Thursday, May 14, 2009


My sophomore year, I remember meeting one of the new kids to our class. Of one hundred or so kids in your grade, it's not hard to spot the three or four new ones each year. She was very petite with lovely red hair. Eventually I would discover she only lived a street away and had a heart of gold. And today is her birthday. Happy birthday, Jamie!
Jamie and I sat together in Bible class that year. I've written before about some of mine and Pelliroja's adventures, including a team of us FORCING her to ask someone to the Valentine's Dance by literally locking them in the stairwell together, and many other good times. It was a good year, the beginning of a great friendship. High school was so much fun, largely in part due to Jamie's friendship.
We went our separate ways after graduation, she to UAT and obviously me to Auburn. We stayed in touch a little bit, mostly over AOL's instant messenger In fact, Jamie and my mom are the only two people I know who still use their AOL e-mail address.

She graduated early and got a job in Birmingham. I graduated late and got an internship in Nashville. We would e-mail back and forth, all day long, about everything and anything but especially about her boyfriend. Would he propose soon? She was convinced no. Then there's me who almost ruined the surprise, by no intention of my own. How was I to know that when I suggested that the package she'd been asked to drive to Chattanooga was all a big farce and Les was going to meet her and propose, that it actually WAS all a big farce and Les met her to propose? She was still plenty surprised, apparently, so no harm, no foul, I hope.

Jamie and Les got married in February of 2006 and it was such a fun, memorable weekend: the absolute picture of purity and faithfulness. In the months following, even though she was a newlywed, she made time for me and my lonely, bored-at-home-with-no-job self. So compassionate.
Then I moved to Nashville, and our visits got few and far between and unfortunately so did our conversations. But they were still quality conversations, just not as frequently as before. Jamie still knew me though, and from only one phone call could tell what was really on my heart. I remember talking to her one day while driving back from another wedding, of course not my own, and lamenting the fact that all my friends had something I just couldn't seem to get (a husband). It was a tough place to be. Later that week I got a handwritten letter in the mail from Jamie, with such encouraging words flowing off the page. It was exactly what I needed. No surprise that I still have the letter in my desk drawer at home.
But unfortunately, our conversations tapered off and we officially lost touch...

Until one day, a couple of years ago, I needed a friend in a way that I have NEVER needed a friend before. I remember holding my knees to my chest, crying in my bathtub, knowing I needed to just talk to someone but had no idea who. Who would listen to me and in my darkest hour, offer a Christ-like love just the same? I thought about calling many of you that are reading these words. But in the end, I dialed one number. And Jamie talked for more than an hour that night. Then 30 minutes the next day, then 15 the next and 10 the next until our conversations tapered off again.
But we still had this bond that I knew would permeate every conversation. What kind of friendship would we have from this point on? Turns out, the decision wasn't mine to make. We've talked intermittently over the past two years, but Jamie clothed each conversation in love, letting me know nothing had changed.
Jamie, how do I even thank you for all the ways you've been there for me? Your friendship is one I will always cherish for so many special reasons, from silly conversations pining over football players (...and then basketball players) to much deeper conversations about jobs and relationships and more. If you only knew how much I admire you. You may be only 5 feet tall but you stand heads above so many people when it comes to character. Our friendship is so unique and special and I hope you know that I treasure it (and you) in my heart like a very precious jewel.

One of my favorite Jamie stories is when she fell down. She was wearing quite possibly the world's tallest heels that day. She came into the locker room, her face as red as a beet, muttered something about needing some help and then limped/marched out back into the parking lot, me nipping at her heels wondering what was wrong. I put two-and-two together when I saw scattered books and binders all over the parking lot near her car. She had taken a big fall, and in those heels, I am guessing she ate concrete big time. I kind of wish I had seen it as it had to have been a monumental fall. So wordlessly (we didn't laugh about it until the next day) I helped her collect herself, gathered all the strewn belongings, helped her to her car and made sure she was not bleeding and was okay.

How fitting is it then that years later, when I fell down and came to her red-faced, frustrated and broken, Jamie helped me up, helped me collect myself and made sure I was okay. Thank you, Pelliroja, for being such a patient, loving and loyal friend. I love you!


  1. I love you, lulu. You are one of my forever friends! Thanks for the birthday love!

  2. those are best kinds of friends -- the ones you can go to in any state and be loved on as if no time has passed at all.


Oh goody!

wordpress blog stats