Dalene is the friend by which I measure all other friends. Dalene, like Jenni, helped me become a better person. It was because of her good example that I wanted to do the "cool" thing, which around her was being good.
In all honesty, it's hard to write about Dalene without mentioning Jenni and vice versa. We were best friends growing up, never to be separated (except by college, marriage and then life). The three of us worked on a Laurel project together, attended Girls Camp and Snow Trips together, had early morning birthday breakfast "kidnappings" together, were in stake plays together, flirted with boys together, went to regional dances together, drove down to Disneyland together for a senior year trip, and occassionally skipped Sunday school together (good thing my parents don't read this, right?).
One of the funniest memories I have of Dalene was a regional youth conference that we attended. We had spent the day doing various activities, and by the time dinner rolled around, we were wired." One guy sitting at our dinner table was kind of obnoxious, and when he stood up to reach across the table, Dalene, who was sitting next to him, pulled his chair out from behind him. Unsuspectingly, he put all his weight to sit back down on the chair, discovered it wasn't there, immediately put on a face of panic as he fell, and Dalene and I laughed so hard that we had to leave the room. I didn't quite make it to the restroom before the humor of the situation had wet my pants. When the two of us would laugh and one of us would say, "I'm going to wet my pants," it was often a literal thing.
Dalene and I had a truly special friendship, you know the kind where you promise to come to each others' weddings and promise that your boys will marry her girls, and so on. With Dalene, where she would get married was never a question: she would be married in the temple, for eternity, of course. I took that to heart, and made it my own goal. And it was because of her good influence that I decided to apply to BYU, which ended up being pivotal in my life. But really, who am I kidding? Her good influence, and Jenni's good influence led me to make a lot of decisions I may not have on my own.
Jenni, me, Dalene and Beth Headley, the best Young Women leader ever at camp. We had a lot of purple going on. I promise that I was not on drugs.
My journal from my teen years is riddled with Dalene's name, and whenever I read my journal from back then I can get caught up for hours reminiscing. I could go on and on about all the great things we did together.
I am overwhelmed with gratitude for how blessed I have been in my life to have people around me that help me want to do better, and show me how.