The Sister God Forgot to Give Me

Middle school was rough for me. Between break-outs and boys and the exhilarating yet terrifying release out from under the protective wing of elementary school, it was quite the transition period. Topping my Seventh Grade List o’ Worries? A black kid liked me and while I didn’t think anything of it, a black girl let me know it was NOT okay for me to reciprocate affection. She made a point of telling me so while we were working on an algebra problem together at the chalkboard during class. I’m math-challenged as is, so when she informed me that races would not mix on her watch, my brain turned to mush. My face was flush with embarrassment, and had the teacher asked me to add 2+2 at that very moment, I wouldn’t have known the answer.

A few months later, the gal pals I had known since forever decided I was too much of a motherly figure in their lives and they literally broke up with me. Like, called me on the phone, each of them on a different line, and explained that I was “holding them back from having fun.” I could see where they might be right about my getting in the way of their good times. Drinking wasn’t my thing, I abhorred cigarette smoke, and my parents let it be known that if I did wrong, there would be consequences. So I guess I was a goody-two-shoes or whatever.

Starting eighth grade with zero girlfriends was my personal hell. I also had chin acne which was lovely. It was safe to say that I friggin’ hated middle school. Everywhere I looked, there were roadblocks to my happiness in the form of bitchy girls.

Then I met Jen. We didn’t have much in common at first; she was quiet and shy. I was outgoing and involved in a crap ton of activities. She had lost her mom two years earlier; I still got personalized notes from mine in my lunch bag. But time marched on and our friendship grew stronger. Sleepovers, school dances, sharing secrets–the good stuff.

Fast forward to today and Jen is still my go-to gal. We stood beside one another when we married the men we loved, we don’t think to call anyone but each other when we need to complain about those men we love, we’re Godparents to one another’s kids, and talk/text/email at least once a day, every day. We forged through very different though painful storms to find each other, and it has been so worth it.

Jen is one of the reasons I appreciate The HerStories Project so much. Without this fabulous lady in my life, I wouldn’t know what unconditional love from another female means. Sure, I have my mom and aunts, but I was never blessed with a sister. Jen is that sister.

The HerStories Project is a collection of essays compiled and edited by two other phenomenal women, Stephanie Sprenger and Jessica Smock. The pieces range from heartbreak (like I experienced when my “friends” kicked me to the curb) to stories of inspiration and hope (like my Jen). Each contributor allows us a sneak peek into her personal life by discussing the power of female friendships.

You can read about how the project came to be HERE, and check out all of the contributors¬†HERE. And because I’m all about girl power AND Christmas*, I want to give you a copy of The HerStories Project for free! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post about your best friend, or a friend who impacted you in whatever capacity you’re willing to share. I truly believe people come into our lives when they are meant to, and stay for as long as they are supposed to. Jen and I are going on 15 years; I want The HerStories Project in your life FOREVAH!


*Please note that the chances of the winner receiving this book by Christmas are zero to Bahahahahahahaha! But I will try.¬†Stephanie and Jessica (Stephica! Look what I did!) will choose a winner at random this Friday, December 20. The book makes a thoughtful and sentimental gift for the special ladies in your life, so if you can’t wait for my giveaway or you need more than one, snag your copy HERE!



  1. I have had a similar experience with middle school, my bff since kindergarten moved and i was left to find new friends i did not know how much i had relied on her till she was gone. It wasn’t easy since middle school girls are just plain mean! I have had a few good girlfriends through high school (most of my friends were guys after middle school just cause they are easier to get long with) and my twenties, but met the best girl a girl could ask for just over a year ago at work. She is quiet a bit younger than me but wise beyond her years, she sure stepped up to the plate when I needed her and has been my go to through a very crazy and rough time in my life. She is my sister and my bestie all rolled into one. She has stood by my side and helped to pick me up when my parents disowned me, gave me and the love of my life a place to stay when we were homeless and the whole world was against us. I only hope that one day I can do the same for her. We grow closer everyday even though she is now hundreds of miles away. I don’t know where I would be with out her and her huge loving heart!

    • Know what’s sad? One of the gals who “dumped” me had been my BFF since kindergarten. She had moved away and then came back and I was soooo excited. But instead, she grabbed the “friends” I had made and away they went. All for the best, really, and I don’t wish any of them anything but well.

  2. My best friend had to show me what a real friend does. I am a private person and somewhat afraid of commitment. She lives several states away and I let life get in the way of our visits. But she never gave up. She hung in there, made the effort to visit me–often at considerable expense, and kept the lines of communication open. Our friendship has continued to deepen and grow and I am blessed to have her in my life.

  3. Debbie Pryor says:

    I showed up the first day of middle school the new girl with awkward curly hair and a bad outfit. I felt completely alone in the world. Imagine my surprise when the prettiest (and the sweetest) girl in the whole 7th grade befriended me as I was washing my hands in the bathroom. I think she was checking out her lipgloss. We became the best of friends and stuck by each other through thick and thin. She moved away our sophomore year of high school but our friendship continued and like you, we were in each others weddings. We turn 40 this year and have grown apart but I have held onto our wonderful friendship in my heart. I look forward to reading The Her Stories Project.

