Today is a special day. A day that I celebrate in my own little way every year. Today is Jana Karr Conway’s birthday.
Jana was one of my best, best girl friends growing up in Wappingers Falls, NY.
I met her at Wappingers Falls Junior High School when we were on the cheerleading squad together, and only became closer as every year ticked by.
We remained close all the way up to the days we both got married. Well, to the day of my first wedding. Haha 🙂 That’s when life got away from us and we started down different roads. But, we still text each other when we see a cheerleading competition on ESPN, when one of our bazillion children does something totally horrific but somehow makes us love them even more, and when we have a briefer than brief desire to party like we did in high school…but, quickly realize that we would, literally, have a heart attack if we ever tried to live up to that lifestyle at this point in our lives.
And, man alive, were we naughty. I wouldn’t dare going into the details of it on this blog as my parents read this blog religiously and I’m not sure they’ll ever be ready for honesty about my teenage years.
But, if you ever want to experiment straightening your hair with an actual clothing iron, we can tell you how to do that. If you want to figure out how to pair wrestling sneakers with skin tight jeans, we’re your girls. And, if you want to write a book on the most unconvincing excuses for getting yourself out of high school partying naughtiness, we could ghost write that book for you.
Having said all of that, when I think of this, now, woman, what I think of is not what she was when we were spending our high school years together or sharing a dorm room together at Stonehill College.
I think of the woman she has grown into.
I think of how she has somehow defied the laws of gravity and become even more beautiful than she was when we were 16 years old.
I think of how she has become a role model and source of motivation for the community she has built around her.
And, I think of how she has built a family, a very unconventional and non-traditional family, into something that proves to people that as long as you have love…and, an undying sense of commitment to that love…you can rewrite the books on how the world should “be”.
Jana, we may not physically be in touch as much as we both wish we could be at this point in our lives, but we are who we are today because of each other, and the mistakes we made, and the bond we formed so many years ago that we will forever be sisters because of.
I love you, beautiful woman. I love what you stand for. And, I love that I know we will always be best friends no matter how out of touch we become.
That’s what best friends are for, right?