Friends in Mexico

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Happy Birthday Mom!!  My mom celebrated her 60th birthday by taking a trip to Mexico.  My mom didn't really do anything big for her 40th or 50th.  A super-sized celebration was overdue.  So, she rounded up some of her closest friends, and we cruised to Mexico!  I feel that is necessary to talk about the people who went on the trip before actually getting into the details of the trip itself.  This post is more about Friends, and less about Mexico.  There will be a post on Mexico itself later!

60, Fearless, and Fabulous!

If there was background music to this post, it would be: "Friends! How many of have them? Friends, ones you can depend on!"  You know, the song by Whodini.  My mom is the kind of person that has lots of friends because she is a super friendly, super generous person.  But, there are good friends, and there are good friends that go on your 60th birthday trip.  This post is about the latter.  I, too, am blessed with many beautiful friends and friendships, and I'm sure in 31 years, we'll have a similar experience celebrating our 60th birthdays!!

I'll start by taking it back.  Waaaay back.  To the streets of Indianapolis and the halls of Shortridge High...

Jeannie

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My mom met Jeannie in high school.  They were both sophomores at Shortridge High School, and they ended up being in the same small circle.  Although they parted ways for college, they remained lifelong friends.  Despite never living in the same city---or even same state again---they are very close and talk on the phone all the time!  She is even my oldest sister's godmother :)   They have shared triumphs and heartache, and I am so glad that my mom has this kind of friend in her life!

For this trip, Ms. Jeannie started the Sisterhood of the Traveling Birthday Tiara.  My mom is the first to turn 60, so she wore the birthday tiara!  But whoever turns 60 next gets to wear it for their birthday celebration!  Some friends are like family.  That's Jeannie.

Jeannie and her goddaughter sipping coconut water in Mexico

Jack and John

Some friends actually become your family.  That's "Jack."  This inseparable duo not only had the best nickname, but they certainly knew how to scheme and have fun.  And they were good at it.  It was probably easy for them since they were so popular.  Diane Johnson met Diane Jackson when Diane Jackson moved to Indianapolis from Evansville when they were both sophomores in high school.  Since their names were so similar, they picked up the nicknames "Jack and John."  Jack for Diane Jackson, and John for Diane Johnson.

They did everything from knit matching crochet hot pants to organizing the biggest parties that would inevitably get shut down and land them in trouble.  After high school, they both went to Indiana University and become sorority sisters.  They attended the national Delta Sigma Theta convention together last summer, and that's their new thing--go to everything Delta-related ever.  BUT, that's not how they became family.  Not only is "Jack" my godmother, but she married my mom's first cousin!  So she is legitimately at every Indianapolis family reunion, and she is genuinely a part of my mom's family.  She is also one of the most generous, sweetest people!  My mom is very good at picking friends :)

Jack, John, and Jeannie.  {Also pitured: The Traveling Tiara}
My mom and my godmother on the boat after dinner

The Three Amigos

Then, there are friends that actually are your family.  My mom had two brothers--no sisters.  But lucky for her, she had about 100 first cousins.  And two of them were twin girls that were a year older, Linda and Brenda.  (There are a LOT of twins in my family.)  These girls grew up together.  Linda and Brenda came from the family/house where everyone wanted to be all the time.  That's probably because there were so many of them!  There are great pictures of these three girls at A.M.E. church camp together, among other things.  They didn't go to the same high school, but Brenda also was a delta.

Linda's nickname was Showboat.  She was Miss Black Indiana (and competed for the national title along with then-Miss Black Mississppi---who is now known as "Oprah.")  Brenda's nickname was Bookie Mae.  I'm not sure why, but that's what my mom had in her cell phone.  Unfortunately my cousin Brenda died recently after a long battle with breast cancer.  But we were so happy that her twin Linda was able to join us for the very special Mexico birthday celebration!

My mom and Linda blowing in the wind.

Next Generation Family 

Two of my sisters and my cousin also helped my mom celebrate her 60th!  My mom's niece and dear friend, myself, my older sister, and one of my younger sisters.  Shout out to my other sister and cousin that didn't make it since they stayed home with my grandmothers :)

Sipping margaritas in Mexico
Right before we boarded: All Aboard!

Beverly and Shelia

Lastly, there are friends of friends who become friends as well. I know that my mother is so glad that Beverly and Shelia joined us on this trip!

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Next posts: Mexico, and the actual cruise to  Mexico!