendship looks like.

And it’s so sweet.

My Girl has a group of five or six friends that she has kept up with since elementary school.  Not just kept up with, but stayed involved with.  They are the Girls from the Hood.  It’s a name they gave themselves on Facebook, their group or “club.”  Just like in second grade, they have a club…but this time, it’s not to swoon over Leif Garrett or Donny Osmond, it’s to laugh, to catch up, to plan on times and places to meet and just be around each other.

And it is amazing.  Through my relationship I am sort of an “honorary” Girl from the Hood.  I get to go to the lunches, be involved in the laughter.  I get to hear the stories of times past.  I get to be a part of their history.

I love it.

These women have fanned out, they all live in different towns, they are married, divorced, single.  They are mothers, sisters, wives, daughters…at the bottom, they are friends.  And they are there for each other. 

They had lunch this weekend and I heard stories of old.  They each spent time catching up on the current events, they each were genuinely interested in parents, kids, husbands, boyfriends, etc.  They were interested in each other.  And I honestly felt the true connection that exists between each of them.

As we left, My Girl looked at me and said, “I love these women.  I would do ANYTHING for them.  All they ever have to do is ask, and I am there.”

I looked at the love in her eyes, not for me at that moment, but for them.  For the memories, for the past they share, for the future they will meet.  And I said to her, “And they would do the same for you.”  I meant it with every bone in my body.

So thank you Shayna, Shannon and Charmaine.  For loving her before I did.  For being in her life.  For sharing your memories with me.

It’s an honor to know each of you!

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