Anyway, I wanted to write some thoughts and give props to my friendship with Leslie. I walked into Sunday School at a new church, in a new town, in a new state, in a new region of the country one morning, looking for a girl named Leslie. Her step-dad worked with my dad in his new job and Larry had invited our family to his church. Leslie was my age and I was going to be her guest (she was set for a prize for having a guest in SS:). That was it! Almost instantaneously we were best friends. We were in fifth grade. I've never had a friendship like I had with her during those years. This is mostly because of the time of life we were in. Junior High is brutal! We didn't go to the same school, as the church we attended together was in a different town from me. I lived and went to school in Clayton, NC, and she lived and went to school and church in Garner, NC. But we talked for hours on the phone every night and spent just about every weekend together. I didn't do anything without Leslie by my side.
Boy, what an amazing security for a junior high/high-schooler to have - a best friend who is totally loyal, totally committed to you?? With everything that's going on with your body and brain, to know you have a friend who absolutely adores you and loves you to the core? Someone you know wouldn't want to spend time with anyone else, rather than you? I'm sure it had a huge influence in shaping who I am today. I can only pray that my daughters have friendships like that someday. I believe encouraging selflessness in friendship right now, teaching how important it is to be a good friend, and exampling good friendships in my life for them to see can help them toward that goal.
I was remembering recently the night Leslie and I said goodbye as I was moving again, this time from NC to Oregon - literally one coast to another. It was over Christmas break of my junior year in high school. Talk about SAD! Our friend Velvet was also there and we just sat for hours in my empty bedroom, talking about memories and crying. However, we still have a beautiful friendship. It isn't what we dreamed - rooming together in college, living next door as wives and mothers... But we still love each other and talk regularly. We both got to see each other get married. I went to visit her in NC a year and a half ago right after the birth of her third daughter. I actually held my beloved friend's baby girl!
What a gift! We had such a wonderful few days together as I bonded with her sweet children. Now it's her turn - she's coming to see me in April! Boy, do I have plans!! I can't wait for her to meet my daughters (funny, we both had all girls) and see my life up close. I love you, Leslie!