When I was asked to write about Elizabeth and my high school time together, it immediately sent a wave of memories, emotions and uncertainty of what memory was best to share and honor her with from those years. Lizz and I met our junior year of high school, in Mr. Christians chemistry class. I’m certain that from the moment we all saw her, her infectious smile and laughter captured each of us all. She was the girl who was beautiful, but not intimidatingly. You wanted to know her, we all did.
In looking back over those years, I quickly realized that I could not choose one single memory to share, because Elizabeth simply cannot be summed up into one story ( don’t worry, I won’t rehash all of our teenage high school years together! ) It would not do her justice or truly show the Elizabeth I became so close with. She was the small town girl who came to a school with a graduating class in the upper 600’s, and yet she never met a stranger. Where most would become overwhelmed or just simply blend into the sea of students, she effortlessly maintained who she was. She had a confidence and self-awareness that teenage girls could only dream to possess but few actually do. Of course we had our moments of crying over teenage angst, but for Elizabeth those were just moments. She quickly bounced back from whatever trial life delivered to her. She made life and all of its struggles and trials seem so effortless and always full of hope and enthusiasm. Later on as mothers of two boys, we laughed when I confided in her how happy I was to hear that she had all of the normal mom struggles of exhaustion when Fischer was born.
She was a small town girl that I truly saw when she took me to Lexington and to her childhood home in Blue. And yet her love of Austin was just as strong. She even convinced me to skip a day our senior year, so that we could take a tour of the UT campus and surrounding Austin neighborhoods. I owe much of my love for Austin, our Longhorns and Kirby Lane Cafe off of the drag to her. Her enthusiasm for that which she loved was so great, it was hard to not want to love it as well.
It seems as though we drove to the Sephora at the Arboretum every other week! I knew the bare minimum about makeup, so she was my own personal guru. We laughed about how she even went in on one of her days off just to have her makeup done for a date. We of course took turns venting over family, school and life frustrations, but the pride she had when speaking of her father, sisters ( Lauren was getting married in Hawaii at the time so it was all she talked about for so long!) and of course her mother, was so powerful. It didn’t surprise me at all to see the love and dedication she put into her own family and business later on, but I can’t help but smile when I think of the endless hours we spent goofing off and not working at our grocery store job. She was always there for me, day or night. When I needed someone to laugh with, cry with, be a frustrated teenager with, and certainly when I learned what the hurt of my first heartbreak felt like, Elizabeth was there with the wisdom of an old soul and the understanding of a teenage girl who had felt, at some point, what I felt just then. I have so many treasured memories with her. Some I shall honor our teenage selves with and keep just between she and I, while others I could simply flood the pages of this blog with.
But the thing I will remember her most for is her smile, her effortless elegance and her enthusiasm for life. The way she would pull up to my house in her white ford, usually jamming out to some music, that smile always on her face no matter what she was feeling. It was exactly the way she greeted me the last time I saw her, as if no time had passed, with two little guys by her side. And I know it is exactly how she will greet me when we meet again, but with three little guys by her side.
Happy Birthday Elizabeth. Not a day passes by that you are not thought of and missed. I will proudly be the keeper of the memories we shared, and I greatly look forward to the day when we can once again laugh over them together 🙂