Monday, August 11, 2008

my friend

Here she is; the girl at who's house I should have paid rent. She's been my best friend since third grade. We were the kind of friends that were inseparable. We spent many summer days at Nana's pool, most weekends were spent together and we could make each other laugh till one of us wet our pants (not me). I was often the only non-family member at birthday parties. I was nervous and proud as I watched her piano recitals. She willingly helped tutor me in math. There was a deep and abiding loyalty between us even as children. If there was ever tension between us it never lasted long. We were quite a pair.
Once we went to her families beach house and stole away down to the beach just before sunset, much to the dismay of her very cautious mother. We went from girls to women by each other's side. Once we spent a summer living in Wildwood New Jersey serving on a mission team there. Sometimes we would sit in the lifeguard stands at night when the beach was wide and empty with the lights and noise of the bustling boardwalk behind us. We'd talk and pray and wade in the oil black night ocean. We went to college together and married a couple of good friends. I thought we'd always live life by each other. She moved back to Philly and I stayed here. She had five children in eight years and I had three in three years. And so our story goes, our daily lives have become quite separate, but the miles have not come between our bond and kindredness.

We recently had the pleasure of having her family of seven come visit, which was wonderful, bittersweet, and too brief. At their arrival my eyes immediately fell upon the nine month old little bundle in her arms whom I had never met before. I tried to breath him in and memorize this adorable little stranger as much as I could. It made me happy to watch our kids laugh and play together even if Juden did refer to them most of the visit as "that boy" and "that girl."

At night when all the kids were peaceful I went to fix our tea and called to Vanessa," How do you take your tea?" I felt a little lump in my throat. Funny how such a little thing could get to you. But it brought to mind how difficult the miles make it to stay in tune with our daily lives. I don't like that our children don't know each other. I don't like that I don't know how she takes her tea. But, such is this journey of seasons and chapters. And honestly I feel like such a lucky girl to have had, and to always have, such a treasure of a friend.

our little girls