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In My Own Words


Jacqueline Quillen
MSM Class of 2010

(June, 2011) When I read Sharon’s article about our friendship from kindergarten until now, I was overcome with happiness and smiles. The photo in last month’s paper that shows both our names on it was actually a contract we both signed before she left for Montana promising each other to be best friends forever, or as we liked to call it, bestest everlasting friends (BEFs). Proper grammar was obviously not our forte at the time. So by contract, we are BEFs.

My sister could always pick out my mail from the mailbox because it was the only envelope covered in writing. Things like BEF, Miss you, love you, or paw prints covered every white spot on the envelope.

Our friendship was far from ordinary, as Sharon noted. The Skinny Dipping Episode sticks out to every normal person, especially mothers, as the strangest play date for two five-year-old girls. I thought it was the best play date ever! What five-year-old kid does not love to run around naked before bath time or better yet swim naked with a pal? It was perfectly normal if you ask me. I would say our friendship could not have started off any better. We have no secrets!

One of my favorite childhood memories with Sharon is our obsession with Barbie dolls. Hours before a play date I would set up my entire basement as a Barbie village. I took nearly every hardback book from the bookshelf to make a road for our Barbies to drive on in their cool corvette. The basement was covered in books. As soon as Sharon arrived with her Barbie dolls we disappeared to our Barbie village. There was no stopping us unless we took a break to bake something.

As Sharon recalled in some of our old letters to each other, we wrote about the most random things – meals, family, friends and just life in general. Nowadays it is strange to think that we would write those sorts of things – like what we had for dinner – knowing that we would not receive a response for at least another week. It was still comforting to know that nothing had changed between us. The distance between us did not change how we communicated.

Communication has sped up so much that we forget the beauty of mail, just plain mail, without the ‘e.’ Our penmanship fostered the incredible bond Sharon and I share that is mutually understood just from getting to know each other at five years old. I have made great friends through my experiences in life, but I have never known a friend like Sharon. She is one in a million!

Throughout college Sharon and I did not keep in touch as much as we would have liked, but it never affected our ability to pick up wherever we left off. We truly are the masters of long distance friendships. Before we left for college, Sharon gave me a spiral-bound journal, knowing that I would need to write intense thoughts in it some days. Some of my most memorable and important life experiences are documented in that journal. The first few pages of the journal is a heartfelt letter from Sharon dated June 23, 2006. In the letter she writes,

You are the type of person who is always there, and I always know it, even though we only see each other a few times a year. I can really depend on you, and sometimes that’s all I really need, just to know that if all else failed, I’d still have you as my bestest everlasting friend.

Sharon’s letter basically confirmed the way I felt about our friendship – it was forever, no matter how far apart we would be. As Sharon said it, "Distance has never been an obstacle for us, so what’s a few hundred more miles?" Though we do not communicate as consistently as we did back when we were pen pals, we still touch base every so often and keep each other updated on any major changes in our lives. Since we have not talked in the past few weeks besides occasional texting, I thought it best to write Sharon a letter.

May 29, 2011

Dear Sharon,

I can remember so vividly the excitement of writing you a letter when we were pen pals. It was like writing in a diary that actually responded. I think that’s why I never kept a diary religiously; I would already say everything I wanted to say in my letters to you. Thanks for being such a great listener and responder!

I cannot thank you enough for being such a great friend to me. When I told you I was getting married, you were nothing but supportive, and you had never even met Sean. I knew the two of you would get along great once you finally met. During all the hectic planning you were there to talk to and you always let me get things off my chest, sans judgment, of course. I know that no matter what I tell you, you will not hold back in sharing your opinion, but also in supporting me. You are always supportive of me.

I was so happy to pick you up from the train station the day before the wedding. Having you right there with me for everything meant so much to me. I honestly could not have gone through that day and the next day without you. Getting our nails done was quality Shar and Jax time while catching up. When it quickly changed to frantic packing mode because we had to get on the road to Maryland, the only clear thought I had was Thank God Sharon is here. You definitely kept me sane! And throughout it all you still managed to document everything on camera.

Being together for my wedding felt just like old times when we were two little girls playing Barbies and cooking together, except this time I was the doll and you were doing my make-up. I think you had about five life-size dolls that day to play with. Who needs Barbies? Once again, you saved the day! Without your help the entire bridal party would have been late to the wedding, and not just fashionably late.

I am so proud of both of us for our endeavors in life. You have become a beautiful woman with her head on straight and so many goals and dreams to catch. I have always looked up to you as a great inspiration because you have no fears in going after what you want. Though we are all grown up, you are still the five-year-old girl I went skinny dipping with in my pool. And you always will be. It’s a bond that is simply unbreakable.

Just like you said, we are the kind of friends who grow old together and whose kids will call each other cousins because we are like sisters. I am so blessed to have you in my life. Thank you for always being there for me.



P.S. You’ll always be my best friend.

Read other articles by Jacqueline Quillen