Linking up with Holly Gerth's Coffee for Your heart and celebrating the gift of friendship...
Two Reason’s I love this Week….
This first sun baked week in the middle of summer …this first week of July holds the birthdays of my two best- not blood family…but who are both heart family…my two dear friends…
I remember the first time I went to one of her birthdays… I was a very shy ten year old not accustomed to visiting other kids’ houses and I can still visualize the humid jacket that enveloped North Lakes Swim Club that July afternoon…The air was thick and so was the heat…
Swim caps hid little girl hair and neon bathing suits dotted the shallow end of the family pool.
We drip dried on wooden picnic tables under the pavilion and celebrated Jenna’s tenth birthday.
I’ve helped her celebrate 19 since then.
I remember that her mama had a homemade cake inside a deep dish pan that was slathered with thick (and probably the only time in her life – store bought rainbow chip icing – the kind that has unnaturally bright colored candies confettied throughout the vanilla whips)
I remember being oh so impressed…I had never experienced rainbow chip icing or a birthday party for my new dear friend.
Jenna had led me out of my quiet-at-school shell…She had turned the key by asking me about books and old movies…
I love Jenna.
We have remained friends through middle and high school and hundreds of miles in between Lynchburg, VA and Indiana and now South Carolina.
Recently I was in my room packing up my closet…cleaning it out for our soon attempt at selling our home…
I have put a lot of things away…but I haven’t attempted the five boxes worth of cards and notes…
Wedding Cards, Anniversary Cards, birthdays, Mothers Days, ….
And literally almost every other card I pulled out was like going down memory lane with Jenna again…It was a hallmark scrapbook detailing the themes of our life with every season....
There were post cards from all her spring break trips to Arizona, Texas, and always Sunset Beach. There were always notes to mark literally every occasion and one that especially was poignant to me was a small one heralding my first mother’s day… and there are always ‘just because’ cards littering the pile…
I have kept all of them. I consider them sacred. They are the scrapbook of our friendship...a handwritten history of where we've been. Reading some of them really made me laugh
There is just something special about sliding open the envelope of a handwritten, hand selected card. One that you can't text back to immediately, but think about carefully and then respond with your own scrawl and stamp.
We have shared the better part of twenty years together…and though it has actually been almost two years since I have seen her freckled face and watched her deep brown eyes laugh…it really feels like I just saw her…She’s my heart friend… Every July second I smile and think about the miracle of friendship God placed in my life through the gift of Jenna.
Also in the box of cards I found several notes from Kristen.
Not quite so many as Jenna, because we are more every day messy kitchen and dirty playground and screaming kids friends…
I found Thank you notes from her son’s baby shower and a journal given to me with the inscription that reads, “I hope we will remain close friends.” Yeah maybe… J
We have also known each other for over twenty years both the quiet playground wanderers of our elementary school class.
I think our friendship began around age elven and hatched in fifth grade in our arranged seats and only grew with our intense aversion to one particular boy.
We were always fun friends all the way til graduation, but in college we became roomates and from then on we’ve always been figurative room mates in whatever life stage we are in…
We always make room for each other.
In Kristen I have always had a listening compassionate ear and I know that she absolutely supports me in whatever I decide to do with my life.
I have lived along side of her through all of our college drama which included someone becoming a prisoner of Alias, newlyweds, newborn baby years, toddler tantrums on road trips, park meltdowns, and pool play fun. Our kids love to play together…and I suppose her Evan is serving as my girl’s friend- brother.
Kristen is my every day in and outs of life friend.
Her special birth day is a national holiday…its Independence Day and I have always envied this…a birthday and my favorite holiday on the same day?…She’s a firecracker - baby.
We have really made each other laugh over the years and have witnessed the good the bad and the ugly sides of ours lives and I would not be where I am today without her steady every day friendship.
Two themes that remain constant in both of these friendships are consideration and Christ. I know both of these girls have the love of God shed abroad within them and it leaks out to me…it covers over the petty and drowns out disagreements or drama…And plain old fashioned consideration for someone else…actually listening and caring., undistracted and fully there…that’s the communication that we share….
And these threads are joined with the cord of freedom…the freedom we give each other to have very different families and lives, occupations, dreams, check books, and goals…to be different and still all be okay with it and to dream those dreams for each other…to be a cheerleader for someone's life...to believe in them when they do not or cannot.
Jenna and Kristen…they both just happen to be born in the same week on the same year and I’m blessed enough to be blessed to know them both and call them friends…Happy Birthday Ya’ll .
Oh and Kristen I hope this is better than the time I tried to bring you flowers and almost killed your dog with my car!