For Amy ~ Happy Birthday to my Best Friend

FOR AMY ~ Happy Birthday to my dear friend 

“Ooh, you make me live –
Whatever this world can give to me. It’s you, you’re all I see –
Ooh, you make me live now, honey, Ooh, you make me live.
Oh, you’re the best friend
That I ever had.
I’ve been with you such a long time, you’re my sunshine
And I want you to know that my feelings are true…
I really love you.
Ooh, you’re my best friend.”

~ Lyrics by Queen

You’ve been my best friend
Longer and truer than any other
And, I’ll love you and our everlasting
Memories – always.
WE connected under DeNardo’s desk
Scolded for singing, giggling to
“You’re a Bitch Girl”
Here we came, walking while singing down Stanford Avenue
 Like The Monkees did.
Playing jacks, yet learning “O Sole’ Mio”
And “Sakura”.  We were a melting pot
Then – and still are.
Perms – LOTS of perms, Noxzema and Sergeant Pepper
Led to Mariano’s Margarita mix hidden in your closet
And carrot bits scattered across the side panel of your mom’s car –
Mary Ellen consoling and cleaning my T-bird carpet.
Cayman Islands – vodka
Cruising Forest – vodka
Cruising Caribbean – VODKA
College…growing up and moving on – distant
Yet, we still managed to know we were still there for each other.
Dating, World Gym and beginning budding careers
Weddings and divorces
Adoptions and illness
So many stories we have separately and together.
The years have flown
Lives challenged and changed
Sometimes our times together less frequent
Yet, each reunion feels the same…honest, open, and real –
I feel at home when I’m with you – you ARE home for me.
You love and accept me – the good, bad, and the really ugly!
I know when we’re both 90 years old, we’ll be
Celebrating our birthdays together.  We’ll still feel and act like 5th graders,
Middle school and high school pals – maybe add a few more lines on our faces,
A few more grey hairs…wearing “sensible” shoes, but
I’ll always have you – and you’ll always have me, my dear friend.
“Ooh, you make me live –
Whenever this world is cruel to me,
I got you to help me forgive.
Ooh, you make me live now, honey,
Ooh, you make me live –
Oh, you’re the first one when things turn out bad.
You know I’ll never be lonely, you’re the only one and
I love the things that you do.  I’ve been wandering round,
But I still come back to you – In rain or shine you’ve stood by me girl,
I’m happy at home –
Ohhhh, you’re my best friend.”

~ Queen (second verse)

Author: Mary

ABOUT MARY ~ Mary is a patient advocate for MS, chronic illness & disabilities. She is a freelance writer from Texas who enjoys exploring a variety of different styles & genres, however her deep passion for creative writing (poetry, essay, narrative interview & non-fiction) remains unwavering & purposeful. Mary's personal & professional background is an eclectic compilation consisting of the fine arts, civil rights advocacy, fundraising with 15 years in sales/marketing & event planning in the private club industry. Mary is a 1990 graduate from The University of North Texas with a B.S. in Hotel/Restaurant Management. In 2001, Mary was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Within a few years, health issues forced her to resign from the career she loved. As her marriage began to crumble, Mary was keenly aware of the emotional & mental crisis firmly taking hold. Eventually, she sought the help of a professional therapist which helped her learn the important coping skills needed to tame/calm mood disorders & to encourage healthy ways in which to purge the noisy chaos inside the brain. This loss of reality, normalcy, & PURPOSE needed to be reinvented, renewed & rewritten...NOW! The divorce & all related proceedings lasted an unfathomable six years, yet it was the therapy, communities & her writing which kept her most grounded. Each poem a cathartic purge, each word a therapeutic tool meant for healing & to inspire resilience. Blindsided by this newfound purpose & passion, Mary continues writing & exploring a plethora of multimedia outlets to this day. Her writing, networking & advocacy projects target the MS, chronic illness & disability communities. Her interactive presence can be seen throughout social media. Although MS is the primary community in which she advocates, Mary enjoys playing an active role in other patient communities (bloggers, writers, music, live chats, special events, & many more. One of the key messages Mary continues to emphasize is how chronic illness can affect everyone differently. MS is a prime example in that we are not a "one size fits all." This disease called MS is a conundrum in every which way. To this day, research continues, yet we still don't know the root cause for MS, yet current findings now show "risk factors" for the disease. MS can morph as it sees fit to do so. Unpredictably, silently, sometimes relentlessly this MS becomes an uninvited, unwanted "internal room-mate." Mary's overall background & her desire to discover herself & new creative outlets was a plus. A renewed student for life, Mary continues to explore the unknown - Once you switch off your "auto pilot" it's amazing what you can see & do. Place focus on learning, consume new information & participate in activities uncharted or foreign (The science of Neuroplasticity). All of this is most DEFINITELY a work in progress, but remember to focus most on the important things in life. Laugh out loud & live selflessly with compassion, purpose & unbridled passion. Connect with Mary at: 🔸Twitter: @pettigrew66, @MSpals 🔸Facebook: 🔸LinkedIn: 🔸Instagram: 🔸 Acknowledgments and Press ~ UPDATES TO COME * Creator & Co-founder of MSpals: A Global Organization (2014 - present) * Administrator & contributing author of content, posts, & interviews: MSpals blog: https:/ ~ The Summer of Sport: Forward Poetry 2012 ~ Poetry Rivals Collection 2013 ~ Something On Our Minds Vol.III ~ Something On Our Minds Vol IV. Interviews: National Multiple Sclerosis Society's "Momentum Magazine" ~ 2013 = Art Therapy & MS ~ 2015 = Connecting Via Social Media Other works also featured on a variety of blogs, websites, videos, as well as other multimedia platforms including: www.MS&MeRadio/TBI Network iConquerMS/The Accelerated Cure Project WEGO Health - Patient Leader HealtheVoices - Patient Leader MS Focus - Monthly contributor

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