A couple of years ago, Jonathan and I were invited to a wedding. A wedding celebrating the nuptials of two of our greatest friends. Two people I had lived with in college. Two people who drove from Colorado to Michigan for one night (our wedding night). Two people I consider to be forever friends. James and Tracey.
As luck would have it (or not have it, if you will) Jonathan was in pilot training at the time, and though we thought he would have the weekend off to join me in the celebration, unforeseeable Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training tasks came up, as they always do. So I grabbed another lifelong friend who was way too kind when she volunteered to drive the 11+ hours to Colorado with me (and back!) to join me as my stand in “Jon” the wedding.
The wedding was gorgeous. So much fun. I got to break out some dance moves no one (including myself) realized I had. But there was one part of the night when my pseudo-husband looked at me very confused. You see, the wedding speeches started to get heavy. People were so grateful that Tracey was able to celebrate her wedding, when so many years before, they didn’t know if she was even going to make it to her 18th birthday.
That was one of the (many) times I was reminded how lucky I am to have Tracey in my life. To have her as a lifelong friend. You see, eight years ago, she had something called Guillain-Barré Syndrome. But she can tell you that story much better than I.
Tracey proved to be a valuable person to know while we were living 1,200 miles away from our family while attending Colorado State University. She was more than a friend, she was family. Her parents took us in on holidays, or when we were homeless for a night while moving, or just when we needed family. Tracey was and will always be part of my family, and I’m just so lucky to have her in my life.
If you’d like to read Tracey’s story, here it is. You’ll probably need a tissue or two. But know this. Today, Tracey is as healthy as ever. She’s strong, she’s beautiful, and she’s about to become a Mama to a lucky little girl. And coincidentally, her daughter and Harry will have almost exactly the same difference in age as Tracey and I do. Those two little babies have just made friends for life, and they don’t even know it yet. But they are lucky. As am I.
image courtesy of Anastasia Rae Photography