Mo and I met in the sixth grade. I sat in front of her in World History, since it was the natural order of things that Barrientos should be directly in front of Boucher, which also seemed to seal our undeniable bond. As I sat there, almost ignorant to the rest of the students around me, I felt a light tap on my shoulder. I turned around to see this very small, frail looking girl (who was so obviously Peruvian) and she said, “Hi I’m ‘mew-ree-ull’” (I’m not even joking, that’s how she says it, until this day, every time she introduces herself to someone…try it.) To which I then responded, “Hi. Juliet. Are you Peruvian?” She laughed and said, “Yeah!” and the rest, as they say, is history. My best friend for 11 years. I can always count on Mouriel to stand loyally beside me through anything. We joke around that because she’s two months older than me she likes to act like my mom most of the time. But I like it, and I only tolerate it from her. Mouriel possesses this sort of innate sensibility to the human spirit. She’s extremely intuitive to how people feel and always goes out of her way to make sure everyone around her is happy. Mouriel has a way of seeing through my, sometimes rough, exterior and understands me better than anyone else I know. We share such an unusually strong bond that we can transmit thoughts with just looking at each other. Most of the time you’ll find us just saying “dude” to each other because that’s really all it takes to know what we’re talking about. It’s really odd. She is so special to me I can go on and on about what a magnificent person she is, but if you ever have the good fortune to meet her you’ll see it and know that there are no words in the English language that can begin to describe just how sweet, thoughtful, and genuine she is. Mouriel is the best friend/fake cousin a girl could have. And although the title “Maid of Honor” typically denotes honor on behalf of the maid, it truly is an honor to have her stand beside me on one of the most important days of my life.
Daiana and I were meant to be friends from the very beginning. I’ll admit that I was reluctant at first (and with good reason, I assure you), but as mothers have a way of guilting their children into anything, my mom ultimately
forced convinced me to be her friend in the 4th grade. We were in Spanish class and I was the teacher’s pet, a title I worked extremely hard to get! I was always the one to score the highest in class and my teacher had already taught my cousin Andrea and was, at the time, teaching my little brother, so needless to say she loved me! It’s not my fault! Anyway, then Daiana came into the picture. She had just moved here from Argentina with her family and of course she freaking spoke the best Spanish in the whole wide world so naturally we began to compete against one another (not intentionally…we just do that sort of thing for fun) So of course when my mother positioned the idea of befriending this blonde haired Argentenian, I was not too thrilled. But I’m glad she did. We didn’t truly become close friends until middle school because we both just so happened to go to the same magnet school. It was there that our friendship began to blossom, and it also helped that she literally lived two blocks away from me. Daiana and I were (and sometimes still are..) inseparable. She was my confidant, my business partner, my shoulder to cry on, all the cliches you can possible think of — that is Daiana. It’s funny because when people meet us for the first time they are instantly confused as to how we are such good friends. She’s much more outgoing than I am, can speak perfect spanish (well not as much anymore…hahaha), loves sports (ew) and is extremely loud. But what brings us together is our mutual love for each other, and the fact that despite ALL of the many trials our friendship has gone through, we’ve always been there for each other. She is the epitome of a faithful friend, one who really grew on me after a while. I think that even if we lived on opposite sides of the earth, and would rarely speak to each other, Daiana would still be at my wedding, because I can’t imagine going through any important time in my life without her. She understands me amidst my relentless silence, and can reach into the depths of my heart: a feat too difficult for many. I love her more than words can explain, and as the years go by we’ve experienced grade school together…She was there for my sweet fifteens…We went through Elementary, Middle, and High School together…we met Christ together…she joined my enthusiasm when my sister got married…she helped me spoil my youngest nephew Ryan when he was born…she wiped my tears when each of my grandparents went to be with the Lord…We shared laughs when I got a brand new bedroom after so many years of sharing with my little brother — She offered to “help” me paint my new room, and sat and watched me for hours as I did it on my own….she was there to encourage me when I began to fall in love with the man of my dreams….She was there when my family got our first baby princess, Alyssa…She cried beside me when my cousin was shipped to the war…She gave me her hand to hold onto when times got tough…And now, as I get ready to marry the one man who loves me more than anything in this world, she’ll be there…faithfully standing beside me through it all. That is why Daiana is one of my maids of honor.