While the memories in Frances Crawford East and Maddox flood my mind, its the 7 years since graduation that are the most meaningful.
I could write about the posters we made for serenades in the courtyard, getting ready to go on TWIRP dates, packing to go on outings with boys we barely knew, trash schedules, late night trips to the ER, Friends running on our TV all night, some boy showing up at our door with a green frog floatie for our birthday, lighting candles when we weren't supposed to (sorry, Keldon!), watching April's dad hang Ansel Adams pics in our "living room" and wondering if she was related to the artist, a road trip to Durant complete with black and white film, helping Brooke poof her hair for a special Valentine's date, Arby's runs on Saturdays and watching Lifetime movies... but I''ll leave the specific details of those days out!
Instead, my favorite moments with these girls are showers, weddings, pageants, cookouts, big girl sleep overs (meaning we go to be early and get up early), and new babies.
The special time we shared in 71998 created lifelong friendships. I remember the day I called each one of these girls in March of 2008 to tell them I had cancer. It was so difficult.
April was in a dressing room trying on dresses for Lindsey's wedding.
Lindsey was on a Friday night date with her soon to be husband.
Lacey and I played phone tag for a couple days.
Brooke and I were both driving down the highway.
I'm not sure what happened in the moments after I hung up with each of them, but I do know the moments I shared with them, they were calm, understanding, and sympathetic. Reactions I so desperately needed at the time.
I remember getting a care package full of goodies for chemo and stuffed with feathers for packing (that book still has feather hairs and glitter in the binding). I remember walking in to my appointment where I found out my treatment routine and Lacey's mom was standing in the lobby of the building to go in with me. I remember April and Derek picking me up to drive to Dallas for Lindsey's wedding and I slept the whole way there and back. I wouldn't have missed that weekend for anything, but I was too weak to drive myself. Then, there was the one chemo weekend that my mom and dad couldn't come in town and Lacey came to stay with me. We ate Burger King and watched every "Love comes....." movie in the series. We laughed and cried together through each one and sweet Matt let us have our own time together.
And, I will forever cherish being asked this past spring to come to come to Cabot Relay for Life and share my story. I watched Brooke and Robert lift an offering of praise and then we walked hand in hand in silence during the luminaria lap. It was a truly special moment.
These girls are like sisters to me and Ouachita gave me that.
I remember every year when I worked in Admissions and we would gather with Mrs. Frazier with the housing folders of every new student and the comment was always made "no pressure, we're just helping them pick who will be in their wedding". While it was meant as a proverbial tongue-in-cheek joke, it was true.
The people you meet at Ouachita really are your lifelong friends. They are the people you call when you are in your darkest places and who you rejoice with in life's greatest victories.
My greatest Ouachita memories are being made right now!