There was a time more than 10 years ago when the Lord had moved us to a location that I was not very comfortable with. I was a small town girl who found herself living in a Metropolitan area with a 17 month old hyperactive son and a husband working very diligently at a new job. I was slowly making friends. But you and I know that friendships take time. We had moved away from dear friends (who are still dear to us today) but I found myself longing for that one friend who would truly understand my heart. I'd had many people come and go in my life who were friends to me, but didn't think as I did or just couldn't "get it" with the things that truly mattered to me. I wanted someone who thought like me. I really didn't think I was asking too much.
During a conversation with my husband in which I poured out my lonely (minus him) heart, he revealed to me that he had been asking the Father to send me that one special friend. Well, that made me love him all the more because he realized that me needing a GIRL friend didn't diminish my need for him. I don't know how long we prayed, but we got more than we bargained for in the answer!
Enter Pandapop and Pandamom (wish I knew how to do one of those link things...) into our lives when the Prince was just a Pup! How could we have known that what began as a meeting with a mutual acquaintance would grow into a deep and abiding love for another couple? God gave us a double portion with them. Not only did PM and I hit it off, but so did the King and PP. They were some of the many who showed support to us during the King's cancer and chemotherapy. I recall a time when they showed up at the front door with a bag of groceries, including toilet paper, because they wanted to support us and do something for us that WE NEEDED. Who doesn't need TP? They also loved our precious son at a time when they were struggling with their own lack of ability to conceive. They put aside those feelings and treasured him as if he were their own. We have walked long roads with them, some in the same town, others across a state or an ocean, but always in the depths of our hearts. We've had struggles they have prayed us through and vice versa. They are, in their very nature, encouragers. The years have blessed us and them with other BFF's, but there's just something special about the first one. We love you guys.
Well, today my BFF turns 40...NOT REALLY, but she does have a birthday. And with this many miles between us the things we would really like to give are not possible (i.e. hugs, TFT face-to-face, etc.). But just a shout out to her smothered in love will have to do. One thing you need to know about PM is that she is absolutely the BEST gift giver I know. She pays attention to the small things you mention in passing that you'd like to have and it comes back to you in an adorably decorated gift basket with a million other things you didn't know you wanted until you got them!
Before we moved across the pond, she gave me what has become one of my most favorite possessions...a scrapbook on a pillow case! Look below: I don't know why some of the pics are sideways...they aren't that way on my computer and I tried to change it, but...anyway.
This pillow case shows details I know you cannot see...like our kids through the years. Both of our MANY hairstyles. Vacations. Chemo. Garage sales...and the antics that happen with little sleep and too much caffeine! Mutual friends, etc.
I thought this was the most wonderful gift, but not nearly as wonderful as the giver. J, I miss you. I miss my time with you. I miss your voice and YOUR LAUGH! I miss so much about you, but I'm grateful for the seasons (relates to yesterdays posts) we've had and the ones still to come. Maybe one day we'll be actual neighbors. We might be old and gray. You'll be on your porch in the rocking chair and I'll be on mine in the swing and we'll be hollering across our yards to each other. Saying, "Huh? What'd you say?" LOL. Or maybe it won't happen this side of heaven, but we we will be there together!
Happy Birthday, Christina! From your BFF, Coco. Or is it the other way around!? You might have to tell me who you are in a few years...I'm slowly losing brain cells! :)