Well, Well, Well Bestie….
Saving the best for last, I suppose.
A blog post to you, about you could not possibly execute the idea and the meaning behind it appropriately. Though, I’m going to try!
As I reflect on where I could possibly start, it is clear to me, that I no longer remember my life without you. I don’t remember you not being around Newburg church. Although, maybe you were and you weren’t always around, but when I think church, even when I was as young as 10 or 12, I remember you and your family.
We had very little engagement at this time, as you were just enough younger than me that we were not involved in the same activities. I am a little bit embarrassed to say it now, but I believe that you graduated in 2004. Which would make you 6 grades younger than me. We never even made it into youth group or choir at the same time. Just both involved enough in church to see each other around.
Sometime while I was in college you were old enough to start attending the mission trip that I had already been attending for years. My earliest memory of you on this trip, was thinking that you were terrible….LOL. You already know that though. The things that you cared about and the ways that you cared about them, were just so much different from me. I also believed that they were different even from when I was a young teenager. It was very hard for me to understand you.
After I graduated college our worlds started colliding a lot more. I became a youth group leader, a senior high youth group leader. You were an active participant in senior high, so at least once a week we were spending time together. Not as peers though, with me as your leader. Working out to work with you, give you the tools to go out into the world and flourish. I remember having some difficult conversations with you about certain words we should or shouldn’t say.
At this same time, I had a very strong relationship with your best friend and her sister. I had babysat them when they were younger and then their Mom passed away. I certainly was in no way a maternal role in their life, but they did look to me for guidance and support. Their Dad had asked me to stay with them multiple times over the year while he hunted, one of these being for a week. During that week, it seemed like you were in the house the entire time. Always there after school and staying the night over the weekend.
One night, I believe on a Friday you were due to come over and hang out with us for a girls night. We were waiting and waiting and waiting for you….then we got a call. You had, had an accident on the expressway, and your van had rolled over. We got right in my car, drove along 275 until we found you. So happy to see that you were walking around and the accident, appeared to leave you unmarked. As we were walking along the side of the expressway, looking for your personal items that were thrown from the car, we found a United Methodist Hymnal stamped on the inside from our church.
I’m sure that this is merely a giant coincidence, but it is from this moment on that I think God started talking to you loud enough for you to hear it, even though you didn’t always know that is what it was.
I just realized, I am writing a mini novel, but there is so much to say!!! OK prior to the car accident and I’m sure a bit after too, you were just an annoying teenager to me. You were involved in what made you happy, concerned about the things that concern most teenagers.
At some point over the next few years, you became the person in charge of the youth at our church. At that point, I wasn’t going to the church, so I missed how exactly that went on. When I started participating in the church again though, you were a completely different person. So poised, responsible and focused. You had this beautiful talent to reach the kids how they needed to be reached and be a professional with the rest of the church.
I started volunteering with the youth again and you and I became closer. This time, as peers, as two adults and it was a much different relationship. You became someone that I could talk to now, be open with and confide in.
You knew that I was pregnant for the first time before I even did. You watched as I went through the transformation of single girl, married lady, mama of two very very quickly. Then when that whole world came tumbling down, you were one of the first people that I called. You met me that night for a life-changing conversation. Through the year from hell, you checked-in frequently, had date night with me when you knew how important it was that I still constantly feel loved, you even ended up living with me for a time (weirdest roommate EVER).
It was during these darkest of hours that I fell in love with you. That I knew you were one of my soul mates and that I could not live without you, ever. You became my Bestie. You were planning your wedding to Matt, you asked me to be a reader and I was honored. Then some time after that when we were looking at what I should wear, you pulled up the Bridesmaid dress and said “I think that you should wear this, stand up next to me.” I was so surprised and excited.
You were right there encouraging me through dating after my divorce. You met Paul and immediately the two of you gave each other a hard time. So much love and respect for each other from the start, one of the reasons I knew he made sense. When Paul and I got married, we didn’t have many people stand up for us, but you were a reader for us. A few months later when we found out we were pregnant, we knew that you should be one of the godparents.
Now here you are nearly 4 years later, getting ready to graduate from Seminary. You heard God, you heard him call you to be amazing. You are still my Bestie, someone I need by my side and one of the first people that I run to when I need good, solid advice.
This may be the longest letter I have ever written, but anything shorter just wouldn’t do. I love you, from the bottom of my heart, I love you. I am so proud of you, proud of the amazingly beautiful person that you have transformed in to.