Celebrations: Birthdays and Best Friends

I know that I’ve been posting “Celebration” posts on Sundays, but sometimes there’s a good reason to switch it up.

Us a year ago, celebrating Gina's birthday

A best friend is a good reason.

Today, my bestie has a birthday. I’d tell you how old she’s turning, but it’s impolite to discuss a lady’s age.

I met Gina when we were 19. I won’t tell you how long ago that was…. but it wasn’t recently.

We were bunk mates in a fifth-floor room of a concrete building in Monterrey Mexico, participants in a missions training course with YWAM. Unfortunately for Gina, I was on the top bunk. I had a penchant for snacking late at night, and putting hard objects (books and picture frames) under my pillow. Gina would wake up to find crumbs and my boyfriend’s face on her pillow. Sorry, G!

The following year, we found ourselves roommates in a nearby apartment. That was probably where our friendship was forged, over taxi rides and grocery-shopping and quesadilla-making. We took those quesadillas with us when we left Mexico. I introduced them to my family, and then my boyfriend, and then his family. Sometime after my strict no-grains, no-cheese, no-beans diet, I hope to introduce them to my boyfriend’s friends, too. My siblings ask for them for their birthday dinners sometimes. Mmmm, melted cheddar and refried beans with salsa in a toasted tortilla!

(Side note: I just had to add “quesadilla” to my WordPress dictionary. Shame.)

We were in Mexico together for about four and a half years, one or two of those years of which she was my boss. And my best friend. Not the easiest relationship, but we made it through. We experienced a lot of life together: traveling through Mexico and the USA several times, gained and lost love, soul-searching, uncertainty, victory. We translated, drove vans, hiked through mud, did skits in the rain, played with kids, cooked, cleaned, sang, and so much more.

One of our birthday gatherings last year

Then, I moved home and then to Hawaii to work on a different project with the same organization, and then home again. She stayed in Mexico for a while, then moved to Maryland.

Every year, we try to get together at least once. Last year we were lucky enough to see each other three times! Each time, it’s as if no time has passed. We spend hours talking about our days in Mexico, reminiscing and catching up on the latest gossip about our former co-workers.

This time last year, another friend and I surprised her by showing up at a work lunch in Maryland. I wish I could be there this today, but G, you’ll just have to accept this blog as a birthday gift instead.

Happy birthday, Gina! Here’s to many more years of happiness and friendship. I love you!

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