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Senior girls’ enduring friendship began in first grade

“One book; two volumes” is how classmates at Holland New Tech came to think of Lexi Gordon and Faith Thomas.

They’ve shared their lunches for years. They were in orchestra together. Both played prep volleyball and ran track. Both are considering careers as nurses or teachers. Both now have part-time jobs at Meijer, albeit at different stores.

The senior girls met in first grade at Maplewood Elementary and formed a deep friendship that has endured, even though Lexi transferred to Holland High School for 12th grade.

“It’s different now that Lexi’s not right there when I want to tell her something,” Faith said. “But we still talk every day. I just sense where she is. We share a close bond. I know it’s never going to break.”

Lexi agrees Faith is a friend for life. She’s not worried that they’ll lose touch next year, when Lexi goes to Lake Superior State University and Faith goes to the University of Detroit Mercy.

But the friends have discussed changing plans and both enrolling at Wayne State University. It would be more fun to be together, Lexi said.

“I can always count on her friendship,” Lexi said. “Everything we’ve been through, we’ve been through together.”

Life’s low points, Lexi said, were sports-related injuries: her medial collateral ligament (MCL) tear junior year and Faith’s hamstring pull her sophomore year. Faith also suffered a concussion.

Faith said she moved to Holland mid-way through her first-grade year from St. Louis, MO, where many members of her extended family lived within a two-block radius.

Because she missed her cousins terribly, Faith said she gravitated to a girl in her class at Maplewood who looked like she could be a relative: Lexi.

“Besides,” Faith said, “I thought Lexi was the best name ever.”

Faith hung her coat on the same hook as Lexi and chose the nearest open cubby.

Both little girls were quiet and didn’t speak until the ice was broken by chewing gum.

“Faith had a clear backpack and there was a pack of gum in there,” Lexi said. “I had to get over being a shy girl to ask her for a piece.”

They’ve been talking ever since.

Faith says camping and going on vacation to Florida with Lexi and her family opened her eyes to things she would not have otherwise experienced growing up.

Mostly, Faith says she’s grateful to have “a friend who’s goal oriented, no drama, and never fake.”

When Lexi is asked what it is she likes about Faith, a look of incredulity sweeps over her face.

“I couldn’t pick just one thing,” Lexi said. “It’s her whole entire self that’s special.”

Contrary to popular opinion, Lexi and Faith don’t always agree. There have been a few times when one was sitting on the other’s last nerve, and vice versa.

Both girls say differences of opinion never really matter.

But their friendship always will.