Friday, June 28, 2013

My Friend Emily

One of my best friends from my life got married last week. Emily and I have a long history together.

I moved to Boise, Idaho the summer before 6th grade. I met Emily at my new elementary school. I remember because she was smarter than me and got more AR points than I did. The summer after 6th grade we "graduated" and went swimming and listened to Vitamin C's "Graduation Song" and thought we were so old.

A Valentine Emily made me in our 6th grade class

We traveled to junior high together. There we became best friends. We were in choir together and did everything together. We ran the choir activities together, we went to choir lock-ins and on choir trips, we set trends with our Pasco hats and our "Your Mom" Seahorse. We sang a lot of really good music together that gives you chills. We took all of our accelerated classes together. We were in National Honor Society and got to do cool service projects right along side each other. We dressed up for dances together and liked the same music and we lived in the same neighborhood.

Pasco hats and Your Mom the Seahorse

We kept a red, tattered "notebook" where we wrote notes to each other back and forth, and we promised each other we would grow up and marry cowboys and have ranches right next to each other.

Getting ready for dances

A Halloween Dance

And we met some new friends. In our math class, we made friends with Bret, Chase, and Emily. We became the "math club" as we called ourselves, and we thought we were pretty cool. We would write notes to each other and ate lunch together and they would come visit me when I worked at Maggie Moo's. Every year, at the end of the school year, we would walk down to Pizza Hut with a bunch of friends and order a veggie pizza. Over the summer we would send each other post cards from our various travels, or trinkets on our birthday. One year Emily sent me some cowboy hat earrings, to remind me of what we were going to do.

The "Math Club" Chase, Emily, Emily, Ashley, & Bret

A note on my 15th birthday

The next year we moved up to high school. I can still remember the morning Emily and I walked to our first day of high school together. It was a cool August morning, and she was telling me what a big step this was for her, as the oldest in her family, and how she had dreamed of this day and here it was. We continued to be BFFs with our "Math Club" friends, since we were all in accelerated classes together. Emily and I continued to do choir together, and ran the spotlight committee and made it fun and everyone enjoyed it.

First day of high school

Then, surprise, I moved to Horseshoe Bend, 45 minutes away. We were devastated to part, and promised to keep in touch. And we did. We would actually write each other letters, snail mail style. I wasn't as good at keeping in touch as I should have been. Several months after the fact, I found out that Emily had been extremely ill and spent a lot of time in the hospital. I never knew. I still feel bad about that. A few times I came down there for choir concerts or dances. A few times the "Math Club" came up to my games or graduation or bonfires. Everyone has fond memories of those bonfires, where we could see the stars and laugh and catch-up. Emily M. made us awesome shirts with the lyrics from our favorite band, The Format. And everyone remembers how we went out on the roof next to my bedroom window and my dad came and found us and got mad so everybody went home.

Then we were off to college. And now seven years later, I got to go to her wedding.

A lot of people change over the years, but not Emily. She has always been consistently this: interested in others, level-headed, and someone you can rely on. She taught me what a good friend looks like. She has always been someone I looked up to. She is so kind, so willing to help, a friend to the friendless. She seeks out ways to serve, even in her schooling and professional life. She exemplifies for me what a good Christian is, what I want to be. There is nothing pretentious about her, and she does not feel she deserves the praise she gets. She is dedicated in all aspects of her life, her running, her schooling, her devotion to her religion.

I remember in high school she got made the Homecoming Queen. I was a little surprised, that was not something that happened to someone from our "crowd." I like to believe it was because of the kind of person that she is, she is a friend to everybody. She leaves an impact on people. I remember I used to be jealous of the relationships she would have with teachers, advisers, coaches. They respected her, remembered her, and loved her. She shows everyone deference, and loves them for helping her. And you cannot help but love her back.

I do not know the man she married, Zach. I met him briefly at the wedding, he was tall and had a firm handshake (and Ben admired his beard). But he must be something special, if Emily loves him. And I'm sure I would get along with him if he is someone Emily respects and admires.

I felt like I should tell him what a sweet deal he was getting, how happy he would be the rest of his life, how he would never regret this choice. But something told me he already knew that. And somehow I knew that he really was worthy of her.

How grateful I am for Christ-like friends.


  1. Everything you said here is so true. Love her, love you! It was so great to see you and Ben!

  2. Emily has always been lucky to find good friends, thank you for your very kind words Ashley, it was good to see you at the wedding!