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A Test of Time
Dedicated to My Best Friend, Andy Kindred
Submitted by Kimberly
Believe or not, this story started almost 23 years ago in a small one traffic-light town, Ross, Ohio. Andy and I had met through a mutual friend, Tony, when we were in the 8th grade. It was the perfect relationship, no pressure, with the security that the other would always be there for you, as a friend. We spent the next two years as most kids do, playing, attending school functions and running track together.
But, like most stories there is a catch. This catch was a major move, to Corpus Christi, Texas at the end of our freshman year. It tore through us like a tornado. How could his parents decide to move so far away? We spent Andy's' last week in Ohio at his Grandmothers in Kentucky. It was a wonderful weekend and one I never forgot, for when we came home, it was time for Andy to leave and even though we had only been "best friends", I could feel my heart breaking.
We went on through the rest of our high school years, writing and phoning each other. We kept each other up on the happenings of our lives, who we were dating, how our sports scenes were doing, and how we still missed each other.
When it came time for graduation I was ecstatic! Andy was coming back! He was driving his motorcycle from Texas to Ohio to see our class graduate, to see me!! It was the most wonderful two weeks of my life. It was like we had never been apart, never missed a beat. And it was during that time that my best friend of 5 years kissed me. How confusing? Should you kiss your best friend? What if it doesn't work out? Do I risk losing my best friend by changing our relationship? My mind whirled.
As time had it, I didn't have to make that decision. Time did. Andy went into the Army and I went to college. Again hundreds miles apart. Still writing and keeping in touch. And when he graduated from basic training, I was there for him. It was a very brief meeting. One in which I had this sickening feeling I would never see my best friend again. Through all his moves and mine we eventually lost touch.
Over next few years I went to nursing school and our country went to war, The Gulf War. I remember spending many days daydreaming, wondering if Andy was OK and praying that he was making it through this time safely, but never really knowing. I became a nurse, married and had three children and divorced. Moved from Cincinnati to Somerset, KY and ended up in Lexington, KY, 20 years later.
Two months after my move to Lexington, I received an email. Someone was contacting me through Classmates.com. That someone was Andy! I could not believe it. I emailed him back, told him where I was and what I was doing and sent my phone number. Just a few short hours later the phone rang. After 15 years of not knowing if he was alive or not, if he was ok, if he was happy, I finally was able to hear his voice again. That comforting voice of my best friend and the tears of happiness flowed! For the both of us.
Since that time, October 1999, we have still remained best friends. There is only one difference. This time, we have followed our hearts and have taken the chance of moving our relationship forward. We have declared our love for each other and have found that best friends can become more. You see, there are no more confusing thoughts floating around in my head. I know I love Andy, and I know he loves me. And as of February 14, 2003 we will be joined as husband and wife, remaining best friends and always being there for the other. So, you see, love does stand the test of time and distance and what other place to celebrate such a wonderful passion, but enveloped in the beauty of paradise, Hawaii, which is where we plan to be for our honeymoon. See you soon!