Thursday, May 26, 2016

Celebrating Friendship and Life and A Giveaway

So I'm doing this fun and exciting project with my friend Christine. Here's what it's all about, what we are all about and how you can win a very cool hat.


Christine and I have been friends for forever. We met in middle school and grew up to have very different lives. But we share a history, a love of life and a hope for the future that started when we played games like MASH.

We used to dance our hearts out at school dances. We spent the night at each other's houses, staying up late talking about the boys we liked and the lives we wanted when we grew up. We played MASH. We watched scary movies. We swam in her neighbor's pool on hot summer nights.  We were good friends living the life in middle school in the late 1980s.

In high school, we got even closer. We shared milestones like getting our driver's licenses and special events like being on the homecoming court. We still danced our hearts out at school dances and talked about boys we liked. We dated best friends for a little while. We spent hours and hours at each other's houses.  We filled out the quizzes in magazines and watched MTV and talked about the lives we wanted when we grew up.

The closer we got to being grown-ups the more we saw that being a grown up wasn't always as magical as it had seemed in 1989. The more time Christine spent at my house, the more she saw the troubling sides of my troubled mother. She knew more than almost any of my friends what was really going on in my home. Her house became a refuge for me. Her mom became a mother figure to me too. When my mother didn't come home one night, I called her mom. When one of my mom's boyfriends got too touchy feely with me, I called her mom. 

The more messy my life got, the less Christine and I hung out though. We had silly fights like girls do in high school. We were teenagers being teenager-y. Then we graduated and went to different colleges and moved away and sort of stayed in touch and sort of lost touch and ultimately didn't really know what happened to each other (this is how it was pre-Facebook, remember pre-Facebook?).

Fast forward 13 years, we literally ran into each other on the stairs of a gym. We talked. We realized we lived within a half-mile of each other (we live 3 hours away from where we grew up). We had lunch and caught each other up on our lives. Then we had lunch with her mother when she visited and we all caught up some more. 

We saw each other at the gym. We trained for a marathon at the same time and cheered each other on and supported each other. We had more lunches. Then Facebook happened and we found all the friends from all the years. We started having dinner with another good buddy from middle school that we discovered lived near us too (thank you Facebook). We danced our hearts out at our 20th high school reunion. 

Here we are on the dance floor at our 20th reunion
having so much fun and I think kind of owning the floor. 

In some ways, it was like nothing had changed. 

Something that hadn't changed however was my complicated, troubled mother. During one particularly rough period, I was talking to Christine and she said "You need my mom." And I did. Her mother met  me at a Cracker Barrel in Kalamazoo (our hometown and where my mom lived then). Her mom gave me advice and helped me and hugged me. Just like she had done in high school. 

Then Christine told me her mom had cancer. She was worried and heartbroken. So was I.

Christine dove into research and ways to help her mother. She devoted her life to it. Her mother is doing better, so much better than doctors thought she would be. 


Being a grown up is messy and complicated and can break your heart. Friendships that last a lifetime can offer support and perspective and strength. Remembering the hope and excitement Christine and I felt for each other and the future as we filled out the quizzes and dreamt about what it would all look like makes us smile now. Friendships that last a lifetime are like going back in time a little bit. They feel like home. 

Christine and I have very different lives and are very different people in so many ways, but we have a history and we have lunch and we have laughs. And we are doing fun projects together to support each other. Christine created an apparel line, inspired by her mother, called BawareL.  

"I created the "B" with the modified cancer ribbon to symbolize my personal journey with my mom's battle with cancer and my positive result for the BRCA1 gene," she said. "The modified cancer ribbon signifies my desire and hope to see a shift and integration of more natural, alternative methods into the world of conventional prevention and treatment of cancer and other diseases."

She hopes to raise awareness and inspire people. I'm helping her spread her message. And hopefully inspire a few people with my own positive outlook on life. I'm so proud to be a part of her mission and help people live a more positive, healthier life. And to celebrate friendship and people that stick with you and moms that look out for their kid's friends and love and ahhhhh! 

Here's the link to her site- click here. 
If you live in the metro Detroit area, her merchandise is in two Rochester area Hallmark stores. Sharon's Hallmark at The Village and on S. Livernois. Go check her out!

And here are a few of our videos:

(Click here to watch the video.)

(Click here to watch the video.)

Here's how you can win a hat from BawareL.  a Rafflecopter giveaway

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