TheRealSharon's Blog

How do I say Happy Birthday to a Best Friend that has been in my life for 25 years now and is so much more than a friend because she is also literally family?

I will be the first to admit that I suck in person and on the phone in expressing my feelings and being all mushy. I just get so nervous and the words fail me. I am so much better at putting pen to paper or my fingers to the keyboard and spilling out my thoughts. So because of this, I am doing this post as part of a Happy Birthday gift to my best friend who is also one of my nieces, Rebekah. 🙂 Happy 25th Birthday to you!

I don’t remember the exact date that my niece went from being simply my niece(which is an amazing thing in itself) to being a best friend. When I look backwards, I can’t honestly remember a time when I didn’t feel an extra bond there other than Aunt and Niece. I always felt a friend connection there, like even if we had never been related, had we met each other, we would have STILL been best friends. From a young age, we had different interests, but also a lot in common. I remember dancing around to music together, watching scary movies, eating so many Otter Pops that we should have turned into one ourselves, and staying up late talking. I remember surprising you by coming in for your high school graduation when you thought I wasn’t even going to be there for your oldest sister’s wedding. I remember you almost knocking me to the ground in excitement when you saw me. I remember wanting to chase after your ex at the Fair Ground because I was so mad at him. I remember when you fainted at your sister’s wedding, and I was so scared and worried about you. I remember knowing you were going to be my Maid of Honor many years ago, and being worried that you were going to do a repeat faint…lol

I remember you being there for me during one of the toughest times in my life, and you throwing out a life line to save me from myself. The summer I came to Indiana to work at the preschool was such an up and down rollercoaster, but it was exactly what you knew I needed. I remember listening to music and jamming as you drove us everywhere. I remember the trips to Shipshewanna, to Fort Wayne, and the big trip to Indianapolis where we had the one fight, but we quickly made up. I remember the time you hit the pole at the gas station and everyone was calling you “Crash”, except I didn’t think it was as funny as they did. I also remember you leaving the car running with me inside and our pizza while you pumped the gas. When you realized it, you were worried about the pizza, and we laughed about how I was in the car too, but you asked about the pizza! LOL  I remember all the times we played board games during the holidays, and I remember you dancing in your new pair of heels to Just Dance…and we were laughing at how silly you were. You have always been able to make me laugh and cheer me up.

I also remember how you hate to cry, and not that many people have seen you do it, but I have seen you cry. It breaks my heart when you cry. I know you doubt yourself a lot, and I hate it when you do. I think I have the most beautiful best friend, inside and outside, and it kills me that you can’t see yourself the way I do.  I wish I had a magic wand to bring you everything you want in life. I also wish that your Mr. Right would hurry up and show his face, because you deserve an amazing guy. I think he is taking longer to show up, not because of anything you lack, but rather because there’s not very many great guys out there who are awesome enough for someone as great as you. I KNOW there is one special one out there, though. God wouldn’t make a great woman who wants a great man without putting her match out there. And I also know it’s hard to be patient. I remember struggling in my 20’s, seeing all my friends get married and having babies, and just feeling down about it. The time will come….just don’t give up, my friend. 🙂 ~Hugs~

You are the best friend that I could ever ask for. I believe God put YOU in my life as my niece because he knew I needed YOU as a best friend and we may never have known each other otherwise. If you had never come into my life, I do NOT think I would be where I am now. I think my life would be a horrible place. I think I would still been where I was years ago…if I was even alive today for that matter. Thank you for being my best friend. I love you!

I think this was either 1999 or 2000...I am on the far right putting bunny ears up behind Rebekah lol

I think this was either 1999 or 2000…I am on the far right putting bunny ears up behind Rebekah lol

This was at Chuckie Cheese and I think I was about 8 or 9 and Beckah was 3 or 4 :)

This was at Chuckie Cheese and I think I was about 8 or 9 and Beckah was 3 or 4 🙂

Me  and Rebekah on her graduation day :)

Me and Rebekah on her graduation day 🙂

10 years ago at my brother's wedding...interesting hair choices for both of us LOL...and my niece Lydia giving us bunny ears

10 years ago at my brother’s wedding…interesting hair choices for both of us LOL…and my niece Lydia giving us bunny ears

Me and Rebekah on my wedding day (Hair done by her on my day)

Me and Rebekah on my wedding day (Hair done by her on my day)

{September 24, 2011}   Goodbye 27, Hello 28!

