It’s the season in my life when my sons’ friends are all either getting married or having babies, so most of my recent Saturdays have been spent attending showers. Yesterday was the bridal shower for a childhood friend of my sons – one of the “kids down the street” kind of friends. Their house was where my kids were at when they weren’t at my house. Their mom, Kathy, would call to check on her sons, or I’d call Kathy to check on mine. The boys were always in one of three places – our home, her home, or the local swimming pool. In fact, for a couple of summers the boys all worked there as lifeguards. And there were always bikes on the front lawn of one of our homes.
Over the years we sat through basketball games, concerts, football games, and school performances together. Kathy was with me when I told my sons that their Papa had died. Between kindergarten and today, we’ve shared more memories together than I can count. But one of my favorites has to be the morning my son Rory was getting married.
I had no idea the photographer was going to show up to actually FILM me getting ready for the wedding. I answered the door in my housecoat and my mascara from the night before, and my house wasn’t in much better shape. I was in the kitchen preparing trays of food for the men in the wedding party. “Hi. I’m here to film you getting ready for the wedding.” I just remember sending the poor kid away and saying, “Yeah, I don’t think so.” He graciously came back a few hours later. Meanwhile, Kathy came down in HER housecoat, and together we put trays of food together for the guys. And then, I ran out of plastic wrap for the trays.
Kathy ran back down to her house, and came back with Kirkland brand “Stretch-tite” plastic wrap. That was September 12, 2014! I am still not halfway through that box, and I never use it without thinking of Kathy, that fun, crazy, silly, bittersweet morning…. and our friendship.
So yesterday, I was preparing some food for a gathering at my home for my church small group. Like any other time, I tore the plastic wrap off and thought of Kathy. Then, I couldn’t help but laugh. I ran downstairs and got another roll of it, wrapped it, and gave it as part of the shower gift to her son, and wrote the memory in the card. It was just another one of those moments when I took a step back and realized how blessed I am.
I live in a neighborhood that I still share with some of the same folks for 20 years now. Some of those neighbors raised their children along with me. We shared rides to schools and games. We picked things up from the grocery stores for each other. We attended funerals for each other’s parents, trick or treated together, and shared meals and holidays with. And yes, even plastic wrap.
Inside the card to Justin & Maria I wrote a note with that memory of one of my favorite kitchen moments with Kathy. And then I spent the day reflecting on how lucky I am. I have genuine friendships and the sweetest of memories, some just as simple as plastic wrap. I think I’m going to make it a tradition of giving a box of that stuff with every shower gift, and a note praying that they have neighbors as good as I’ve had, and cherished memories that never end, just like a box of Costco’s Kirkland Brand Stretch-tite!