{July 9, 2011}   My Laurabug

I’m not even sure where to begin this blog but I guess the right way would be to begin by saying how we met.

During my junior year of high school my JROTC teachers thought enough of me to send me on a National Youth Forum retreat in DC. Here is where I met one of the nicest girls ever. Her name was Laura and she was from New Jersey. We’d been assigned to the same group and our hotel rooms were next to each other. (Boy I wish I knew what I did with the pictures from that trip, I have them somewhere though).

my bug

It was in February, the week of the 22 to be exact. I remember this vividly because that same day my twin god brother and sister were born.

At the end of the forum as we were packing to go back home she and I exchanged addresses, emails and numbers. And we’ve been communicating that way ever since.

Yes, this means that we haven’t seen each other since we first initially met. Can you imagine how many letters, emails and phone calls we’ve exchanged over a 9 year period? A lot, more than a lot actually. We’ve sent pictures of course. She’s gotten taller and has cut her hair but it has since grown back. I’ve cut my hair twice too and it’s growing back.

We’ve been through so much together, drama with family, friends, boys, everything. Some people are shocked that we’ve kept in touch for so long without seeing each other and therefore call us merely pen pals instead of friends. We are SO much more than that though.

I swear she’s the ONE person (outside of God) that REALLY knows how to make me feel better about myself. And she does it as if it’s second nature to her. Even when I feel that NOTHING is going right in my life she’ll send me an email chronicling nothing but good things that I have overlooked.

She’s part of the reason me and someone else are still friends because when I thought I’d had enough and was ready to let go she told me how much I’d benefit if I stuck it out and held on. I did and she was right.

She’s been in med school for what seems like forever but she graduated recently and is a now a doctor.

my med school graduate

Even though she just recently graduated I’ve been asking her about certain medical issues since she first got to med school. She helped to educate me when my family first learned that my great-grandmother had Alzheimer’s disease.

She’s been everywhere doing research, working in hospitals, etc and I’m so happy for her.

teaching in Peru

in Australia

Abel Tasman hike in New Zealand

I remember when she first told me that she was going to Johns Hopkins University. My first thought was Dr. Ben Carson and I spoke with her about him. Told her how I came to know of him. I believe I sent her a copy of the tv movie that was made about his life. The then Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick spoke at her graduation from JHU and then she went on to the University of Chicago for medical school. She’d sent me an email and was excited to tell me about the speaker b/c she knows I’m a huge Ravens fan.

For my 21st birthday she sent me a box full of little things that kids play with to remind me that just because I was getting older didn’t mean I still couldn’t have fun. Included was Play-Doh, a miniature slinky, one of those little bendable stick people, a squishy ball and more. She also sent me 3 shot glasses that had her Frisbee team’s logo on it. Unfortunately 2 of them got broken (not by me) but that third one has been put away, never to be used. Other than the two broken shot glasses, that I’m still upset about, I still have everything from that box.

She once sent me an email saying that she’d heard about bad flooding outside of Atlanta and was checking to make sure that my family and I were safe. We were. Not too long after that,  I’d heard about bad shootings in Baltimore and realized that they weren’t too far from the hospital she was working at. So of course I returned the check-in/are you safe email. She was and was taking precautions to keep it that way.

I love her with all my heart and would do anything for her. She’s been a wonderful friend to me and she says that I’ve been a great friend to her too. I hope so.

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