If there is one certain movie I associate with summer, it is Now And Then, that superbly funny 90’s film starring Demi Moore and Rosie O’Donnel (amongst others). It’s about best friends, an amazing summer they share, and their reunion many years later. I love it because it always reminds me of the day I first saw it – I was a rising 3rd grader, and it was a hot June day that I spent at the pool, before coming home and watching the movie. It was on that day, when I was eight years old, that I dreamed up a summer that I would spend with somebody just as awesome as Demi Moore.
Eight years later, that dream came true. I spent all of July with my best friend, Katherine Elizabeth Caldwell. I can now say, after all the fun and laughter, that Now And Then has nothing on us. It was truly the best summer of my life.
In total, we visited Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Florida, Ocean Isle Beach, Washington DC, Atlanta, Georgia, and our own Charlotte, North Carolina. Each and every city was wonderful in its own way, but my favorite moments were the ones that were spent in the car. We ended up driving everywhere, and although it got a little crazy sometimes (I threw up at the Wawa Market in Virginia), the music, jokes, and laughter in an enclosed car were limitless. Katie also has her drivers permit, and navigated those highways like a pro (with her mom sitting shotgun, of course). It got especially exciting when it began to rain on one particular drive – “Mommy! I can’t see anything!!!”
The best part about having a best friend is that you can die laughing about something, and everybody around you thinks you’re nuts, because they’re not in on the joke. Even a trip to the eye doctors would turn out to be barrels of fun. There would always be one fool who would talk on his phone too loudly, and his conversation would be all Katie and I would needed to roll over in fits of laughter.
I don’t believe I realized just how much I missed my friend until I had to leave her again. We were staying strong throughout the day, even though I broke down in tears during Everything by Michael Bluble, also one of the epic songs on our summer playlist. But the moment that broke my heart the most was when I had to go through a security check point, and Katie and her mom could go no further. I gave them each a big hug and kiss, and then watched as they walked away. They put their hands on each other’s shoulders, leaning on each other for love and support, and walked away, getting smaller and smaller in the distance. It was in this moment that my heart broke in half, and tears stung my eyes. It upset me that I couldn’t be there for them; that my two closest friends had to lean on each toher while I flew off to Russia. But then I told myself to buckle up. “Onward and upward,” I thought. Life is life; there was no reason for me to cry, for I am so fortunate to have such amazing friends, and to have spent such a wonderful summer with them. Dr. Seuss once said, “Don’t cry that it’s over, smile because it happened.” I’m taking his advice, and am counting my blessings. How fortunate I am to know that somewhere, thousands of miles away and an ocean away, I have a best friend named Katie.
I hope you have a fabulous day.