Monday, November 14, 2005

Monday's Paint a Picture...

Amanda Basch, though most my friendship time with her was spent referring to her as McGuirk; that’d be her maiden name. Yeah, that’s right; she’s one of those friends I have that has another half now! ;) Mr. “Other Half” actually is her high school sweetheart, so that’s cute! Way to go to the two of them! But besides being one of my wedded friends, Amanda and my friendship actually goes WAY back to….uhhhh…well…actually to an enemyship…HA! And actually, if I really think about it, I think it was probably more of a battle we had going between one another based on competitiveness.

Amanda and I met in 5th grade; and I know it is safe to say we despised one another then, and yes, Amanda would agree! HA! Honestly, I think our battle came down to an unconscious battle for “smartest kid in our grade,” or at least when it came down to math. We both were two of the few individuals in our grade level in our school’s gifted program and if we did not find enough grounds to compete on in there, we made up for it in what was called Academic Olympics, which was held once a year and it had several different subject areas. Well it just so happened that Amanda and I were always participants in the same subject area, and since our school could send two individuals from our grade level in the math area, it ended up being the two of us. The kicker for us was the fact that since this was such a big event where the elementary schools in the district competed against one another, it was important that you represent your school well, so we would spend weeks and weeks prior to the competition practicing. So, what did our math sponsoring teacher think was the best thing for us? Studying together. NO!!! We couldn’t stand one another!

I’ll never forget those days when we would be placed out in the hall during like math time or some other part of the day to study for our competition together and we would purposely sit as FAR apart as we could in the hallway, refusing to study with one another…HA! It literally cracks me up to think about it now, but Amanda and I laugh about it together today, as we have throughout our FRIENDship past!

Even in sixth grade, I can remember still messing with one another, though we did not truly still “despise” one another still at that point I don’t think. I think in junior high we had become pretty good friends and in high school even better friends. Exactly why we started to be friends I don’t recall, probably because we shared a lot of mutual friends, as well as always found one another in the same classes, or maybe we just finally grew-up….HA! Whatever the case, I count the friendship we ended up establishing a good one that thankfully still lasts to this day!

Amanda is one smart cookie! She obviously always was at the top of the class throughout elementary, junior high, and high school. She was one of our seven, I believe there was, valedictorians of our graduating class in 2000 with a straight-A grade point average. If I remember correctly, she normally showed me up in those math competitions; well at least for sure in high school she did…HA! We even were both members of our high school chapter of National Honor Society. I suppose in a sense our competitive nature continued throughout our grade school career!

Even today we find ourselves in somewhat similar states in reference to schooling, but I view it more of a sense of respect rather than competitiveness nowadays. Though we are both in graduate school as I speak, we are both heading down different tracks; neither math related might I add…HA! I admire Amanda for the route she is heading, and though I haven’t always held the law profession in such intellectual respect, I have recently had a change of heart on the matter. I truly believe one of the qualities it takes for a lawyer to be a GOOD lawyer is an extreme level of intelligence, taking that into consideration; I can see Amanda accomplishing that feat! She has the intelligence it takes, I’m sure of it! I would be proud to have her defending and debating my case anyday!

Amanda is also someone I respect not just for her intellect, but for her gentle and caring spirit as well! She was always one of the good kids growing up. And though that might have been somewhat of a trait that was looked down upon by some our peers while in grade-school, it is something to hold in great respect nowadays. Amanda didn’t need to cuss to impress people, or to make herself look “cool.” She didn’t need to standout in the crowd to establish her place among her peers. She just always had a smart and gentle word to share among our friends.

Even today, while she might be rather soft spoken, or prefer to sit back and take-in what’s going on with the crowd around her, rather than be the talk of the gathering; she manages to impress her peers with her presence.

I’ve been honored to keep in touch with Amanda over the past years as I have left our hometown area. But even more than that, I’ve been glad that we have made an effort to play catch-up on our friendship this past year and even got to hangout last Christmas when I was home! It’s great to have friendships that have lasted for more than a decade! People who can say they have seen you grow through many stages of your life, but know the real you that is still there in some form or fashion, whether it be you in a high schooler’s body, or you as a professional approaching the judge’s bench. Whatever the case, long-time friends are some of the friendships an individual must treasure the most! So for that, I’m honored to have a friendship with Amanda still today, even if it did start out with funny circumstances! ;)

Amanda represents someone I know I’m honored to be able to call a friend! She’s a great person to know, but don’t take my word for it…

I can describe Amanda in two words…
Fearless...
Never afraid to...
tell her family how much she loves them
show you how much she cares
look silly in public
laugh out loud and make you want to laugh along with her
roll up her sleeves and work hard (physically or academically)
believe in herself
speak her mind ( a good thing )
to do the right thing

Passionate …
about…
her family
helping others
giving of herself
making a difference in the world

her studies
her work

her beliefs
living life to its fullest
everything she does
~Amanda's Aunt Maureen


I am Amanda's cousin. She has always been the sweetest person. Amanda has always been a very hard worker and determined to accomplish anything she sets out to do. She is one of the most intelligent people I know.
~Kimberly Reed



I call Amanda "the lovely Amanda" because she has an Audrey Hepburn grace and humor about her. She has the cutest laugh of anyone I have ever known. My favorite memories of her involve her laughing and being funny.
Love and Hugs ... your Aunt Catherine.



I remember when she was getting married and my niece was all set to be the flowergirl. Well, my sister has 2 other small girls and I have a young daughter also - so to make them all feel included Amanda let them ALL get dressed up and be included. The thing that really amazed me was when my daughter started crying to be picked up in the middle of the wedding and I was a bridesmaid. I stood up there holding a little kid for the rest of the wedding and Amanda didn't mind one bit. I cared - I felt completely horrible that I might have ruined her wedding. Then watching my beautiful little cousin at her wedding reception and thinking about what a wonderful person she was made me cry. She is going to do great things in her life!
~Kimberly Reed


There are many wonderful memories of Amanda but if I had to pick one that best describes her it would be about her wedding. A wedding is usually a sort of selfish time for the bride. Most brides only focus on what theywant. Throughout the planning she took special care to include everyone and make all involved feel special. It brought tears to my eyes realizing what a beautiful young woman she had become, inside and out. As elegant and beautiful as she looked she had not loss her carefree sense of humor or childlike joy of things to come which makes her so special.
~Amanda's Aunt Maureen

1 comment:

Mark E. Lopez said...

She'll always be 'Pickle.' Even if her last name's changed. :)