Forever Friends - Part 1

This time last week I was sitting in a restaurant with friends I haven't seen in a few years.  We had just celebrated the life of an amazing woman.  She lived a beautiful life and I am beyond blessed to have known her for 23+ years of my 37.  It's so hard to say goodbye, even when we don't see each other often.  She was like a second mom to me.

It was great seeing childhood friends with their families. For some, I was meeting their children for the first time, which is always exciting.  It's fun to see how kids grow from visit to visit. Sadly, time does not stand still between those visits so I miss a lot of the growing steps.

This trip really got me to thinking about the value of friendship.  I consider myself a fortunate soul to have so many lifelong friends such as these.  I've known these guys since I was 14.  We were pretty much united by marching band (Go, Band!) and stuck together through the years.  Many miles now separate us, but thanks to outlets such as Facebook, we can communicate easily.  And, although we may seriously disagree on issues such as politics and religion, we're still friends.  No matter how many years we're apart physically, we can pick right up where we left off.

I've spent holidays with these friends.  We've been through many birthdays & celebrations, marriages & divorces, births & deaths.  I know at any given moment if I needed anything, I could pick up the phone and call one of these guys.  My prayer is that everyone has a friend like that!

Life has changed a lot over the last ten years.   I've remarried, had two babies, and live in another state.  I don't get to see these precious friends very often, but I'm still very thankful for them.  I love each and every one of them.  If I could hand pick my family, I'd give the 19 Kids and Counting crew a run for their money on the number of siblings I would have.  :-)  I am a little sad that my husband and kids haven't had the chance to get to know them all as well as I have.

Don't get me wrong.  I am incredibly happy where life has taken me.  Again, God has richly blessed me with fantastic friends in my adult life.  Sometimes I wish I could just selfishly bundle everyone up and keep in one place together forever.  :)  Oh, wait!  That's what Heaven's gonna be like!  Well, until that day comes, I know Mama Joyce is getting a great feel for the place and anxiously awaiting having all her "kids" back for a Thanksgiving feast.  RIP, sweet lady!


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