Hubby went with me today, but his brother met us in Fort Worth and they were headed north to Oklahoma. So I had the drive home by myself. Not a terrible thing. I like to drive. I like to drive with loud music even better. So I cranked up the tunes (I'm a very good DJ by the way) and headed west.
About halfway home, I had a moment...as in, a MOMENT.
You see, a song came on.... a song that always immediately reminds me of Allyson Hendrickson.
Whenever I hear this song, I am instantly transported back twelve years to when Allyson and I took our boys (both our only children at the time) to Houston to see her parents. It was my first trip to Houston and our first overnight rodeo as friends. In addition to a matching dislike of godforsakenwesttexas, we also shared a love of country music. So while our boys were happily ensconced in their car seats watching The Wiggles on a 9" TV/VCR combo wedged between our front seats (ah yes, this was before the age of portable DVD players), Allyson and I cranked up OUR tunes and went on our way.
When Kenny Chesney started singing "The Good Stuff", Allyson turned it up even louder and sang along. (She could really sing!) It was her favorite song at the time, and to me it will always be the theme song from that trip.
We had so much fun.
I met her family and loved them instantly. I ate Buck's catfish for the first time and actually loved it (I am not a fish person), and I ate ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery for the first time and discovered it makes me violently ill. We went to Galveston and played on the beach with our toddlers, we teased her sister about her not "liking" her best friend (they are now married... ha!), we stayed up too late and we laughed a lot.
I'm sad that she's not here to share these memories with me. It's been almost two years since stupid cancer took her.... it's been over two years since the last time I saw her. The last time I hugged her. The last time she made me laugh.
All of that hit me on the ride home because of that song. It's a great song. Those are great memories. Hearing Kenny sing in my car today brought tears to my eyes. I miss my friend.
Allyson, you were one in a million.
The Good Stuff indeed.