Saying Goodbye To My Best Friends... Again

Saying Goodbye To My Best Friends... Again

I like to say we are old pros at goodbyes...
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Earlier this week I drove down to what I consider my main hometown, Fernandina Beach, Florida. The purpose of my travels was to say goodbye to two of my childhood best friends yet again.

The three of us have become very accustomed to these goodbyes. That feeling in your stomach where you have no idea the next time you will see these people you love so dearly; we get it all the time. Usually it's just me that leaves, but this time we are all headed our different directions, to our different schools.

Jessie and I met when we were babies. We lived in the same neighborhood when I lived in Fernandina the first time. When we moved back when we were in kindergarten, she and I were in the same class and have been best friends ever since. We've done everything together. Her house is my house and her family is my family; I could argue that I'm her mom's favorite daughter. We were both placed in the Gifted studies class in kindergarten, which gave us more time together and really started our academic journey together. One year later Spencer joined us in our Gifted class.

The Gifted Education Program was created to challenge high achieving students that might otherwise become bored in the everyday classroom setting.

We studied topics ranging from the Westward expansion, Medieval Europe, Ancient Greece, and the rainforest. Our Gifted class was by far the highlight of my week growing up.


Fast forward a little, and we are in fourth grade. As part of our Gifted class the three of us decided to enter a state competition for Hispanic Heritage Month. Being the budding procrastinators that we were, we threw most of our entry together the night before at my house. Spencer has always been tech savvy, even as a fourth grader, so our entry for the contest was a mock interview with the first female, Cuban judge of Florida, The Honorable Margarita Esquiroz.

Somehow our podcast interview won first place in the state and so we went to Tallahassee to meet the governor of Florida at the time, Charlie Crist.

Three years and many memories later, my family decided to move to Savannah, Georgia so my dad could take a different job. I was completely heartbroken. I remember the night my parents told me we were moving so vividly. Up until that point, I don't think I had ever sobbed so hard.

Fernandina Beach was where I had grown up, and it was the only place I really knew. Everyone I knew lived there, and that's where Jessie and Spencer were.

When I called Jessie to tell her we were moving, I immediately began crying again. As she listened to me explain everything, she thought I was laughing, cut me off and just yelled "Rachel, shut up, stop laughing and spit it out!" Thankfully that got me to stop crying for long enough to tell her what I needed to say.

A few days before we moved, Spencer biked over to my house to hang out for a while. He forgot to take off his bike helmet and wore it in the house for 45 minutes before I asked him why he hadn't taken it off.

At the time, 13-year-old me was terrified of losing my two best friends. I thought that distance would ruin the relationships that I had nurtured for years. Over time though, I began to realize that it is not seeing someone every day or even talking every day that defines the friendship. It's knowing how to cheer them up, being there for them through family illnesses and deaths, supporting each other through various trials and battles with mental health. Your best friends are people you know you can pick the conversation right back up months after putting it down. They push you to be your best, even when it's a long journey to get there.

But most importantly your best friends are the people you can say goodbye to over and over again, which makes the reunions so much sweeter.

Cover Image Credit: Rachel Jennings

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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.
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I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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To My Long-Distance Best Friend, We Might Be 7,811 Miles Apart, But Our Friendship Only Gets Stronger

It breaks my heart that I cannot be around for your birthdays or to celebrate your achievements. But I'm so proud of every milestone you achieve. I am so proud of all your accomplishments and the person you are becoming.

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To my best friend,

It has been 270 days since I last met you and 206 more days until I meet you again. People say that time flies by quickly, but these have been the most difficult days that seemed to drag on forever. Five years ago when you were sitting next to me on the first day of our sociology class, I had no idea we would end up being best friends. From sharing my mother's parathas during lunch breaks to the countless sleepovers, I will never forget all the memories we created throughout high school.

I vividly remember the day I told you I would be studying abroad. You were so happy and proud of me for pursuing my dreams but also upset that we wouldn't be seeing each other every now and then. I was worried if our friendship would even last. But we have spent almost two years away from each other and our friendship only seems to get stronger.

I'm so grateful to technology for allowing us to be in touch all the time. My day doesn't feel complete if I do not receive a text from you. I know we do not video call often because of how busy our schedules are (another reason being time zones suck and I cannot do the math), but always know that I am there for you. It breaks my heart that I cannot be around for your birthdays or to celebrate your achievements. But I'm so proud of every milestone you achieve. I am so proud of all your accomplishments and the person you are becoming.

We have both had some terrible friendship experiences in our past before we met each other that have completely broken our faith in friendships. But know that you can always count on me and that I will never leave your side. Know that I will always set an alarm early in the morning just to video call you. Know that I will always be there for you (even if I'm not physically present around you). Know that you will always be the first person I share everything with.

I cannot thank you enough for everything you have done for me. Thank you for encouraging me to make new friends at college. Thank you for always being there during my failures and reminding me that it's not the end of the world and that more opportunities will come my way. Thank you for being there during my successes and being my number one cheerleader. Thank you for always reminding me to love myself. You not only have a special place in my heart but also have a special place in my family. My mother and sister not only glad that I have a best friend like you but also adore you so much. It is impossible to imagine a life without you.

I cannot wait for more butter chicken sleepover dates in December!

Lots of love,

Your best friend.

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