Well it’s Wednesday and I think this may be one of the funnest weeks of my life … right up there with New Zealand with my sweetie in March of this year. Today my oldest high school friend, Megan Braziel Kaiser is coming to be with me today. This girl and her family moved to Atascadero a month before my freshman year of starting high school. It was the Sunday before we were heading to Hume Lake and we met her at church, I was so giddy at the thought of a new friend, one that goes to our church, one that was so nice and so pretty but so normal too. As we loaded the bus the next Sunday, I remember thinking ‘What a bummer Megan couldn’t come too, that would have been so perfect.’ But she couldn’t, no spots and too last minute!
To say it was a big week for me is saying it lightly. Hume rocked me that first year and changed my life forever! On Tuesday night, traditionally “Decision Night” the speaker was talking all about forgiveness and if you can’t forgive those in your life, it’s pretty tough to accept the forgiveness of God for your junk. I had big walls of un-forgiveness towards my biological father and that night the walls came tumbling down, honestly I would have said I was already a follower of Jesus, but that Tuesday night was when it all became much more real.
Of course they ask the students to reflect and stay back if anyone wants to make a decision. My feet could not stand, I think I wanted to escape and not be that girl who is already a Christian but has all this baggage. I stayed and so weird but I look over to my right and Bren is there too, we both had unresolved Dad issues! We talk with our counselor Marshella … letting go of all that bitterness and fear of him. She is reminding us that when we live with unforgiveness, we are the ones living in the chains not him, we punish ourselves by holding onto it. Good talks, decision cards filled out and then we at some point look at each other and have no idea how we are going to go back down the hill.
You see… we were the cute Little House twins, popular in junior high but not always super nice to others. We hung with the total in-crowd and loved our friends that we had made since 4th grade when we moved from the LA area not that long ago. But we lived two separate lives, that life at school with our friends… and our then very meager lives of faith at church and youth group. It’s a hard balancing act and for all you high school students reading out there, I know that these are very hard waters to swim especially in junior high and high school.
So we kinda asked this question, made this vow ‘Can we really do this?’ And we did one of the hardest things I’ve ever done… we left our friends! Hear me again… our friends!! And we didn’t even explain ourselves to them, I didn’t have the courage to even be an honest friend. Oh how I regret not being able to do that in 1991, it makes me weep as I reread this right now.
But God had this perfect plan because when we returned from Hume, Megan was there. We began to spend lots of time together and by the first day of high school we were this threesome who needed each other desperately. Megan knew no one and we knew everyone! Her mom Linda drove us all that first day in her super-cool red Cabriolet with a white convertible top, we were so excited and scared to death, all three of us!
High school brought so much fun and Megan was there by my side through it all, except one period of about 6 months when we were fighting over a boy… but Brent Baldwin couldn’t shake our deep bonds and we most gratefully recovered. We played volleyball together, I went to the football games to watch her cheer, Winter Formals, Proms, Top 30 and Hume Lake every summer. My high school experience does not have one memory without her in it!
When the weather got warm we would leave straight after church … pile into her cute red Cabriolet and head to Atascadero Grocery for sandwiches and then on to the beach. That spot right at Wadsworth in Pismo where that huge flight of stairs used to be. We would tan and watch the waves … and all those cute college volleyball players … pepper the volleyball in the sand.
We have stayed in touch and recently attended our 20 year reunion this last August together. So when Megan got the news that Monday almost two weeks ago, she wanted to come. Wednesday was the day and I wanted to recreate memories. She piled in my house with enough food and treats for a month and then we jumped in her car and headed to Gopher Glen in See Canyon near Avila Beach…my favorite place to get apples in the Fall. We tasted, purchased and then went to Avila for lunch. No Pismo this time … I wouldn’t have been able to make those stairs and besides my heart was set on Kravabowl… my favorite, healthy lunch spot. We sat out in the sun, listening to the waves and just soaked it all in and had the deepest, most precious time together of our entire friendship!
It was time for my afternoon nap, my sweetie’s orders, so we headed back to the house. We told more stories and then promised that we would never go back to surface, fake words again… ever! She drove away and I cried … knowing that God gave her to me to fulfill my High School Memories!