Happy Birthday, Holly!
Holly has been one of my dearest friends for more years than she wants me to admit. And it’s her birthday. Grab a cocktail and toast her. She loves cocktailing and toasting as much as I do, and she deserves several hoists in the air.
Holly’s family moved to our charming little hamlet of Vinings in the fourth grade, and she became friends with Renae and me during her first week of school.
We had a great friendship back then, as much fun as we have now. We stayed kids as long as the calendar would allow us. Holly used to love playing with Barbies at my house (she just had Kiddles — fun to play with and cute to look at, but never as much fun as Barbie), and I loved spending the night at her house. There was one particular spend-the-night party — maybe for your birthday in the sixth grade? — where we held the Miss Spend-the-night Party Pageant, and Holly performed a dance to “Lady Madonna” that I relive every time I hear it. Talented, that one.
Holly always claims she’s not creative … but she is. When we were in sixth grade, Holly used to write me notes from Dr. Thomas B. Ward, a psychiatrist who’d tell me about his patients and his wild affairs. They were hysterical. I kept them for years, until my not-packrat mom tossed them during my UGA days. Those notes, Holly, prove your creativity.
Holly has been (very, very, disgustingly very) happily married to Randy for a wonderfully long time — and I get partial credit for that match. I helped engineer the first date and was instrumental in getting them back after a college-era breakup. Just think: Without me, they would not know happiness (and thank God I’m modest). Theirs was one of the most romantic weddings I’ve attended — just their families, Renae and me, and Randy’s two best friends. It also freaked me out because one of my crowd was — *gasp* — taking an adult step.
Holly and Randy live in a fabulous house on a large lake north of Atlanta. There’s nothing better than cocktailing on top of their boat house, then taking a ride on the boat at dusk. (I know, kids, I’ve been remiss in getting up there for a visit; I’ll abuse my guest privileges soon. I promise.)
Holly’s been there for many parties and dinners and cocktail hours. She’s also been there for the dark times, especially during devastating breakups. She listens and she laughs, she cries and she consoles. I’d be lost without her.
When OM died, Holly and Randy were the first friends to come by Mama’s house — with lots of food. Renae also sent food, and it kept me going knowing that my two oldest and dearest friends were feeding my family during our darkest days. I’ll never forget that and will always love them for it.
We have a lot of history, a lot of adventures under our belt. We went through elementary school together … high school … University of Georgia … young adulthood … and not-so-young adulthood. I plan to grow old with Holly and Randy and Renae and Greg, on the most fun cul-de-sac around.
I love you, Holly, and cherish our long, beautiful friendship.
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