Thirteen years ago, 7 young women found one another. They found common ground – laughter, love, and loyalty. They had no idea that 12 years later they would still be friends. That they’d talk every single day regardless of the hundreds of kilometers now between them. Sharing marriages and motherhood. Supporting one another through all of life’s challenges.
These 6 women are so engraved in my life. Their pain is my pain, their joy my joy. They came into my life at a time when I didn’t realize just how badly I needed them. In the halls of R2, in a building where decades of students before us had occupied our 10’x4′ rooms. It was an $8,000 gamble that my parents invested in me – the opportunity to have the full “university experience.” Though I’m sure they anticipated I’d make friends and have fun, they had no idea that within days a new family was starting anew.
Thirteen years creates a lot of memories. They play in my mind like a song you haven’t heard in years but when it starts to play you know every word by heart. The lyrics tell the stories of love, heartache, tragedy, and miracles. And the rhythm keeps me moving in the darkest of times. Sidebar, almost all of my blog post titles are lyrics. Good Mother by Jann Arden, Scars to your Beautiful by Alessia Cara, Run the World by Beyonce and the list goes on. Each of these women in my tribe has their own song. The one that takes me back to a particular memory, a moment in time. Music is funny like that. The emotions it can evoke is so powerful and cathartic.
Hands Down, Dashboard Confessional – April
As I unpacked and settled into my tiny dorm room, I was anxious and excited. Noticing a few other doors opened, I wandered down to the end of the hall. There she was, sprawled on her bed, drinking Coke and watching tv. April is someone who makes me laugh harder than I thought imaginable. The kind of laugh that has you doubled over in pain because it’s so funny it actually hurts. The shenanigans her and I got up to in the early hours of the morning still make me smile (and also slightly horrified). She was the first to own her own car, to buy a home, to get married and to have her beautiful son. We seemed to do things together – weddings a month apart, spontaneous pregnancy announcements on the same night, and two boys born 13 days apart. The first for our group. She was the one I would text in the middle of the night while up feeding O; the one texting me asking about how to relieve a baby’s constipation (side note, it’s not glamorous); the one to share in the whirlwind that is being a first-time mom. April and I have a bond from that first year that I hold very dear to my heart. Watching our boys enter kindergarten this year, learning to read and write their own names, makes those sleepless nights feel like aeons ago. Oh, and she’s a total badass who delivered her baby on her bathroom floor.
Call on me, Eric Prydz – Stephanie
Ikea brought me to Steph. Tack och lov för det (thank goodness for that). When I heard three women cackling outside of my door in hysterics over the world’s smallest tv cabinet and their inability to assemble it, I obviously had to step in. There they were, three generations. My heart was immediately drawn to them, a mirror image of my own mother and grandmother. Our relationship was so effortless from the start and whether we were cuddled up together watching tv or dancing the night away at a downtown club we soon became one another’s partner in crime. Steph and I can speak to one another without saying a word. A simple look and we can most likely interpret exactly what the other is thinking. She was the second person to know I was pregnant with O (before my husband!) She even answered her phone in the shower that morning as if she knew it was an important call. And two days after she shared with me that she was expecting sweet baby M, I got to share with her that my little H was on his way. Two best friends due within days of one another. It was the sh*t dreams were made of.
Please don’t stop the music, Rihanna – Laurie
I can’t listen to Rihanna without thinking of my darling Bajan. If you’re lucky like me there’s that person in your life who is just innately good. That’s Laurie. I don’t think she has a bad bone in her body. The friend who will make you a hot cup of tea and listen to you rant or cry, and without saying a word, make you feel loved and supported. One of the biggest supporters of J and I, I knew that she always had (and always will have) my back. Watching her become a mother this year has meant more to me than I think she’ll ever know. That baby girl has no idea how lucky she was to be born into such a loving home with two of the most incredible parents. Oh, and she hates cats. And in a group of cat lovers, it’s very refreshing to have an ally.
Save a horse [Ride a cowboy], Big & Rich – Krista
I knew Kree and I would be friends within minutes of meeting her. A fellow Italian, no one quite gets me the way Kree does. I remember hearing her laugh that first day (her signature laugh) and just thinking how much fun she must be. She’s loud and opinionated (like any real Italian). She’s adventurous, she’s brave and she gives one hell of a massage (every group of friends should have its own RMT). Krista has no idea the profound impact she has on everyone around her. Many of the adventures we’ve collectively had have been planned by her.
Helena, My Chemical Romance – Sarah
Sarah is incredibly honest and candid – one of her best qualities hands down. She’s funny, sarcastic and insanely loyal to anyone she loves. Our friendship was probably one of the slower starts in the group, but in the basement of a dilapidated student house infested with mould, it finally bloomed. Sarah is the organizing queen (this comes in very handy when throwing a kegger). I think she was the only one of us meal planning at 18 years old. (We should have taken notes Mase!) She is insanely creative and can DIY just about anything. Sarah is the kind of friend you can spend hours doing absolutely nothing at all with and feel totally comfortable and content.
LoveStoned/I Think She Knows, Justin Timberlake – Megan
I saved Megan for last on purpose (though she was technically the second person I met on my first day) Hands down the reason we have this family we’ve created is because of her. The Den Mother of the group, she took care of us all. Made sure we had eaten, done our homework, encouraged us and loved us, unconditionally. The way that any good mother does. You know what it’s like. She was the one who insisted that we have a family portrait done at the mall (queue hilarious photo below, RIP Zellers) and that we have regular family dinners where I usually ended up making an insane sized pot of pasta (especially once our significant others started joining). In our third year of university, when she faced a tragic loss, it was all of our turns to take care of her. Megan is one of the strongest people that I know and she is undoubtedly the glue that continues to hold us together after all these years. #DoingitforDianne
Tragedy & heartache are no stranger to this group of women, it’s touched us all in different ways. Things we could never have imagined we’d face, we’re facing. But we’re doing it together. 7 pairs of hands and 7 hearts are behind every big decision we make, there to catch us when we fall and hold us up when we prevail.
Sure our conversations have changed. I mean, who doesn’t love talking about crockpots, potty training and whether or not you need to flour your baking pan in addition to greasing it (unless you’re April and are the perfect baker). And yes we live in different cities, some of us hundreds of kilometres apart. But thanks to our good friend WhatsApp, and a genuine love for one another, someone is always available. Day or night, day after day, year after year, we will be there for one another.
Let’s face it, motherhood is f***ing hard. So if you’re lucky like I am to have a tribe of women supporting you through it, hold on tight to them.
With love my sweet girls,
Title Lyrics – “Don’t Stop the Music” by Rihanna