Ashley and I met in the 8th grade. 12 years ago. I've known her nearly half my life. We weren't instant friends, and according to her, she did not like me much when she first met me. She thought I was loud. Which, is a fair assumption, that most people make when they first meet me. The fact is, I am pretty loud. We met in math class at school. She had just moved there. I have a horrible memory, but as I recall our friendship started when she invited me to church. Her dad is a minister and at that time was serving as a youth minister at a local church. The church was having a revival and it was youth night and she invited several people from school, me being one of them. I went. The rest is history. But for blogging sake...I'll indulge you.
I became a regular attender of the youth program and eventually became an active and involved member of the church. We were best pals. Everyone told us we looked like sisters. Even our teachers at school got us confused in classes--which we could never understand. I mean, really. Our last names were alphabetically usually next to one another, so our lockers were always next to each other, if we ever had to sit alphabetically, we got to sit next to each other, and when we graduated high school---we got to sit next to each other, which was really neat.
Over the next 4 years, through high school, we became very close. I was close with her parents too. Her parents were and are very special to me. Her dad was my youth minister all those years and her mom....well, she was a mom to me. She loves me and she's a special lady. Her dad performed our wedding ceremony--they are family!
Ashley went away to college after we graduated. She went to Russellville and I stayed here. It was sad. I kind of thought we'd go to college together---get married around the same time, have babies, be neighbors....have playdates---plan parties, join the pta, bake and sing--I had it all planned out. But, she's so darn musically talented that she got a scholarship and had to go where that took her....away from me!
She was down there for a while and then her parents moved down to be part of a church in Conway. I think because I had maintained a long distance friendship before for many years, I wasn't really that afraid that Ashley and I would not be friends. I have kind of always known we'd be friends forever.
Then we got married--1 year apart and we had babies...2 months apart. So the other things I thought would line up, have. Now, if we could just be neighbors, sing and bake!
I miss her terribly. I cannot wait to see her this weekend!
I couldn't resist posting some old pics of us--I have like a BILLION pictures of the two of us together---but here's a handful.
I love you Ashley!