Now that I have written about my oldest (age-wise) late friend Bob Jordan, I figure it’s time to write about my friend I have known the longest! I am one of those people who has a couple very close friends, as opposed to people like my fiance who has hundreds (its seems) of good-ish type friends. I just can’t keep up with so many people. I don’t really consider someone a friend if I go several months without any contact. I have just recently learned that not everybody operates in the same way. More power to those that can maintain so many relationships no matter the distance or how little contact is made.
Of course I would have to say my oldest friends are all of my cousins. We are friends because we were born into the same family, but remain friends by choice. My friend though that was purely by choice, with no blood relation, who I have kept up with the longest is a little lady named Alyssa.
Alyssa and I met in 6th grade at the private school we attended. She came into class on the first day wearing giant glasses, a plaid skirt dropping below her knees, braces (maybe? Did you have braces or did I imagine those to add effect?), and sipping a Mountain Dew. Those were not our most glamorous days. I don’t remember how we first decided to hang out or what prompted our first sleepover, but I do know that after that first day, we were inseparable. The normal rules that parents had for their children during the school week never applied to Lyssa and I. We would sleepover at each others houses anytime we wanted to. Tuesday night and we both had tests the next day? Sure, no problem! Any given week we would spend 3 or 4 nights together, and of course ALL weekend on top of that. I think both of our mom’s were just so thankful that we had found each other. Both of us had struggled with friends and our mothers felt God brought us together for a reason.
Alyssa and I went through a lot. I can remember being a complete asshole to her at times, probably because she was (and still is) drop dead gorgeous and everywhere we went men almost broke their necks to get a look at her. For a pre-teen, that is extremely intimidating to be best friends with! We dealt with other crappy friends from our respective high schools who brought us closer and boyfriends who tore us apart. We got into a little bit of trouble together, but mostly just layed around and watched spongebob squarepants and ate fudge & ice cream till we got sick. We also became pros at napping. We would sometimes drive to each others houses just so we could sleep for 5 hours straight. That DID lead to my dad questioning our heterosexuality at one point, but that is another story in itself 😉
I will never ever forget the summers we spent at my grandmother’s beach house or the hours spent practicing softball at her grandmother’s house in Maryland. I taught her how to throw a mean curve ball and she taught me how to be more independent and not care so much what others thought about me, whether she knows it or not. She was the one I called (almost crying) after my first kiss. They were not happy tears, it was disgusting. I was one of the first ones she called when she was 18 and found out she was pregnant. Hers was the head that I crashed into while tubing and knocked my jaw out of socket. I was the one who brought her homework when she would be out of school for days at a time due to chronic migraines. We took drivers ed together and had our first drinking experience together. Two totally separate events, moms, don’t worry. Together we weathered nasty rumors at school and broken hearts. She was the one friend I could REALLY be myself in front of.
Upon graduating from middle school and getting ready to go to separate high schools, our 8th grade teacher told us that we would probably not be friends anymore in a few years. “Just you wait and see” she said. She felt confident that we would grow apart, as most childhood friends do. Well, looks like she was wrong. Next October I am thrilled and honored to have Alyssa as a bridesmaid in my wedding. We don’t get to talk or see each other as much as I would like to, but that doesn’t change a thing about the love and respect I have for her. Every time we talk, I feel like no time has passed and we pick up right where we left off. Lyssa is not just an old friend, she is a sister to me and has a special place in my heart. She always will.