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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Friendship

On Sunday morning, bright and early, my best friend pulls out of the driveway I've driven up and down at least a hundred times in the last year and heads for her new home in another state.  I'm not quite ready to let her go!! :-)

You'd think it would be easy....I have lots of friends! Quilting friends, church friends, school friends, homeschooling friends -- and even Words with Friends friends! :-D

But it's a very rare thing when all the planets converge and all those friendship properties collide in one person! Jennifer has been friend, confidante, sounding board (probably a sounding BORED from her end! LOL), networker, quilter, shopper, purse maker (she came to my house and said, "We're sewing those purses you've had cut out for over a year TODAY!  Here, sew this seam!")...

We go to church together, quilt club together, quilt shows, homeschool events, Boy Scouts....
She even has a son named Sam!!  Could any two people be more destined to become friends?

Her boys and my Sam were best friends.  Luke and Sam were nearly inseparable, and my Emily is big sister to all of them.  Last fall we traveled with them to Mississippi for their family reunion, stopping by Operation Christmas Child (the shoebox people! :-D) to serve on the way home.

Our families ate dinner together tonight and I gave her a "scrapbook" quilt memento of our combined history (this is the "sneak peaks" I've been showing):

It has all the states we traveled together. "In-jokes" our families have shared.  (We'd laugh to split a gut over the Geico commercial with the militant therapist who asks, "You know what makes me sad...?  You do!" he answers himself! LOL).  A World Changers mission trip emblem; "Yo tengo hambre!" (I am hungry!! from teenage boys in the backseat of my van from KY all the way to Louisiana! LOL).  Runners for our boys and their cross country races and 5K's. Names and words and phrases and memories in the borders.  Favorite restaurants and funny experiences.




When Sam died, Jennifer and her boys were on their way to meet her husband, who had already started his new job there, to house-hunt in their new locale.  She was past Chattanooga, more than 3 hours from us.  When I called with the news that Monday morning, she immediately turned the car around -- put their life on hold!! -- and came to me.  And stayed all week. And served.  And cried with me and for me. 

She is beautiful and talented, wise, compassionate and practical, a gifted leader, teacher, organizer and networker.  She is wonderful at putting people together.  And I am missing her already.  We'll remain close, of course, but I will miss the everyday things!  I will miss her boys! Our lives -- and now our memories! -- are so intertwined....It's as if she is taking not only herself and her family but also a part of us, too. 

In Scripture there was such a friend.

The son of King Saul, Jonathan, befriended a shepherd named David.  "Jonathan," 1 Samuel 18:1 says, "became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself."  Later in chapter 20, Jonathan chooses David's welfare and future as king over his own (much to Saul's dismay and disappointment!).  When Jonathan warns David of the danger of King Saul,

"...David got up from the south side of the stone and bowed down before Jonathan three times, with his face to the ground. Then they kissed each other and wept together—but David wept the most. Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the LORD, saying, ‘The LORD is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.’” Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town." (1 Samuel 20:41-42 NIV)
Only God can bring people together in such a way.  I am so blessed to have Jennifer as a friend!!  I hope I AM such a friend!!

Blessings,


19 comments:

Janet O. said...

What a beautiful quilt to commemorate such a treasured friendship! We can only miss someone because we had the gift of having them in our lives in the first place--a lesson I know you have already learned. What a blessing to have people like this in our lives. And I'm sure you have been just such a friend to her!

pcflamingo said...

What a treasured friend she has been to you. Sounds like you are both lucky to know one another. Sometimes the right friend seems to come out of nowhere at just the right time. Serendipity? Or God :D

Ann Marie said...

I know the feeling of having miles separate you. My best friend moved from Florida to Atlanta in January. We lived at their house every weekend. Yes it sucks, and life goes on. Thank God for the internet and cell phones. Something we didn't really have 20 and 30 years ago. But not a day goes by, that I don't feel like something is missing.

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

I've been through something similar and can empathize, this is a special friendship indeed. You two will be forever friends, God has seen to that already. Sending you hugs. Her quilt is absolutely amazing, ML, what a precious and lasting labor of love.

Crispy said...

What a wonderful tribute to a beautiful friendship Mary Lou! I'm sure that every word written here is in her heart too.

Hugs,

Crispy

Me and My Stitches said...

An amazing quilt for an amazing friend. I'm sure you will miss each other terribly.

Karen said...

What a beautiful, thoughtful gift for your friend. You are a blessing to your friend as much as she is to you.

Diane said...

What a beautiful quilt and a treasured friend.

LynCC said...

What a fun memory quilt. I'm sorry your best friend has to move away like that. Thank goodness for today's technology, that will let you stay in daily contact through venues like email, Facebook, Skype, cell phone with no long distance bills, etc.!

Barb said...

What a beautiful memory of your time with this special friend! And what fun to see my name in your blog today! You kind of had to read between the lines, but I was right there in the Words with Friends friends. That's me! I'm enjoying our games and chats too. I'm so sorry your special friend is moving away. Perhaps vacations to her place are destined to be? Hugs, Barb

Lori said...

Oh, I can tell she is a very special friend. What a terrific quilt you made to commemorate that friendship.

Andee said...

I suspect she feels just as lucky to have you. A good friend is a rare treasure indeed. I wish her the best of luck and you both many more happy memories together!

Cheri said...

Great quilt for your friend. This is one of the things I love so much about quilting, you can pour love and memories into it and imagine the recipient being wrapped inside. Yea internet, and skype, and texting to make her seem not so far away.

Anonymous said...

Miss you, my friend! I hope it is more than a year before we get to see you! Praying for you during this tough time!

Angie said...

Friends like that are a blessing for sure!

I LOVE that Gieco commercial! I laugh so hard when I see it, my husband says 'that's why YOU shouldn't be a therapist!' I say 'that is why I'm NOT'. LOL

StitchinByTheLake said...

Friends are the other side of our hearts - one side can't make it without the other. Even though she will be physically far away she will be mentally, emotionally and spiritually right beside you. And when you both get to Heave I just bet God lets you have mansions next door to each other. Thanking God for your good friend....blessings, marlene

The Civil War Quilter said...

You can never truly lose a friend like that. She'll always be in your heart and only a phone call away. What a treasure you have in her!

Tonya said...

Oh, you have had so much happen. I hate that your friend is moving away. What a great quilt that you made for her!

Michelle said...

Awww...I can definitely relate to this post. A friend like your friend, Jennifer, is a rare find. As a military spouse, making friends is a mixed blessing....one of you is about to move away. We make friends fast and hard, knowing that we don't know how much time we'll have. Thankfully technology today makes it much easier to stay in touch!