Meet Sylvia, one of my oldest and so very dearest friends back home in Chicago. I met her when I was in the 7
th grade at the Jr. High youth group. She had come with Lauren as a guest and quickly became a “regular” there. In all honestly I don’t remember any specific stories there but I do remember being the one to introduce her to Starbucks. Yes, folks, Sylvia had never enjoyed the simple pleasure of coffee ever before me. Actually she had, but I forced it upon her to try new drinks.
We both quickly became inseparable. Sleep-over’s, constant Starbucks trips (let me put it this way. Everyone in town knew that was our spot. And we have our own “spot”…at two locations), adventures and participating in the same events. Yes, we were your typical teenage girl attached at the hip best friends. One of the funniest things I think I did was in high school I created the largest bed of all time. My bed was bigger than a California King bed and because Sylvia slept over so often I declared she owned the left side. It was awesome. Of course, like all my blog posts, I like to elaborate on more deep characteristics. So let’s begin.
On our way to U of I in 2004.
When I had surgery (both times) Sylvia brought me Starbucks and stayed for hours on my bed. At 11pm when my brother Pappy wanted cookies Sylvia made him cookies. If anyone needed a ride somewhere Sylvia is the chafer. She is the person who volunteers for ANYTHING nobody wants to do. I would say out of everyone I know she’s the person I try and protect from being taken advantage of. She loves people dearly and shows it by serving and sacrificing. Sacrificing her time, money, gas and energy. Oh ya. Did I mention she drove by herself to see me in Kansas last year?
Sylvia visiting me after I had ankle surgery
I appreciate actual listeners. Not hear “er’s.” Listeners. Listeners are those who want to hear what you have to say, remember what you said and give honest feedback. During our years together back home we had a tradition of seeing each other once over the weekend (it turned to be mostly the entire weekend if neither of us had obligations). Our “catch-up” time typically took 2+ hours. We would both tell each other our updates and included every solitary detail. I looked forward to telling her my updates because she wanted to know and cared so much about my life.
Goofing off at Six Flags
From school work, relationships, friendships, work and activities Sylvia isn’t a quitter. She does everything she can to receive the grade she desires, believes in God even when it’s hard, makes time for both boyfriends and friends with her already insane busy schedule, is loyal to her work and is committed to activities even when they aren’t loyal or fair to her. I’ve always been astounded by how much stamina she has. There have been several times she’ll tell me stories and I’ll roll my eyes and say “giiiiirl you gotta stop.” Her response is almost always “Mary I have to.”
From winter retreats to mission’s trips we just work together. We both like alone time. We both like relaxing. We both know what triggers and excites the other. I chose the word compatible because that must mean there should be balance. There always has been. She likes playing sports and being outside while I would much rather be where there is air-conditioning reading or talking to people. She has no idea what movies are out and what TV shows are good while I have no clue what the best new dance is or have the 411 on the latest world news. Tying in with compatibility she is….
Liked by everyone.
Sylvia is precious. I’m sure everyone (class-mates, friends, family, co-workers, etc) would use the word “sweet” when describing her. She has a soft, articulate soothing voice that invites people into her warm, tender heart. While we attending the same high school for three years most people knew we were close and if I was in a class with anyone that knew her I would hear “your Sylvia’s best friend right? I LOVE SYLVIA!!!”
Sylvia, Lauren and I with our coffee in Guatemala
Climbing a volcano in Guatemala.
Everyone has their quirks. Everyone has little things they like, dislike, say or do that separates them from others. Sylvia’s particular quirks crack me up. She will never say the word “no” or “yes.” It’s almost always “I would prefer to…” and “yes that would be nice.” She pre-coats her bagels with cream cheese, meaning there is barely any cream cheese. I like to put on two coats. She only likes soda that has a citrus taste, drives with her head close to the steering wheel and has never owned a large purse. I don’t know if these are quirks but she also is a killer rock star at making stained glass, loves nerdy weird jokes and can watch someone play video games for hours (not play…watch).
At each other's Graduation's.
Favorite little memories with her:
1. Whenever I come home to Chicago she’s the first person on my door-step. Even if its past mid-night. She doesn’t care if we go anywhere she just wants to “be” with me. One of my biggest love languages is quality time and I feel SO loved by her because she loves just “being” where I am.
2. Sleeping hours on trips. We’d get bunk bed close to each other and talk all night…most of the time get yelled at for laughing too hard.
3. Math class. When I was a sophomore we were both in Algebra 2. It was the funnest class ever. Because we had too much fun the teacher separated us and we sat on opposite sides of the room. That stunk.
4. Finding fun out of anything. Playing in the snow, walking around no where, doing each other’s hair, watching Reba and laughing our stomaches out due to Van.
5. Our inside jokes.
6. Our abilities to know what the other is thinking easily. I said earlier we know each other’s triggers. So true. We can be in a crowd of people and if someone says something we know would annoy or humor the other one we’d look across the room and just through eye contact it was an understanding. Its rare to find that with people.
7. Working at Fannie May together. We both worked at a chocolate store in the mall through high school. It was SO MUCH fun working shifts with her. Nothing really got done but the time went by super fast.
To others Sylvia is the smart one (she placed 5
th in her class of like, 600), the dancer (she’s been on a dance team since I’ve known her) or the active one (seeing that she offers to volunteer for everything). To me, she is all of the bold points above. Selfless, a listener, fighter, is compatible and well-likedwith others and quirky. She is one in a million and has seen me through every joy and struggle for the past eight years. Although we’ve traveled several places together and created awesome memories with others, my favorite times with her are simply ones spent on the couch, in the car or at a coffee shop talking. We can literally talk about nothing for hours on end and goof off at Target for much longer. To me those are true friends and I am so proud to know her and am so excited to see where life is taking her!