I’m in Arizona for Sara’s roommate, Julie’s wedding. Julie has been like part of our family for the last four years.
She is the roommate you pray for when you want your daughter to be happy in her new college life.
One afternoon when I was visiting them during their sophomore year, Julie asked Sara about her day. Then she said, “Come and sit down and tell me all about it.” She scooted over on the couch to make room for Sara and I, then crossed her brown Arizona legs and got comfortable, facing both of us, ready to listen, really listen to Sara tell her about her day.
That was the moment I fell in love with her. I knew Sara had a generous, open, kind, and loyal friend, and that their friendship would not end at graduation when they went their separate ways to create their individual lives.
When they both applied for the London Study Abroad program, her Mom and I worried about what would happen if one got in and the other one didn’t. How could we have half of this perfect pair schlepping to class during a cold Utah winter while the other one discovered Cath Kidston, visited the Tower of London, and watched London roll out the red carpet for a royal wedding?
Luckily they were both accepted and made their jolly trip to London together. They attended prep classes on campus before they went, and walked in separately so they wouldn’t tip of f the other students that they were best friends. This was their way of branching out. Then they met outside and came together like two magnets again.
They both flew to London from different places but met at the airport and rode together to their new home on Palace Court. They lived off cupcakes, crepes, and European chocolate; rode bikes in Hyde Park and had tea in Kensington Palace. They celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland, and fell asleep on each other on every sightseeing bus trip.
When Doug and I went to London at the end of their semester to take advantage of them as our experienced tour guides, they were sad to leave Palace Court but when we took them to our hotel, they were giddy with excitement about sleeping in what they saw as fancy luxurious beds after sleeping on student bunk beds all semester.
We toured Italy with them and laughed at their goals of having gelato every single day and taking pictures of all their meals.
When we arrived early to help get ready for Julie’s wedding reception, Julie wasn’t in her wedding dress yet. Sara and Julie looked at each other and tears filled up in their eyes, and they grabbed each other in a tight hug.
“Do you want to help me get dressed in my wedding gown?” Julie asked.
“Of course!” Sara said, and they walked off together.
I couldn’t keep the tears from filling my eyes either as the two of them walked away.
Even though Julie’s got a new best friend and roommate, Sara and Julie’s sweet friendship will not fade away. They have too many memories from their freshman dorm life to their dreamlike semester abroad. They have helped each other through homesick moments, broken hearts and boyfriends, homework, finals, and studying stress, and a million other moments known only to the two of them.
As Julie climbed into her husband’s jeep with “just married” scrawled on the window, I watched Sara and the other guests send them off in with sparklers lighting up the night sky. Sara and the other bridesmaids spelled out L-O-V-E with their sparklers. Just then, Julie turned around, smiled and waved at Sara, and I knew that another one of those priceless girlfriend moments had transpired.
I am so grateful for my daughters’ friends. They are there for them when I can’t be. They are the shoulders they cry on when they can’t cry on mine. They are the ones they confide in about all the things they can’t comfortably tell me. They are the ones who keep them going in their day-to-day lives because they share a girlfriend bond that is different from a mother-daughter bond.
Congratulations Julie, and thank you for being Sara’s true friend, for lifting her up, cheering her on, and consistently loving her. Thank you for being there for me because when God gives daughters good friends, he gives mothers peace of mind and solace, and to a mother, that is the greatest gift ever.