‘Soulmates In The Form Of Best Friends.’: Young BFFs Tearfully Embrace In Surprise Reunion After Over A Year Apart

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As a military family, the Baileys are used to moving every few years. But the news of deployment to Hawaii from their home in North Carolina came with a special kind of sadness. Jarrod, the son, would have to leave behind his best friend of six years, Josiah.

best friends showing their bracelets
Courtesy of Tessa Bailey

“They were together 90% of the time as they went to elementary school together, played all sports together, and always had sleepovers on the weekends,” Tessa Bailey told Love What Matters. “They were like brothers, but different because they never fought or bickered. They share so much in common and both love sports, the beach, playing outside, talking about going to college together. They’re like soulmates in the form of best friends.”

After over a year of being separated, Josiah’s mom called Tessa to tell her the whole family could come to Hawaii for Christmas. They told Jarrod that they needed to go pick up a family that had been recently deployed, holding onto the surprise that it was actually Josiah’s family.

In a video of the event, Jarrod notices his best friend, looks shocked, and starts to cry.

best friends hugging each other hello
Courtesy of Tessa Bailey

“We pulled it off. Jarrod isn’t a very emotional child, so him crying when we hugged Josiah really got me,” Tessa says in her caption. “This part of military life is the hardest.”


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For the next 11 days of the trip, the families explored Hawaii and enjoyed being reunited.  Because the families are so close, they have already started plans to see each other in person again this summer.

“The ‘see ya later’ wasn’t as sad this time either because we made plans to have them see each other again this summer,” Tessa tells Love What Matters. “They can’t wait and neither can I. I love Josiah just as much as I do my own.”

While the two still have to video chat to stay close, the Baileys have moved to California which makes video chatting easier. Jarrod and Josiah’s friendship is one for the ages, and it will continue to last across years, state lines, and time zones.

best friends in matching shirts
Tessa Bailey Photography

This article was written exclusively for Love What Matters by Anna Steingruber. Follow Tessa Bailey from San Clemente, CA on Instagram. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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