Five years ago I witnessed my best friend open her acceptance letter to one of the most prestigious Southern History PhD programs in the country. Five years ago I promised her that I would be there when she received her Doctorate. Five days ago I witnessed her defend her dissertation on Lincoln and become a Doctor! Five days ago the pride and pure admiration that consumed me almost escaped through tears of joy, but for her sake I kept them in. This is extremely challenging for my to put into words, but I am going to give it my best.
Sarah and I met during freshman orientation in the summer of 2008. My mother told me she was my going to be my best friend; I told her no way. Sarah and I moved in freshman year and were diagonally across the hall from one another. Within 48 hours we were sitting in the hallway until the wee hours of the morning just talking. Within a month, we were known as "The Sarahs." We were best friends. It was a done deal. Never doubt your mama, they always know best! We spent four years making beautiful memories and learning about ourselves. Our relationship is unconditional; we can always be honest without hesitation. Regardless of what states we are living in, and they are rarely the same, we make time for each other. She flew to Virginia when I moved here and Ryan wasn't able to be with me. Having her with me that first week in my new home will forever hold a special place in my heart. We've both flown in for weddings, bridal showers, and "just because time."
This last trip was one of the most meaningful and special trips for me. I've been battling with my own issues, but Sarah has always been a constant and seeing her was exactly what I needed to revamp. Not only did I get to hang out with my best friend, but I had the honor of watching her in a professional academic environment present and defend her work of art, her Lincoln dissertation, her life long dream. She was poised, sharp and extremely humble while exuding an aura of confidence. Watching and listening to her defend thoughts of how far she has come danced through my head. She set a goal for herself over five years ago, work diligently while also falling in love with her now husband, and completely dominated her goal. Watching her become a doctor is a feeling that I will never be able to fully describe, but Sarah, know that I love you unconditionally and am beyond proud of you. You are an inspiration to me. I am truly blessed to have you in my life and I look forward to a zillion more memories like book signings, "I'm pregnant" calls, joint vacations, half marathons, Grady reminiscing, and the list goes on! I love you lady! You're definitely Sarah #1 or should I say Dr. Sarah #1! You've blossomed beautifully and I am excited to see how you nourish the minds of the youth.