Growing up I had a very difficult time making friends. It wasn't until I was nineteen we figured out one of the major reasons why. I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, which had just been renamed in the DSM as an Autism Spectrum Disorder. I am high-functioning and now that I am 23-years-old, it is almost impossible to tell from people on the outside of my inner circle. I have struggled my entire life to find people who understand my crazy, beautiful and chaotic life. To say I have abandonment issues from every side of the coin is an understatement. When I met Cary, my life was forever changed. She is not just my best friend--she is my soulmate, my sister, and the reason I believe in everything that I do.

We met in March of 2005. We at that time were the same person, but we were raised so differently that we both became a product of our environments. I stood up for her at every turn, even when she wished I wouldn't. But it was what I was taught to do. I was taught to stand up for those who were incapable of doing it themselves.

It's been twelve years, and she is still here. We have had our ups and our downs, but she at the end of the day is the one person I talk to. She is the person I discuss every part of my life with. I ask her opinion on my clothes, my hair, the potential relationships I consider entering into. I trust her and her judgment, and I also want her approval. She knows me and loves me--and she knows when someone is unworthy of me.

I have never withheld something from her. She has done the same. When we fight, there is always a moment where we both think "This is it, our friendship is over." Five minutes later one of us is calling the other, sobbing uncontrollably and begging for forgiveness, apologizing over and over again, and then we laugh and say: "We are never doing that again!"

Growing up down the street together may have made it easier for us, and to me, I think that was a blessing in disguise. I don't know what I'd do without her, and when people ask me how lucky I am to have such a good friend who bends over backward for me, I tell them: "I'm not lucky, I am blessed."

Cary taught me so many things, and I have done the same for her. She gave me the courage to find faith in God, and she stood by me as I struggled to find it. She has stayed at my bedside when I was stuck there, so sick it could be thought I would die if I fell asleep.

She prays for me, and always had--even when I hated it. My mother once told me: "I wish I had what you have with Cary--I thought I did, but circumstances change. People change. You and Cary are one in a million--to find one friend like that is a miracle and I am so thankful you have each other." I am too.

We've been through thick and thin, we've pulled each other from rock bottom and held each other up when we could barely stand. We argue because we care so deeply for the other, and we will continue to do so.

This week she will be turning 20-years-old. In the fall she'll be starting her Sophmore year at UIW in San Antonio. To say I am proud would be an understatement.

From the time I have met her and to this day it is unbelievable to see the amount of growth she has endured. But I knew she would make it, and because of her, I know I'll make it too.

Cary, sis--I love you. And I am glad God put us in the same place at the right time, because our friendship is one-in-a-million. I wouldn't trade anything in the world.