  4. Well, let me just say- you and I would have been BFF’s during that hellish time we like to call middle school. You sound a lot like me during those years. :) What a terrible time of life- so glad you found your very best bestest soon after. We are so thrilled that you are giving away a copy of this book! We hope the winner enjoys it, and we think it’s a distinct possibility they will have it before Christmas! ;)
    Stephanie @ The HerStories Project recently posted…Books We Recommend for Every Friend on Your List (At Any Time of the Year)My Profile

  5. So proud to be a part of this book. Love hearing about the friendships that make it through all different seasons of life!
    Julie Chenell DeNeen recently posted…One of the Coolest Toys for Christmas | Giveaway Today!My Profile

  6. Lisa Simmonds says:

    I had many friends in high school, but nothing really stuck beyond those years. I met my best friend much later in life. She, as I, is a military wife, we have been to hell and back together, our friendship has seen us through countless deployments, the births if both our children, the death of loved ones, and more wonderful moments than I can count. Life just wouldn’t be sane without her in it!

  7. Does junior high get any worse than that? My sister experienced the same exact thing and those damn girls continued to bully her after the break-up. It may not have been timely or mature but ten years later I got revenge on them for her. Sisters are necessary either ones who we find or ones we are given.

  8. I have 5 best friends. We call ourselves the YaYas. (I know it’s not very unique, but hey!) We’ve been together for 15 years now. Some of us began our friendships a few years earlier, but as a group we’ve been going strong for 15 years. We’ve had our ups and downs as frineds, and we’ve grown close and apart as individual friends. We’ve been through marriages, one impending divorce, the births of children (planned and unexpected), the death of grandparents, the death of a parent, college graduations, and so much more. Our “other” friends have said they envy our closeness and unusual bond. It’s unlike any other friendships I know. We celebrate birthdays, ours and our childrens, and holidays together. They are all on my emergency contact list… under Yaya. My husband knows to call them first (right after my parents) if there is ever an emergency. They are my lifeline. They keep me sane and grounded and at the same time they continue to help me believe in my dreams and myself. They are the family I have choosen. YaYa!!

  9. Let’s see. My name is Jen. I was an involved goody-two shoes. And I think we would have been great friends in middle school!

    This post and the comments that follow are a huge reason that I’m so honored and proud to be a part of HerStories. Bringing people together, reminiscing about where we’ve been with our friends and where we are now. Such a great job by Stephanie and Jessica!!

    Thanks for sharing this and for your giveaway! :D
    Real Life Parenting recently posted…Tales of a High School WeebleMy Profile

    • Thank YOU for being a part of this awesome project. It’s something that women everywhere can appreciate. Despite different backgrounds, upbringings, and experiences, we are united in female friendship.

  10. I got dumped by my best friend in 6th grade. It was awful, but it freed me up to find my forever friends. Over 20 years later, and I still love (almost) all of them. The HerStories Project touched me in so many ways, and like you, reading it reminded me of so many women in my friendship journey. Great review, great book!
    Amy – Funny is Family recently posted…Crock Pot Thursday: Chicken Artichoke PastaMy Profile

  11. Steph, I am so glad you have Jen. Doesn’t get more beautiful than the perfect friend. Cheers to your friendship and this very cool book!
    Meredith recently posted…A Watched E-mail Pot Never BoilsMy Profile

  12. What a sweet story. (Although, who DIDN’T hate middle school? I still cringe.) I’m glad you liked the book and, more importantly, that you found the support you needed at such an insecure and liminal time in life. xoxo
    Deb @ Urban Moo Cow recently posted…Why Gun Sense Is Like RomeMy Profile

  13. I met my best friend after a girl group breakup, too. It was devastating to me, so my BFF entered the picture at just the right time. We met in our college dorms and have never looked back. I just got home from visiting her today!
    Shay recently posted…Coffee FightMy Profile

  14. My best friend Missy is someone I met when she was two. A super spoiled brat, I hated her. Legit. We moved away and returned 14 years later and she was the one there for me when my friend Wendy passed. She’s been with me thru college, grad school, an abusive relationship, and loving my lil ones. She’s definitely the sister God Forgot to give me. :)
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  15. My two closest friends are from junior high and college…yes I was a goody two shoes too, afraid to get in trouble, but my friend stuck with me all throughout and we even roomed together in college. My other friend we met in college after several bad roommates, one of the guys on the track team introduced us to this girl who he knew needed a roommate. She was the best ever! And I have a wonderful group of friends here who I can count on through thick and thin. Good friends stick no matter what.

  16. My best friend, Brick, lives in CA. But our families owned a beach house together since before we were born so we grew up spending every summer together. We spent Thanksgivings and Christmas together; celebrated birthdays, went to HS and College graduations, threw bday parties for each other, lived together a couple years after HS, drove cross country together when she first moved to CA, I was her maid of honor, she was my matron of honor. We don’t talk/text/email every day, but I know, without a doubt, she is always there for me.
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