When I first met my friend, Tia was when I started working at my last job for Mama Lucia's. This was the crew one night when we had a going away party for another co worker there.
Tia and I hit it off from from the jump... what's not to love about her? Our political views are polar opposites and that's just fine with us both.
(note to hundreds of millions, that's the way it should be)
We became good friends and visited in each other's home numerous times. She even gave us our black Boxer (former Little Houdini) Ziggy. Oh trust me, I told her every horror story when Ziggy was a puppy juvenile delinquent. She laughed a little too much at every single story but I still love her.
I think the nicest thing she ever did for me (and she's done a lot) is when I was still working with her at Mama Lucia's and Tim and I were flatter that flat broke. She offered to loan us her tax returns.
Trust me, she knew how broke we were and that could be a good possibility we may never even get back to the point of being able to return the loan but made the offer anyway.
That last sentence is the exact definition of a "True Friend" and with Tia, I have one.
Then she got a great new job at the new international terminal at the Atlanta Airport and we didn't see each other quite as often.
Then a little over a year later she called me up one night on her ride home from work. Tim and I were still below flatter than flat and sinking faster.
That one phone call totally changed the course of my entire family's life. I owe this woman for saving me from a possible plunge off the ledge. I owe her for helping save my marriage.
I'll be honest, I was in a bad spot (worse than the financial spot) and the strain it was taking on my marriage was brutal and way too close to demise.
I can say I'm happier with Tim today than I have been in almost a decade and feel secure in the fact we will grow old together if God Graciously let's us.
Then my daughter, Massey gets a job at our restaurant too and suddenly she and Tia were like peas and carrots. (Forrest Gump)
After a fun two and a half year run working with her again, tonight was her last shift. She's doing much like we are and packing up the family and moving somewhere totally different to start a new life together.
I did okay when we all met for lunch before work. Massey couldn't be there, had to work early but Tia, Sister Bitch (another blog altogether but coming very soon to a monitor near you) and I sat for over one hour laughing, talking , reminiscing and talking about "what if's".
Tonight after work... it was the real deal.
All four of us walked out together clucking like hens, cussing like drunk sailors and calling each other names after eleven o'clock, the last servers to leave.
And now, we will never do that again.
(I teared up at that last sentence)
Massey did okay until we all got off the shuttle bus back at the parking lot. Sister Bitch had her cry with Tia in the back hallway at work near the end of our shift. I teared up when we all walked out of security together but reigned it in.
We had all parked pretty close together. Massey and I got off with Tia but Sister Bitch rode the extra hundred feet to her car staying on the shuttle.
I think I'm glad she did...and she probably is too.
We hugged and said we loved each other. There's not a lot you can say which means more.
I did hug her a second time, held her for a second too long and teared up, no stopping it now.
I told her "Thank You" for getting me my wonderful, insane and crazy job.
She simply smiled, shrugged her shoulders like she always does, hugged me back and said "Thanks for finally taking the chance!".
Massey got in our car and pretty immediately started a snot factory. I couldn't see her because it was dark, I'm half bind and a nervous night time driver but knew she was crying.
I've done a lot of things wrong in my life, way too many to count but can say am pretty good at two things.
Being a waitress and being a momma. Wife fell back a few pegs but rebounding quickly!
Massey has the hugest heart and deepest soul I've ever known for a kid her age. Come to think, she may BE adopted for all I know. They had me knocked out from the emergency C Section so don't ask me for confirmation that's she's even mine.
What I do know... is that she is an extremely good judge of character, picks and chooses friends wisely and loves fiercely.
Guess I did alright.
What's even worse is I have to still do this all again, twice. Once when Massey quits on the day before her badge expires and then again when I turn in my own badge after Labor Day.
I have many friends, good friends who I never see anymore.
I just hate adding to the list.
It's been a Golden two and a half years...that's for sure.
Til next time...COTTON