Sara Grindy and Annette Emmons are friends for life
They met while they were both in high school. Alamo Heights High School, in San Antonio, Texas. One was a freshman, the other, a senior. They both played flute in the school band. One was called "Lynnie," and the other was called "Nanners." Seventeen years later, Sara Grindy ("Lynnie") and Annette Emmons ("Nanners") are still best friends.
The bond between Grindy and Emmons is borne of joy and sorrow, fun and laughter, and shared milestones. Emmons, who was raised by her grandmother, became a de facto member of Grindy's family. "Annette is with my family for almost every major holiday, birthday, wedding and funeral. She is my family," says Grindy, adding with a laugh, "My mother calls her 'the good daughter.'"
The more reticent Emmons loves that her friend is outspoken and gregarious. "When I'm around Sara, I'm more at ease being with people," she says. She also appreciates Grindy's openness and generosity. "She's such a giving person," Emmons says with feeling. "There's really not much that she wouldn't do for her friends and family."
For Grindy, it is Emmons' supportiveness and sensitivity that matters most. "She knows enough about herself to know that she has issues and faults, but doesn't find it necessary to point yours out to make herself feel better."
Although Grindy now lives in California and Emmons remains in Texas, their friendship has not faltered. They correspond by email several times each week, and have a solid two-hour talk by phone once a month. "When we get on the phone, we talk like we're right across the street from one another," Emmons says sheepishly. "That can get kind of expensive." And they see each other about once a year, most recently last Christmas.
When they do get together, they have loads of fun. "We hit a male strip club for my sister's birthday one year," admits Grindy. And Emmons recalls the time in 1986 when there was a major flood in San Antonio. "Sara and I were out in the middle of this torrential downpour, picking up friends who were stranded, and playing out in the rain in the middle of the night." They also play card and board games, go shopping, share a love of music and people-watch. "Sara refers to herself as the 'fashion police'," laughs Emmons.
When asked for an example of a time when Grindy needed a friend and Emmons was there for her, she enthusiastically responds, "Yesterday, last week, last month, last year - anytime and every time!" For Emmons, the pivotal point in their friendship occurred during college, when their friendship "had growing pains," and the two didn't speak for a year. "My grandmother became very ill, and despite the fact that we hadn't spoken, Sara was the first person I thought of calling, and she was right there for me." It was a defining moment for Emmons. "I knew, no matter what, if I needed her for anything, she'd be there for me. I knew we'd be friends for life." Grindy adds, "From there on, there hasn't been a day that I didn't consider her my very best friend."
The miles between Grindy, an administrative and accounting manager for a consulting firm, and Emmons, a medical technologist, don't seem to have an impact on their friendship. Emmons says, "Sara is in California and I'm in Texas, and while I miss her, I don't ever feel like I'm without her, because she has become such a presence in my life."