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 ~ I am a "late-blooming" writer from Texas who specializes in creative writing/poetry. I have a background in music, the performing arts, and enjoyed 14 years in sales/marketing & as a special events planner in the private club industry. I am a 1990 graduate from The University of North Texas who started off as a music major (voice), but I wasn't "feeling" it was the right fit. So, I took a break, changed directions & graduated with a B.S. in Hotel/Restaurant Management. I was an athletic, healthy young woman who also displayed an unfortunate pattern in the men I chose in life (life lessons indeed!). After a brief marriage in the early 1990's, I decided to focus on my career, yet 5 years later I met hubby #2. So, with more maturity & high hopes for success, I married again & became a full time stepmother of two. Along with several rewarding events & fond memories came more challenges, yet I maintained a fun, successful career in the food and beverage industry until 2001. I knew it changed when I received the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Looking back, I must have been in denial or a state of confused shock as to how dramatically my life would actually change. I attempted to work a few more years after diagnosis, but I was becoming more unpredictable, forgetful, & lost - my job performance was never quite right anymore. You see, this disease affects everyone different. I went through relapses & other issues, but my mobility was intact - then. Unless you REALLY know me, I was then & continue to be labeled an "invisible symptom" case. My MS enjoys messing with my brain, & many other body functions. Anxiety, mood changes, nerve pain, heat & fatigue are debilitating - quite an uphill battle especially when stress is involved. A few more "in denial" years went by & I dealt with this vile invasion of my "internal room-mate". My husband couldn't understand, nor could he handle my ever increasing health issues - he hated every part of it (I don't really blame him for that). But, he avoided being around me when I was suffering - he {didn't sign on for this & I sure didn't look sick}. He was embarrassed as to how my MS affected his lifestyle. So, divorce and other challenges came into play in 2009. Those were painful, rough days. I know now I was suffering from a nervous breakdown. Not yet had I thought to seek the help of a professional therapist to help me cope or to help purge the noisy voices & chaos inside my head, so I began to purge through writing. WRITING saved me! I attempted to compose little songs & dove into playing piano again - I even taught myself a little acoustic guitar & it felt good...soothing. I had found a form of therapy which enabled me to breathe again; a healing tool that didn't require a prescription. This journey to reinvent myself actually seemed plausible via my artsy background & new creative outlets. I've become a student again & the benefits of turning off our "auto pilot switch" & instead focusing on learning new, foreign things & activities is priceless. This "rewiring" of the brain is called Neuroplasticity. Writing (primarily poetry) & music has filled me with a POWERFUL passion, purpose, & endless possibility. This may sound odd, but I'm grateful for the tough times! There's this gift called "resilience" - my MS & other life struggles have gifted this to me. A gift which forced me to find "me" & to focus on the important things in laugh, live selflessly with compassion & passion. Find me on: 🔸Twitter: @pettigrew66, @MSpals, @MSpalsPoets 🔸Facebook: MaryPettigrew48 🔸LinkedIn: 🔸Instagram: 🔸 Acknowledgments and Press ~ • Two of my early poems were published in the U.K. in book compilations of poetry: ~The Summer of Sport: Forward Poetry 2012 ~ Poetry Rivals Collection 2013 • Featured in 2 articles in The National Multiple Sclerosis Society's 'Momentum Magazine' ~ 2013 = art therapy & MS ~ 2015 = connecting via social media • My work has been featured/published in various book compilations, blogs, websites, as well as other multimedia platforms including: www.MS&MeRadio/TBI Network Something On Our Minds (SOOM): funds The Accelerated Cure Project "Twitter Q&A" - A Writers Experience (details forthcoming) • Creator & Co-founder of MSpals: a global organization (2014)

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