or Rissa Roo, Ralissa, Riss.... Larissa.
Larissa Lynn Smith; by sheer happen stance was in a singing class for the first time in her life in Altoona, PA (What up PA?!) so she could go on a choir trip to NYC. When she transferred to Cedar High in March of 2004, our dear and beloved Mr. Verl Prestwitch, interpreted that to, "Larissa LOVES singing and would want nothing more than to be a part of our all girls choir, Lyricals." She was excited. So she joined us in the land of Mr. G. She sang alto, so we were different parts, but I invited her to come and eat lunch with us; I did not quite know what her name was at this point. Every time someone would ask her her name she would not even open her mouth wide enough that we could hear. We heard Marissa, Karissa, Clarissa...all the while, she did have a cursive L on her jacket...maybe it was for her middle name? Turns out it wasn't (well I guess it could have been since her middle name is Lynn...), it was actually for her first. And I still have no idea how I came to know her name was Larissa.
From this point, I do not really remember how we came to be the best friends that we are. Maybe because she missed my birthday party to play Twister with the sister missionaries? Or maybe it is because she did not know any better and became, in her words 'my shadow', for her first few months here.Or because we both are 100% amused by the most ridiculous things and feel the need to have our jokes go on 45 minutes longer than normal people do, and 40 minutes longer than they should...but we are ALWAYS still laughing at ourselves at the end? Or maybe it is because she knows how much I hate my ears being nuzzled and she always threatens me with such actions? Or because together we have had some of the most life changing experiences available to us and are forever different people because of them? Whatever the reason, we continue to be best friends.
Riss and I have done pretty much EVERYTHING together since we met. From San Diego and Nashville to NYC and Ghana. From football games, slumber parties on my tramp to her letting me drive the metro when I was 15 and had never even been behind the wheel of a car before! From Del Taco at midnight to working front reg and sandwiches at Wendy's. The amount of memories we have together is a little overwhelming, in the best possible way! Carrie and...that is all that needs to be in that sentence. Denny's, the Bug, biting my nose and extreme water fights.(Lisa drowning you with my sprayer...) From DUN to flirting with trees; SPARKLING CIDER and DDR (Brick...House). Service with a Smile and FCCLA has never been rocked so hard! "We go together..." and "Oh those suuummer nights" are indescribable! She makes me laugh like very few people can and I love her for that. I have learned a lot about myself and about serving others since Larissa moved to Cedar and I am beyond grateful for the lessons she taught me I could not have learned anywhere else.
Here are a just a LARGE smidgen of the bajillion photos we have together, please feel free to laugh. I realize now I have seen better days! :)
Larissa got married a couple weeks ago (I was going to post before it happened...but clearly that did not work out like I wanted!) and now it is going to be different. Not in a bad way, but Garren already told me that I could not sleep in bed with Larissa when I spent the night, and already that is a change I am going to have to adjust to! ;) He is now her #1, which going from her calling me 10 times a day to me not hearing from her in a week is going to be an adjustment, and as sad as I am about that, I am beyond thrilled for her and Garren. I love seeing them so happy with each other! I am so glad that they could be sealed in the temple for time and all eternity. What a blessing it is to be both of their friends.
Once upon a time when I was a junior in high school I became obsessed with writing poetry...some of them were like THIS in ridiculousness, and others were better, deeper, and just way more enlightening to read. But one of these that was not so much like that, was a poem I wrote in Junior English...if you ask Mara and Larissa about it, they will tell you it was a hate poem, but I swear it wasn't! It was more about me being jealous of them and they interpreted it wrong! :) But either way, I am ready to redeem myself and this one is REALLY not a hate poem and maybe a little cheesy? But that is what I do. Enjoy!
With you, it's all about
always knowing exactly what to say,
but never actually having to say it.
When no one seems to be listening,
When I hurt but don't show it,
When I turn away to hide my tears,
You know everything there is to know about me.
You know what worries me,
and what keeps me up at night.
I never have to tell, you can just sense it.
Within my book of memories,
Are special thoughts of you.
And all the many nice things
You often say and do -
As I turn the pages,
And recall each single thought,
I realize the happiness
That knowing you has brought.
There are memories of the times we've shared,
water fights and Carrie.
Driving around in the Honda,
only sometimes was it a bit scary.
There are memories of all those notes,
we would write back and forth, (the ones in spanish were the best! :)
When we would just get together,
And talk of this or that.
And when I recall these memories
As I go along life's way,
I find they grow more precious still
With every passing day.
It took us little time and effort
The bonding as strong as glue.
I now promise never to untie
The strings I have tied with you
We are never left on the outside,
Lovingly we entered each others domain.
Smiling. laughing and forever teasing
But forever friends we then became.
Love you Riss!!!