Saturday, October 31, 2015

My childhood friend, Laurie ...

God has always been very kind to me when it comes to FRIENDS. This is Laurie. She is the nicest friend I have ever had ... a childhood friend. We met in the sixth grade. Our teacher was Ms. Simone. I remember exactly where we sat in her classroom! Not right next to each other. Laurie was two rows over and closer to the front of the class than I was. She was also much smarter, very social, had a ton of friends ... but somehow God allowed our friendship to be very special.
Laurie lived two blocks from me. I spent a lot of time at her house. She had very nice folks, two adorable poodles (Spunky--the boy, and Misty--the girl), and she had two older brothers who were very kind to me as well. In the sixth grade, I remember that Laurie and I were both 4'11" and weighed 86 pounds. That was BEFORE I grew ... because I did grow 4" taller in the 7th grade (without putting on much weight, much to my dismay). 
I have tons of wonderful memories from our friendship. Mostly how much Laurie was there for me. She and I never got into "spats" or little jealousies. We saw each other almost every day. They had an above-ground pool in their backyard and we lived in it every summer. Laurie taught me how to dive for pennies and how to properly breathe under water without holding my nose! She also taught me how to sew and we would oftentimes work on making shorts or scarves or headbands together in the sewing area of her basement.

We also shot a lot of hoops in her driveway. She always always WON because she was very athletic. But even though I was clumsy and not one single bit athletic, I never felt awkward around Laurie. She was a true and faithful friend. Many a Friday night was spent overnight at her house, eating Oreo cookies, watching Carson's monologue, laughing with her brothers. Good times. Good memories. I had a lot of admiration for my friend, and still do. She was born really intelligent, but also, even though she was really smart, she studied hard and earned her good grades. She spurred me on to better academic things, to try harder, to achieve more. I loved her intensely. When we graduated from high school, Laurie moved to Michigan State and I moved here to Grand Rapids to go to Baptist. We kept in touch, but not closely in touch--so much happens at college. We have always exchanged birthday and Christmas cards! Recently, we have been closer in touch via FB and arranged this face-to-face meeting. We shared lunch at my house and then hiked Pickerel Lake. It was a wonderful time. I am so thankful to God for this friend, who meant so much to me as a child, who I still admire and love today.

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