I met Rochelle a long time ago, I’d have to say, she is probably my oldest friend. Her family and my family both went to First Evangelical Free Church in Moline, IL. I have so many stories of Rochelle and me, but Rochelle has always been an inspiration to me and that’s the story I’ll start with.
When I first met Rochelle, her, her mother, sister and brother lived in a small ranch house in Moline. Her mom, Wanda, worked 2-3 maybe even 4 jobs to keep the family above water, but it wasn’t enough. I believe they lost their house when Rochelle was a junior in High School. They ended up moving in with Wanda’s parents and they lived in the upstairs, which was rather small for a family of 4, but they made it work.
Rochelle and I went on several youth group trips together, which is how we ultimately became close friends. Most of us kids at First Free, our parents forked over the money for the trips. Rochelle, payed for her own way, working at Hardee’s or Village Inn. The nights I would go over to church and she wasn’t there, I’d drive my wood paneled station wagon through the drive through at Hardee’s and get a big cookie and a coke, just to say hi.
Rochelle ended up going to college, graduated in 4 years and now works for the government in Illinois. Although there were many days in which she could of given up, she never did. She truly is my idol.
I got to see her last November when I went home to visit my folks. She drove 2 hours to come and see me! I can’t remember the last time we saw each other, I think it was maybe my wedding. That can’t be! Oh no, it was years ago on our way back from Murtle Beach.
One of the more funny stories about us is the boys we had crushes on in high school. Her guy’s name was Travis, mine Seth. She says I was the stalker, but I’m not convinced on that one. We’d of gone anywhere to run into either of them, even though neither of them wanted to see us. I say, look what you boys missed out on!
Rochelle reminds me of the movie Pretty in Pink, but she’s way prettier than Molly Ringwald, she’s got a Nicole Kidman thing going on. Perfect porcelain skin and strawberry blond hair. I told her that the other day… this was her response.
Ok, you're making me blush bright pink! Love you for it too - thanks girlfriend!! If i had my way, i would be a tall, slim dark-haired beauty like you, but I'll take what God gave me & be glad about it:-) To answer your question, there is no such a thing as "too pink." Love the color & those fabrics!!
The following day I received this message from her.
So I'm buying tampons at Walgreens on my lunchhour and a man waiting for a flu shot said looked like Nicole K...I started laughing since you just sent me that msg yesterday! Too funny!!
Look - she really does look like Nicole Kidman...
Her family. Husband Pat and son Zach.
One of our youth group trips to Colorado.
Hanging out before her wedding.
We also have the common bond of loving the St. Louis Cardinals. Even if we don’t communicate throughout the year due to busy schedules and responsibilities, we always connect late summer to cheer on our boys. Rochelle is a lot like Ryan, laid back… I imagine if we all lived in the same city, Pat, her husband, and I would be the ones getting all loud about the game while Ryan and Rochelle would sit back and roll their eyes. There was one time I was at Chili’s and Matt Holiday dropped the ball in a playoff game and I yelled, “SHIT!” Let’s just say it drew a lot of attention – but in my defense, I was in the bar, a place where children shouldn’t be – HELLO!
Throughout the years we’ve watched them win and we’ve watched them lose – but we are forever Redbird fans and when you have a friend that loves baseball as much as you do, well that friend is priceless, especially if they like the same team.
I’m excited to say that we are headed out to Springfield, IL this summer to spend some time with them and go to a Cardinal’s game.
So, my dear friend Rochelle, I love you with all my heart and am thankful that you are in my life! I couldn’t imagine my life without you.