Thursday, April 4, 2013


“Roses are red viloets are pink why the hell am I waisting this ink”
– a boy’s signature in my 7th grade yearbook (spelling and all)

Not many people asked for my signature on this yearbook day. I still remember multiple boys trying to be nonchalant as they declined to sign my yearbook after I had finally built up the courage to ask them. As I have started going to therapy, I have been launched into a sometimes very painful journey through my childhood and part of this has been recalling some of the heartache of my 7th grade year.

I’m just going to come right out and say it…I’m awkward, I’m weird, I’m a loner. These are characteristics I’ve learned to embrace as an adult, but they did not suit me well in my younger years. They were exacerbated during the times I had health issues, which had reached a devastating high in 7th grade (when I was finally diagnosed with hyperthyroidism). I remember wandering through the halls that year, going from class to class, and not one word being spoken to me…sometimes for days. No one seemed to realize that I could not utter many words, no matter how hard I tried. I felt so alone and sad. I wished so much for someone to want to be my friend and be patient enough with me to get past my barrier of insecurities. It didn’t happen.

Yearbook day in 7th grade was the culmination of a horrible school year. I hated that I had to attend school on yearbook day as it forced me to endure the agony of realizing just how few friends I had. Many of my female classmates spent time comparing the “cute” things that boys had written in their yearbooks. Out of the 4 boys who signed mine, I got, “Have a great summer” and the nice poem quoted above.
I was feeling very down after returning home from school. I showed my younger sister, Lauren, my yearbook: the proof that I was completely unattractive and that no boys liked me. The next day I was still grieving my lack of friends when Lauren brought me my yearbook and said with a giant grin, “Annie, look what someone wrote you” as she pointed to the front page of my yearbook. It read, “Hey Q.t. from: ?”. I thought, “How could I have missed this?!? I was sure no boy had said anything nice to me!” Reading this small statement put me right on cloud nine. For years, any time I felt down or that I had no friends, I thought of this note in my 7th grade year book and knew I had at least one secret admirer.

A few years ago I was talking with some of my family members about those awkward junior high years. We were competing with each other over who had the worst junior high experiences. I was going on and on about how I had no friends but then stated that I did have one person who must have felt bad for me because they wrote something nice in my 7th grade yearbook. The moment I mentioned this I saw Lauren grin and it finally clicked. I exclaimed, “That was YOU and I didn’t realize it this entire time! I’ve talked about it with you so many times. I can’t believe you never told me!” She replied, “Well, you were so sad and I felt sad for you. I just wanted you to be happy. Anyway, it was true. I thought you were cute and I was your secret admirer.” I couldn’t even act upset because I was so grateful for her pure love for me. She was always my friend, even when I didn’t have anyone else.

I only had to spend the first 22 months of life without my real-life guardian angel. I’m surprised I made it for 22 months without Lauren. Unlike many sisters who are so close in age, we were always best friends. If we ever disagreed about something, the issue was resolved quickly. I have so many great memories growing up with her, but one of my favorites is when we were supposed to be sleeping but decided to play ballet instead. We tucked our nightgowns in our underwear to look like leotards (which ended up looking more like a tube). We used the headboards of our beds as our bar. We did traditional ballet moves as well as many not-so-graceful jumps, leaps, and falls onto our beds.
Lauren has always been the mature one. I was so na├»ve and she was so knowledgeable. She has always explained things that I didn’t understand to me. People thought she was older than me. I was lucky to attend high school with her while I was a senior and she was a sophomore. We competed on the swim team together, ate lunch together and hung out with the same friends.

Our friendship continued throughout our college years. We spent many nights hanging out when I went to school close to home. When I moved to Hawai’i to continue my education, we spent every Sunday talking for at least one hour. This was a big deal because it was before cell phones (I know this really dates me), so I paid for phone cards to talk to her with the little money I had as a college student.

Our bond continues today. Not a week goes by that I don’t talk to Lauren multiple times. Sometimes we talk many times in a day. At one point we shared a cell phone plan and her husband teased us for how many minutes appeared on his bills from our phone conversations with each other. We spend as much time together as we can. Lauren hears all my highest highs and my lowest lows. She gives the best advice. It’s questionable how sane I am, but I owe any sanity I have to her. I don’t know what I would do without Lauren in my life. I know she was inspired to write that note in my 7th grade yearbook. I know God let us be sisters because He knew how much I would need her. Like I always tell her, “Everyone deserves a Lauren in their lives.”
P.S. I am posting this without her knowledge, so I am asking her for forgiveness for posting this without her consent. =) I love you Lauren!


  1. This post brought tears to my eyes. Sisters really are tender mercies! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Is there a way we can post the home video of your dance duet? Roses are Red Violets are blue. I love my sisters and this post too!

    1. Um...Let's say no. I love you too Daniel!

  3. Love this post and your glasses. I seriously want a pair.

  4. So glad to have a Lauren (and an Annie) in my life, too!

    1. And what would I do without my Mer? Love you!


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