Julienne, Katie, Dori, me
Amber, Dori, me
I just got home from traveling back in time. It was the loveliest trip. (Actually, according to my own definition, it was a vacation.) First I went to Colorado to see four college roommates, who somehow managed to settle there, independent of one another. Two of them live across the freeway from each other and didn't even know it. Then I went to my high school reunion. More on that later...
We ate and talked and ate and talked and ate and talked some more.
I wish I could describe how full my heart was (and still is) with joy at seeing these friends. They are the kind of women who, even after several years of not seeing each other, can pick up right where we left off. They are the kind of women who help me see just how much good there is in the world--the kind of women who inspire me to be a better mom, friend, wife and woman. Each of you should have at least one of these women for a neighbor. Seriously.
For example: Katie has an 11-year-old daughter who has autism. Up until a couple of years ago, this beautiful girl could not speak, and she has never slept through the night. Katie also has a son who is 18 months older than her daughter, so my guess is that she hasn't had a full night's sleep since around 1996. Her daughter also had a terrible sensory reaction to food last year, and consequently got frighteningly ill. Through it all, Katie has maintained an attitude that I can only hope to attain for myself. She truly sees this child through God's eyes, and she considers it a privilege to be entrusted with one of His special children, while maintaining an appropriate level of sass and style.
Julienne has lived all over the world, as her husband is in the Army Band. She is smart, strong and beautiful (yes, she really does look like Buttercup in The Princess Bride), and has a crazy trivia memory like mine. Who else can remember all of my siblings' names in order (7 of us), as well as the parents of a kid I went to high school with--Izzy and Pinky Lifshitz? (yes, really) We have been fortunate to have lived close to each other a few times in our married lives, and I count her as one of my closest friends. She recently got a roundabout shout-out on cjane's blog and didn't even know it.
Amber is wild and crazy and so much fun. She writes her own blog and a few years ago started Mile High Mama's--a mom's interactive resource section in the Denver Post. She, too, has traveled the world, mostly living by Murphy's Law. Her husband is attempting to grow a real-life Great Pumpkin. In 1993, when I called her to tell her I was engaged, I said, "Guess what I'm doing?" She answered with, "Watching 90210?" It was Wednesday night, after all.
Dori is the kind of person everyone should have in her life. She is smart, funny, stylish, beautiful, kind, silly, generous, and every other superlative you can imagine. She was my very first college roommate, and I couldn't have asked for better. She is someone who would rearrange everything in her life to help me, and I would do the same for her. She married a great guy who makes her laugh every day. The only downside is that she is not my next door neighbor. Darnit.
See? I told you. I love these women because they knew me in what I call my Past Life (before children), when I was allowed to be silly, and each of them has been critical to my growth as a person. My heart was full to bursting, spending time with these amazing friends. The Lord really does wonderful things with His women. Thank you, my friends. I sure do love you.
P.S. Thanks to my husband and oldest kids for holding down the fort!