May 14, 2011
At the age of 9 in the 4th grade at St. Mary of the Assumption School in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, I was introduced to a concept called “pen pals” by my teacher Sr. Myra. Since then, I have carried on having pen pals for many years, but in 4th grade, I had my very first pen pal, Angela. Sr. Myra had a teacher friend in Tucson, Arizona, and our entire class wrote letters to their class. I couldn’t have gotten luckier with getting Angela as my pen pal. She had the same name as my sister, she also had sisters, she was sweet, funny, easy to talk to, and I think if we grew up in the same area we would definitely have been in-person friends as well as paper writing friends.
Throughout the years, we constantly wrote each other letters updating each other on school, family, friends, vacations, and eventually boyfriends, living on our own, etc. Most kids in our class stopped writing their pen pals after they got to the 5th or 6th grade, but Angela and I continued on for years. Eventually a little thing called the internet was invented, and we started e-mailing more than writing, but we still kept in touch with holiday cards, pictures, e-mails, and more.
It’s crazy to believe that we have been keeping in touch now for almost 18 years! It’s always been a goal of ours to meet in person, but when we were younger, that was quite difficult being on opposite sides of the country. We always said we would probably meet at one of our weddings one day, so when Zack proposed, I knew I just had to invite Angela to our wedding!
It worked out to our advantage that Angela’s sister recently moved to DC, and she was able to stay with her on their trip to Maryland. I have to say I am still shocked that Angela and her boyfriend, Leon, actually made it out! I was so happy and excited that we were finally able to meet in person after 18 years. She is just as sweet in person as on paper, and I’m so happy to have had that opportunity. Many people who I tell this story think it’s amazing, and while I agree, to me I think “Why WOULDN’T we have kept in touch all these years?” You know a good friend when you meet one, no matter how you meet them, and there would be no good reason to let that go! My only regret is that we didn’t get to spend enough time together since we first met at the wedding, and we were running around like crazy people. I hope she had a good time, and got to meet a lot of our friends and family that she has heard about in letters for years.
Next steps are to take a trip out to Tucson so we can spend more time and she can show us her stomping grounds!