Happy Birthday Bonnie!!

100_0913_0047Happy Birthday Bonnie! In 2015, I have decided to merge my photography blog with my personal blog. This entry will have nothing and every thing to do with photography. 37 years ago today, one of my very best friends made her entry into this world. If she were alive today, I would have already called her, because she would have called ME the other 30 days of this month to remind me that today was her birthday. She LOVED birthdays. I am melancholy on this day sometimes, which would really make her mad (I would have used different verbiage on my personal blog.) But this morning, I woke up, and I looked at a picture album I have of us together. And I smiled. The pictures are quite awful. No, really, they are. Bonnie LOATHED having her picture taken, so there aren’t many of them out there. Which has a lot to do with my neurotic need to document EVERY THING now. I have orange hair in some of these pictures. Not the cool, trendy, kind. The kind where you go to a new stylist that doesn’t know what she is doing. I had forgotten that I actually had that little mistake saved. Because at the time I was so embarrassed I wanted to hide out until I had it fixed. I had forgotten that we had sangria at my house, so that no one saw me, I had forgotten that someone pulled out a camera. I had forgotten that I had just enough to drink to have my picture made, in my panties no less, with Bonnie. In that picture I heard her laugh. I heard her say “You better call before you drop by that @it$#‘s house if you want her to have clothes on.” I remembered a very young me that was so confident and secure that I never picked myself apart. I remembered who I was, and who she was, and who we were together. This was “back in the day” when you didn’t have to worry about things like that ending up on the internet. Back when “friends” were people that came over to your house and danced all night…so that no one else saw your orange hair. People who picked you up, when you fell…or thought your house was a Victoria’s Secret fashion show. I have not forgotten her. Not for more than an hour of any day since she left us. She is with me all the time. Right now, she just gave me an over exaggerated eye roll and made a snarky remark about using HER birthday to make a public service announcement about how pictures are important. She was queen of the snarky remarks. Sometimes, I imagine what she would say. Sometimes, I think I might be insane. Sometimes, I just don’t care..because my imagination and my dreams are the only ways to hear her now. Insanity is under-rated. I have never forgotten HER, but as it turns out, I have forgotten ME. Losing her made me insecure. Such a dirty word. The me in those pictures would have scoffed at it. the me in those pictures, she thought she could stop a locomotive with a wink. In my other blog, I have talked about what all I gained from knowing Bonnie, and from ultimately losing her. An appreciation for LIFE. A love for tiny moments. A patience that I never had before. A new set of priorities, that focuses on people not things. What I lost was confidence. Security. I couldn’t stop that bloody locomotive. All I can say is that I stood my ground until the end. There were those who are weaker, who said things like, “this is taking too much of a toll on you, don’t call, don’t go see her…just let her go.” I did none of those things. I stood in the middle of the tracks and I looked right at that train..and the impact tore me into pieces. She would have done the same for me. I was so completely broken, that for a long time, I did not think I would get up off my knees. But I did. I am blessed. Because I have people like my other bestie, Christy, in my life, that are just as strong willed and stubborn as me, and she busted in my house and DEMANDED I get up. I put myself back together. No one can do that for you. You have to do it for yourself. And I did. In ways, I don’t know the girl in those pictures anymore. I am sorry about that. I have somehow convinced myself that losing Bonnie HAD TO change me to have meaning. So it did. In these wonderful, amazing ways that have made me a better human being, and a better mother. But this morning, when I looked at those pictures, I missed the girl who didn’t play it safe. The one that was too blonde from too much sun or too orange from being too whimsical. The girl who was so secure with her body that all of her friends had seen her naked. The girl that was secure. Period. Because she could stop that locomotive. I miss her fire and her fearlessness. I try to be her now. I say it out loud. I am bloody annoying because I always have to define myself, “I am…” I guess I think that if I say it out loud, the girl in these pictures that is still in me will emerge. That I will quit having panic attacks. That I will stop wondering if I will live to see next year..or will Jax. I think these things. I look at my child and I wonder if he will see 5, or 10, or if he, like Bonnie, will never make it past 30. The WEIGHT of that is suffocating. I know, because sometimes, the air leaves my lungs. I literally stop breathing. This is not the post I planned to write. Which is ok, because market research says that none of you made it past the first 400 words. As it turns out, Bonnie gave ME a present today. In a flimsy picture album, with images of red eyed girls, I found something I had lost. And once again, knowing her, has made me a better person. I love you Bon. I will carry you in my heart the day I die. You will be with me when I take my last breathe..and I hope I live my life in a way that I will see you when I get to the other side. I want a REALLY big first angel birthday party. I want cupcakes and glitter, but more than that, I want to hear you laugh. Yay..yay. I hear you..It’s YOUR day. So I will shut up about me. I hope you are dancing in Heaven my friend…and I hope Marilyn Monroe sang a breathy happy birthday to you. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Always, Angie100_0924_0043

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