Today I say Goodbye to 27 and Hello to 28. It’s always a surreal feeling as an adult to go from one age to the next. I feel like I have just barely begun to say my age is 27 instead of 26 and now I will again have to relearn my age. 27 seemed scary at first, but then I grew to love the number and the age. Now I am 28 and I don’t feel any different….I remember as a kid the day I started thinking there would be this physical as well as mental reaction to aging. Like your birthday would arrive and you would actually be able to feel your body’s time clock move up a year. I quickly learned this was not the way life works. It was the first of many lessons I would learn.

When I went from 25 to 26, I came to terms with the fact that I was now over the quarter century mark. Part of me hated it but I have to also appreciate it because there are so many who do not even make it halfway to that point. I’m incredibly lucky to be within 2 years of turning 30. We ALL are lucky to be the age we have made it to, but that doesn’t mean we won’t have those moments where we think, “Oh, I am so old!”. I won’t lie and say I haven’t thought of being so close to another start in a decade of my life as a frightening thought, but I will say I am getting good at quickly redirecting that thought into being thankful for making it thus far.

For me, this moment feels like saying goodbye to a close friend I have hardly got the chance to know. I met 27 with some trepidation, grew to love her and wanted to spend the rest of my life getting to know 27 better. Sadly, the time flew by and my friend must now go into my memory where I can remember her but never again live IN that moment.

Hello to my new friend, 28….I have less trepidation this time around thanks to the greatness of 27, but it will still take time for me to feel close to you. There are guaranteed to be times in the first month or two where I mistake you for my old friend and then remember, you are not her, you are not 27, you are 28. But I will eventually get close to you, possibly even more so than I did with 27 and I will cherish those moments while they are around. Just around the corner I know you, too, will be gone for good and another number will replace you as it has for many years now.

Goodbye 27, it was nice knowing you! Hello 28, nice to meet you! 🙂

{August 21, 2011}   8 years ago today…..

I was at a best friend’s house hanging out, excited that I was going to have a new nephew soon. My first nephew.

It was a bright sunshiny day and I was getting ready to leave my friend’s house and go home. As I exited the trailer, I tripped down the few steps and fell to the ground. I automatically felt pain in my foot but I was hoping it was just a sprain or twisted ankle. My friend’s dad tried to help me up and as I stood and put weight on my right foot, it popped and I fell back down. I could clearly tell something was broken at that point. A few minutes later, the clouds rolled in and it started pouring down. There had been no rain whatsoever in the forecast, but it was still raining. My parents were called and I had to basically crawl up into the car so my mom could take me to get X-rays.

It was then I found out my new nephew had been born. I was so happy and I couldn’t wait to see him. Me and my mom had planned to travel to Austin after the birth to see him, but if my foot was broken, that would now be out of the question. The X-rays showed a broken fibula and detached deltoid ligament. All that for just a fall from a few steps. The doctor said usually only athletes have the ligament issue…apparently, clumsy people get athletic injuries,too.

Surgery was scheduled for a couple of days later. Without it, I would heal, but the next time I fell, even a small fall, my bone would end up breaking again. This would be my second surgery ever….my first one had been a few months before. A tonsillectomy. Guess this was the year of surgeries for me.

My surgery went well and a cast was put on my foot all the way up to almost my knee. I was given 3 months to recuperate and then I would have to do rehab. Not fun at all. Most of all, I was incredibly sad that I would have to wait to see my new nephew. It broke my heart.

I saw him for the first time that October when my sister came in with her hubby and kids for a family reunion. I was so excited to see him and get to hold him. He was so tiny and perfect. He had the most adorable heart breaker smile on his face already.

It took over 3 months for my foot to heal and I will always have scars to remember that fall. My stitch marks still haven’t gone away and it used to bother me. Now I don’t mind, my scars are a part of me.

I still fear going up and down stairs that have no railings. The thought is always there in the back of my mind, that I could fall again and break something. I’m resigned to the idea I may never be as comfortable with stairs as I once was.

I always thought it was strange how I fell the same day as my nephew was born, but now I think it’s pretty cool how something so horrible could happen to me and then at the same time, something so miraculous and wonderful comes to make me feel better. Yea, I had to wait a little longer to see him but I am glad there’s some GOOD that happened on August 21st…instead of just the bad.

Happy 8th Birthday to my nephew! I love you always!

