Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A lifelong friend is a rare treasure. This weekend, I have the pleasure of celebrating with my most lifelong-ist.  Tears of joy are coming this Saturday, as I will watch my beautiful friend Amy Rudy walk down the aisle and say "I do."

Amy has been in my life since the 3 year old preschool class at Broadway Baptist Church in Sand Springs, OK.  In preschool she was a whole head taller than me, and having three older sisters she had wrangled with her whole life, she was a tough cookie.  I remember Amy and our friend Michelle (also a tough cookie with older sisters of her own) locking me in the bathroom at preschool one day. (I probably don't remember the actual event, but with the repeated telling of it over the years it seems like I do.)  They thought it was hilarious and fun I'm sure, but I thought it was traumatic.  Through that year and the next in the four year old class, I decided they were both mean bullies and I was relieved when I discovered they were not in my Kindergarten class.

By the time 1st grade came around, Amy was back in my class.  We shared the same teacher from 1st - 6th grade, and would remain close friends and classmates until we gradated from High School and beyond.  Amy could not be further from a bully, but instead was a dear and true friend with an always empathetic and tender heart.  When we went to the top of the Williams Tower in downtown Tulsa on a 2nd grade field trip, we were "buddied up" with admonishments from Mrs. Hooper to stay together for safety.  That trip earned me the nickname of "Starr's Buddy" from Amy's dad....and no one is really sure why he's still calling me my own buddy some 30 years later.

Oh how I love my "Amy Rdot" (another nickname bestowed by her Dad, after a customized shirt reading "AMY R." down the sleeve) , or just "Rdot" as she is known to those of us who know her best.  She is the friend whose laugh will always be better than the joke. I could identify an Amy Rudy laugh across a crowded room, I'm sure of it.

Thru elementary school we had sleepovers most weekends at her house, "swimming" in the hot tub and peeing off the deck, giggling as our little 8 year old hineys mooned the Tulsa skyline. We had mud fights and caught tadpoles in coke bottles at my grandparents' lake house.  We whispered and giggled our first elementary school crushes to each other.   When I told Amy I thought some boy was cute, I was sure it was safe with her.  She would never tell.  And she didn't. Thru one traumatic experience in 6th grade that left me almost friendless through the last half of the year, among the members of Mr. McAlester's class only Amy Rudy remained loyal.  I will never forget her sitting by me at lunch on a field trip to Woolaroc Museum, while the rest of the class seemingly ignored me.  Still my buddy, still staying with me.  And then when the summer passed and 7th grade hit, it was Amy that through a series of note-passings in Mr. Bear's English class helped me reconcile with my other friends once more.

Thru Jr. High we attended every country music concert that came through Tulsa, OK.  We usually had other friends along for the ride, but it was Amy and I who knew every word to every song and sang along with melodramatic tears in our eyes at the sheer joy of having a seat on the floor at a Garth Brooks concert.  We commiserated over silly boys who broke our sillier hearts, and cried yet again as we sat in her parents bed and watched the final concert of The Judds on pay-per-view.

In High School we had fun on out of town choir trips, and we drove to lunch together with our friend Lisa nearly every day.  You could be sure that Lisa and I, still car-less, would be left standing on the curb outside the choir room waiting for Amy to pick us up for longer than necessary...she was always delayed several minutes because she was finding a good song on the radio.  It was annoying and endearing all at once.

After high school Amy was Colorado bound, off to college in that hippy-friendly, yet strangely conservative, Colorado Springs.  I was married a couple years later, living in Dallas, and Amy was leaving Colorado, embracing her "Southern Baptist Girl" roots at Baylor.  We got to see each other off and on over all those years, and I fretted for her as mean boys broke her heart, boys who were never worthy of it in the first place.  I cried and prayed for her, and I worried she had lost her first love, but God was still writing her story.

This Saturday she will marry her true love Skyler, and it will be sweet indeed.  It was worth the wait for both of them, as two more unique hearts have possibly never been woven together.  I could not be more excited to bear witness to my lifelong friend entering this new, sweet season of life.  Her last name may be changing, but she will always by my Rdot.

Anonymous Jerri Phillips had this to say:

Loved this. I have a best friend from kindergarten like this. God is good.

March 13, 2012 at 5:30 PM 

Blogger Catrina had this to say:

It's been 15 years since I've heard it, but I'm pretty sure I too could identify an Amy Rudy laugh from across a crowded room. Haha! Such a great post, Starr! And I'm so happy for Amy!!!

March 13, 2012 at 7:45 PM 

Anonymous Amy R Dot had this to say:

Oh my cup runneth over! Tears of joy and sincere gratitude for my dear "Starr's Buddy".

My longest friendship as well, you have seen me through the best and worst of times and I praise God for your friendship, love, kindness and the amazing things He has done and is doing in your life. I am always so proud to call you my friend, for you are truly one of the finest people I know. You are a perfect example of one of my dear late Grandmother Rudy's favorite verses "A good name is to be had more than great riches."

The fact that we share such a long, colorful and often hysterical history just endears you even more to my heart. I still won't pull out of the driveway until I find a good song on the radio or my iPod. And I love that I can call you up and we can sing all those words to just about every country music song there ever was....."Redneck girl likes to cruise in Daddy's pickup truck" - the first song we played in one of my dad's trucks, the day I got my drivers license. We had been plotting that since at least the 7th grade - HA!

I'm beyond honored you took the time out of your crazy busy schedule to blog and post pictures of our friendship. I'm thrilled you and Lisa are actually singing a duet in my wedding - brings tears to my eyes thinking about it all. And the funniest part is, I remember being somewhat jealous of you and Lisa in high school because you both were friends with Skyler and could talk to him, and I was too shy....and now we are getting MARRIED!!! Anyone that doesn't believe in God, come talk to me! I love ya more than my luggage girl....Rdot

March 13, 2012 at 8:21 PM 

Blogger Cash Clan Japan had this to say:

Okay, I'm jetlagged, and this whole thing just sent me into a full-fledgeing ugly crying fit, ultimately resulting in my just passing out exhausted. Girls, I love you so much. I hope we get to live in the same cul-de-sac in Heaven since the Lord has deemed we must live apart on this side. I'm so grateful for you two, and for all the love and laughter we've shared, that I just can hardly stand it, the shininess and fullness of it. I feel like I could burst.

March 13, 2012 at 11:41 PM 

Blogger Greg or Cheri had this to say:

my my what entertaining photos.

March 13, 2012 at 11:48 PM 

Blogger valerie in TX had this to say:

What a sweet tribute to your sweet friend. :) I never lived in one place long enough when I was growing up to develop life-long friendships, and I've always been sort of envious of them. :) Congratulations, Amy!

March 14, 2012 at 1:04 PM 

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Cliff Familyt

I'm Starr Cliff. A domestically-challenged mom, climbing over mountains of laundry to bring you my stray observations and amusing stories about my kids. (more)



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