I think I was 20 when I met Elizabeth. She was a few years younger than I and we had some mutual friends. I recall she was wearing bright red lipstick and rocking some winged black eyeliner. She, I later learned, wondered if my Louis Vuitton hand bag was a knock-off or authentic. We smiled and said hello after being introduced to each other and went about our separate ways. A few weeks later, our mutual friend suggested I help Elizabeth with some runway walking and communication skills for an upcoming pageant she'd be participating in. It was only suggested I help because I had previous experience and while I hesitated at first, I thankfully agreed because our late night walking in heels session turned into a long and lovely friendship.
It should be noted that, yes, my LV handbag was authentic, and, more importantly, that Elizabeth went on to win that and many, many more pageants. Our friendship also blossomed. The two of us are very different from one another. I am timid and quiet. Elizabeth draws the attention of those around her naturally. We made an unique blend of personalities for a unique friendship. As we grew older and stepped into new seasons of our lives, the underlying basis of our friendship never ended. Elizabeth has traveled the world, gained many awards and recognitions, and still she always came back, remembered me and made time for tacos!
Anyway, Elizabeth became engaged to her longtime boyfriend a while back and when she called me last year to say she finally had a wedding date, I was both elated and disappointed. She was calling to let me know of her upcoming nuptials date and I was on the other line excited and bummed that I'd have to miss the wedding because I was pregnant. Ha! I would be nine months pregnant and two weeks away from my due date on her wedding date. There was no way I'd be able to fly to her beloved island of Puerto Rico for the celebration. But aside from missing the big day, I was able to be a bridesmaid in theory and share in the celebration by creating some beautiful engagement photographs for them. As a prized pageant winner, previous model, and current television weather anchor, I was honored and humbled that Elizabeth would grant me the honor of taking her and Noel's engagement portraits.
Lizzie, thank you my dear friend! You an Noel (Ibra) make a beautiful couple and I can't wait to see you both flourish in the next season of your lives together.