I also want to say Happy Birthday to my blogging friend Dayle, whose birthday is also on this day! 🙂

My nephew started talking very soon and one of the funniest things he would do if his sisters picked on him was say, “I tell Daddy!” It was so cute!  He also would sing gibberish while riding in the car and sometimes he would end up singing himself to sleep! But the most adorable thing I will always remember is on my 23rd birthday when Hurricane Rita came through and I was stuck at home with no electricity. The roads were all crowded with people that had evacuated from Houston and other parts and had run out of gas. It was turning out to be the worst birthday ever. But then….my sister called to wish me Happy Birthday and put my nephew on the phone. As soon as he uttered the words, “Happy Bird day”, it cheered me up more than any present ever could. Just two little words and even a dark house couldn’t hold back the light of joy I felt.

She has been my best friend practically from birth, even though I was 2 months shy of my 5th birthday when she was born. There’s no irony lost on me that the number 5 would later become my favorite number.

She was the second of my nieces to be born into this world and from the moment she entered it, she put a smile on my face. As practically a baby myself and the aunt of now 2, I was overjoyed at having another baby in the family. My first word was “baby” and I was obsessed with them so no surprise that I was more than a little excited to hold each one of my nieces when they were little ones.

I’m not sure exactly when the bond started to grow so much between me and my second niece but it was probably during the first time they were staying with us at our house in Austin. As the youngest of my mom’s kids, I felt like I had little sisters in the house and was excited to play board games, barbie dolls and put on little talent shows with my nieces. It was definitely NOT an aunt/niece relationship at that time…it was like we were siblings and there was not a little “sibling” rivalry that ensues during those kid and pre-teen years.

Somewhere along the line, I clicked with my second niece more so than the others….I still loved all of them dearly, but me and the 2nd niece(Beckah) started calling each other Best Friends. But it was more than that, even…She went through this “underdog” period and I felt like I was her protector and it made me very sad whenever she was hurt. Sad in a way stronger than a best friend bond, I guess as I grew, I realized it was a “motherly” feeling that must have come from being her aunt. As I grew up, I grew also more into the Aunt role and instead of just playing games with my nieces, I had this strong urge to protect them against anyone who would hurt them and worry about them whenever they did something I didn’t think they should have. This is probably why as I hit my teens, I tended to argue some with my nieces about not doing what their mom or my mom told them to do. I just wanted the best for them but I wasn’t even at an age where I had finished growing up myself!

No matter how many arguments I would have with my nieces through the years, me and Beckah always got over them pretty quick and were back to being close. There were many occasions where people told me that “Beckah was my favorite” and I denied it, even when I secretly knew there probably WAS favoritism there. I didn’t mean for it to be, it was just that something about her reminded me of myself and yet, different….and I also felt like even if she wasn’t family, we would have become friends had we met. Really good friends…like the lifetime kind.

My oldest sister actually compared Beckah to me sometimes when she would do something she didn’t approve of and tell her to stop “acting like Sharon”. I would be lying if this didn’t hurt me…not because I didn’t want to be compared to Beckah BUT because I always felt like I was a pretty good kid and a good person and it hurt that my sister didn’t seem to think so. I also have my oldest sister to thank for doing this now because saying THAT was probably another reason why I felt more protective of her and stood up for her more.

Beckah now lives back in Indiana and I don’t get to see her much but I know she’s there for me if I really need her to talk to and I think she knows that I’m always there for her, as well. From the moment I asked her to be the Maid of Honor at my wedding…I knew the cat was out of the bag. I could no longer deny that she was more than just one of my nieces. The whole family knows for sure now that she is also my best friend. At first, I was worried that my other nieces would feel less special because of this but I hope they always know there is no reason to. All of my nieces are like an extension of myself even IF I didn’t give birth to them. They each have different personalities and different things to offer and I love them all equally and would jump in front of a bullet for them if I had to.

The only difference is that Beckah is my best friend that God chose to make a part of my family, too. Like a 2 for 1 special. She would be my best friend anyways but now I have the extra bonus of her being family to keep us forever bonded. That’s the best gift ever to have your best friend as a member of your family. AND I’m also lucky that the rest of my nieces are closer to me because of our ages. I couldn’t have asked for things to work out better even if at times, when I was younger, it might not have always seemed so.

Today is Beckah’s 23rd Birthday and I can’t be there because we are almost a full day’s worth of driving apart from each other. It breaks my heart that I can’t celebrate her birthday with her but I want to wish her the best birthday possible and give her this tribute as a special gift. Keep this post saved whenever you want to remember how much I love you and miss you, Beckah! 🙂

~A big virtual hug to you!~

Beckah & me at her high school graduation about 5 years ago

Beckah & me at my wedding-July 2009

et cetera
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