Monday, March 21, 2011

Reasons, seasons, and lifetimes...

If you've ever read this poem, you'll understand the title of this post. 

I've had many opportunities to review the friendships in my life.  From a young age, making friends and keeping friends was hard for me.  My dad was in the military, so I was accustomed to packing up my things every two years to experience a new place.  It's hard to make lasting friendships when you live places for such short time periods.  I think a part of me always kept people at arms length, so I wouldn't feel pain the next time the moving vans showed up at the door.  In some ways, I couldn't wait until it was time to move.  It's exciting...meeting new people, never leaving too much of an impact on anyone, saying goodbye to any problems you may have found in your current environment.  But it's always lonely.  My best friend growing up was my brother.  When the boxes were piled up in the house and my mom and dad were unpacking and organizing, I always knew I had my little bro to keep me company.  I guess having a best friend 4 years younger than yourself probably puts a burden on being able to relate to people your own age.

My first REAL best friend, one that was around for more than a couple years, was Ape (not her real name).  It was the beginning of my freshman year, 1994, at yet another new school.  She was the first person to pay me any attention.  For the next 3 years, we were inseparable.  My parents joked that they had gained another daughter.  We got our drivers licences together, skipped school together, dated together, and got in far too much trouble than any of my children will ever get in!  (are you laughing, mom?)  And then the summer before our senior year she threw a bombshell at me...she was pregnant.  It was in that instant that I knew I had lost my best friend.  I have no idea where she is today and haven't spoken to her in years.  She was my friend for a help me through the difficult high school years.

My second REAL best friend popped into my life in 2003.  I was a brand new engineer at the local power company.  We were required to attend a million training classes, and one day this beautiful Persian girl walked into class late.  Of course the entire class took notice.  We soon discovered that the girl was not only beautiful, but was also a nonstop talker.  I instantly despised her!  But for some reason, Nicole (not her name again) decided I was to be her friend.  Before long, her and I too were inseparable.  Our coworkers called us Siamese twins.  And fun?  Man did we have fun!  I remember sitting in our offices one day and deciding out of the blue to drive that evening to Nashville to see Simon and Garfunkel...never mind that we had to be at work the next morning.  To this day, that is the best girls trip I've ever been on.  Nicole was there the day my water broke with Zep, and she drove me to the hospital while I was in labor with Bright Eyes.  We also shared some very dark times together, but we were each other's rock.  I knew I could count on her for anything.  And she knew she could always count on me for peanut butter M&Ms whenever she was sad!  But, the beginning of 2007 our friendship ended abruptly.  We were both in different stages in our lives.  Her single and career driven, me married and now a stay-at-home mom.  We've tried several times since to rekindle what was, but the days of us ruling the town are over.  They're just memories that I can look back on with huge smiles and laughs.  She was my friend for a season.

My THIRD best friend is also my current best friend.  We bonded at a park over a bee stinger in 2005.  I recognized her from our church's cry room.  We were both pregnant and had due dates within a couple months from one another, but I looked like a whale and she looked like she was bloated from drinking too much the night before.  I managed to look beyond that though, and decided to stalk her until she became my friend!  Her oldest boy was the same age as Zep and now we were having second babies at the same time.  It was destiny, of course!  And truly, I believe God placed Kiki (not her real name) in my life for a reason.  When I'm insane, she's my sanity.  And when she's insane, well I just hand her a phone to throw!  ;)  We're going on 6 years of friendship now.  Our fight count is 0.5.  There was this one time she got a little mad at me, but I sucked up to her and made her forgive me.  We both had our third child last year...completely unplanned, I promise.  She'll confirm this with the frantic phone call she received from me....I think it went something like, "I'm {sobbing hysterically} preg {sobbing hysterically} nant!"  And her response was nothing less than what is expected from your best friend, "Holy shit!"  But, after that she managed to calm me down and help me see how exciting it would be.  Next year we'll be facing our first obstacle.  She'll be continuing her children at our awesome Catholic school, while I attempt to homeschool ours.  We both know that our friendship isn't based around the kids, but they're best friends and losing that will ultimately play a part in our friendship.  What's wonderful about Kiki though, is that she isn't just my friend...she's my family.  So, I'm not worried, because she'll be my friend for a lifetime!

Friends are wonderful and God desires us to share our lives with people...especially ones who inspire us and make us better people.  I've been blessed by each of my friends, whether they were there for a reason, a season, or will be around for a lifetime!


themacblog said...

Ok. First of all, I’ve cried more in the past month than I have in my lifetime. Well, that’s not completely true. I did cry a lot after my Mother died, but it didn’t hit me until about a month after her death. Then I realized my life would never be the same again and the flood gates just opened. My point is I’m not a “crier”. So stop it, Devon! You know I hate to cry! But when I read your blog the other day about how you’ve embarked on this new plan to homeschool (even though I’ve known about it for over a month now), I think it just hit me that things are going to change.

Now, I’ve always been a believer that change is good. And even though, selfishly, I’d like things to stay the same, I’m genuinely so proud and excited for the venture you’re about to take with your family. I know it is the right thing for you guys. Sure it’s going to be hard, but is anything “good” and “right” ever easy? No. So don’t worry about the naysayers and the uncertainties because it will all fall into place. You have to trust that God has led you to do this for a reason.

As for you and me – our friendship – well, that’s always going to be there no matter what school you send your kids to or what city we live in. I distinctly remember saying that to you a few years ago after we had our one and only 0.5 spat about something I can’t even remember now! I think of you like my sister and I really do mean that. We’ve been through so much together from raising our kids together to the beach trips and lake trips. And of course all the talks filled with stories and disbelief at our amazing ability to make it through the teenage years alive despite our foolish choices. I base our friendship on the years of good memories and the undeniable faith we have in each other. I think you would agree that our bond is more than a friendship. It’s a bond as thick as a lifetime of times together and experiences shared. It is family.

BlessedMom said...

And that, my dear, is why you're my best friend! You can even manage to get this girl, who hates to be vulnerable, to cry fountains! I'm thankful for you "crying" this month. What's the saying, "the friends who cry together, drink together"? Or was that my saying?? ;)