Day 17: On birthdays and remembering

Today is the birthday of the girl I was best friends with in junior high. She was the biggest fan of the New Kids on the Block and she especially loved Jordan Knight. She swore she’d move to Boston someday where she would marry a New Kid. When I moved to Michigan, she would send me cassette tape letters – bits of her talking on tape interspersed with stuff from California radio, as it was (and probably still is) eons ahead of Michigan radio as far as music. She actually did go to college in Boston. Didn’t marry Jordan or any of the other New Kids.

And it’s not just her birthday I remember. Seems like I have all of these days floating in my head – even people I haven’t seen or talked to in years. And all of these days throughout the year conjure up memories of people and times and sometimes it’s enough to trigger me to reach out and say hello, though often I just smile at the memories and move on with the day.

In three days, it will be the birthday of my very first best friend who lived two doors down from my family when we were in preschool through early elementary school years. I am actually still friends with her, still friends with her family and saw them when I was in California last summer. She was then and is now a free spirit and very direct. We used to play act “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” even when it wasn’t Halloween. I remember making bead bracelets with our names on them when her younger sister was born. I remember her teaching me inappropriate versions of nursery rhymes long before Andrew Dice Clay was a name I’d ever heard.

Or May 3, the birthday of a college boyfriend who wore too tight pants, was obsessed with Smashing Pumpkins, and quite possibly lived with his parents until he turned 30. (I kid. I have no idea where he ended up. Somehow I don’t think I’m wrong though.)

Or June 23, the birthday of one of my closest friends who always used to know the good music first and introduced me to some of my favorite artists. She and her brother shared a birthday and they were the first siblings I ever met that were actually friends. I always envied that. They taught me how to find constellations.

Every year and on various days these people and their birthdays run through my mind and I wonder if it will always be that way, if I will be eighty years old in a rocking chair remembering the birthday of the first boy to tell me he loved me or my high school cheerleading coach’s. There are so many I have forgotten, I wonder why these stay.

Do you know how much smarter I would be if I could have that space in my brain back?

About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.

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