This weekend I got to spend time with two very old friends, Josh and Jen. We met in 7th grade, and for a year and a half, we were inseparable. Then life happened – Jen moved out of the area. I moved to a different school. By the beginning of ninth grade, our little band of merrymakers had scattered and we fell out of touch.
But despite not knowing where anyone was or what anyone was doing, we had one thing that continued to hold us together. Elvis.
You see, Josh was an Elvis fanatic. (He was also a Star Trek fanatic, but thankfully that fact doesn’t enter into this story.)
I have no recollection of how the idea came about, but it was a doozie. Along with another friend, Carol, we created “Elvis Masters and the Josharettes.” During a couple of school concerts, we did performances where Josh performed as Elvis and the three of us backed him up – full poodle skirts at the ready!
There’s a video somewhere that I pull out occasionally when I want to embarrass myself – we Josharettes were so horribly off key it’s not even funny. Our dance moves left something to be desired.
But you know what we had? We had passion. We had drive. We had commitment. We had each other.
We reconnected several years ago thanks to the wonders of Facebook, and now we manage to get together every couple of years. Jen and I go to see Josh in the big “Christmas Spectacular” his church puts on… and he’s still performing as Elvis.
I can’t adequately put into words how I feel when I’m with these two dear friends. Of course there’s lots of laughter and teasing about who was in love with whom. But it’s more than that – I feel like Josh and Jen see a side of me that I wasn’t even aware that I’d put away. When I’m with them, she comes back out and I like being with her.
Junior high school was not an easy time. I am eternally grateful that I found my way into the arms of people who loved me just as I was – unruly hair, big glasses, and all. And they still do.
While Jen and I were driving home that night, we were talking about boys and about our first experiences of true, deep love. She said something that struck me profoundly: “When I was with *** I realized how strongly I was capable of being loved.”
I have spoken in the past realizing how strongly I was capable of loving in the relationship I had last year. But Jen is right – it also showed me how deeply I am capable of being loved. I opened myself last year to a new depth of being loved. It’s an experience that I’m so grateful for, and having had it once, I would never settle for less ever again.
Here’s to Jen and Josh. Thank you for everything. I love you more than I can say. Now when are we going to do that pajama party?!?!?!
Today’s miracle: Josh and Jen.