kindred spirits

wedding

“A bosom friend–an intimate friend, you know–a really kindred spirit to whom I can confide my inmost soul. I’ve dreamed of meeting her all my life. I never really supposed I would, but so many of my loveliest dreams have come true all at once that perhaps this one will, too.” // Anne of Green Gables

I feel so extraordinarily blessed that this loveliest dream came true in my life at a very young age.  When I was in fourth grade, my mom was a fourth grade teacher at the same school.  It was my first year at this school, so I hadn’t made too many close friends there yet.  At one point during the year, my mom started telling me about one of the students in her class, Cassi, and encouraging me to befriend her, because she thought we would get along well together.

I can’t quite remember the first time we met, but I remember one or two mildly awkward play dates at our house – which was especially awkward for Cassi since my mom was her teacher.  Although I don’t remember all the details of how our friendship began, by fifth grade, we were inseparable.

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During the summer, we spent virtually every day together, trading off spending time at each others’ houses.  Fortunately, we were placed in the same class that next year, so school would no longer interfere with our time together.  We were best friends, and everyone in our class knew it.  We wrote songs, we made up games, we talked about important life events (like what we brought for lunch that day), we passed notes, and we enjoyed every minute together.

gardens

Then middle school came.  We experienced some challenges as our personal lives and social lives became a little more complex, but we stayed close through it all.  I know it’s a cliché, but those obstacles strengthened our friendship and brought us even closer together.

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Throughout high school, we started to recognize that our personalities and interests were beginning to become more different from one another, but we loved sharing our own experiences with each other at the end of the day.  Some of my favorite memories together at that time are sitting out in Cassi’s parents’ back yard on a porch swing late at night.  We would sip our home-made cappuccinos, as we rocked back and forth, gazing at the stars.  We talked about everything on those nights…until we got spooked by a shadow or random noise and ran inside as fast as we could.  We had many hair dye mishaps, diy room decorating sprees (before “diy” existed), and impromptu karaoke in the car.  By the end of high school, we were as inseparable as always.  When I got sick and missed our high school graduation, Cassi read my salutatorian speech in my place, in tears.

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Next came college.  We had always dreamed of going to the same college and living together, but life took us separate ways.  While I attended a local college in our hometown, Cassi moved outside of the state.  The first semester was hard, as we struggled to connect over phone calls and Skype dates instead of spending time together like we were used to.  But, by the second semester we had conquered the three-and-four-hour-phone calls, and felt as close as always.  Little did we know, how important this skill would become for the survival of our friendship!

fall

On my much anticipated wedding day, the spring break of our senior year in college, Cassi obviously blessed me by being my maid of honor.  This was a day that we had dreamed about together, not only because we’re girls, but because we often talked about that our commitment to our friendship over so many years taught us so much about commitment in marriage.  We never gave up on each other, we served each other, we loved each other unconditionally even as we changed, and we always forgave each other.  I am so grateful for our friendship and for all that it has taught me about what it means to love and to serve someone wholeheartedly.

wedding

After we graduated college, Cassi decided to move to China for a year, and all those years of phone calls have come into great use!  It’s difficult to communicate during the week, but we stay in touch through weekly Skype calls, and although I miss spending real time together, I feel just as connected to her as always.

No matter where we end up, or what challenges we may face in the future, if our last 13 years of friendship have taught me anything, it’s that our commitment to each other will stay true, not because of something magical we have, but because of our hard work and deep love for one another.

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I am blessed to call Cassi a friend, and I truly can’t imagine whom I would be without her.

Photo Credit// Brad & Rebekah Photography