Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Joy of Treasured Friendships

Earlier this week my friend Liz visited from Virginia with her three kiddos. I have felt such joy in my heart since that visit. It has helped remind me of the value of special friendships and that even when we move away from friends, the love in our hearts remains the same.

Liz has three children -- ages 11, 10 and 8. I have two -- ages 11 and 8. We were pregnant together with both the 11-year-olds and the 8-year-olds. We also had one other friend with children the exact same ages! What are the chances?

At the time we all lived in sunny Florida. The three of us were stay-at-home moms and used to have regular weekly playdates. We shared all of the joys and challenges of being pregnant, navigating the sleepless days and nights of infants, and the exhaustion of chasing toddlers around. It was so nice that we had each other.

We also had monthly poker nights with our husbands and one other couple who had children at similar ages. Treasured times! I feel so blessed to have experienced it.

In 2009, Liz's husband took a career opportunity in Washington D.C., so they had to move. I was devastated. I seriously thought my life would never be the same. Of course, it wasn't, but it still went on, and I was OK.

It was just one year later when Paul took a career opportunity in Chicago, and it was our turn to move. I am uncertain if I would have been able to do it if Liz hadn't already moved. I wouldn't have wanted to leave that solid group of friends. They were my Florida family. But since the dynamic was already changed, it made it easier to make a change myself.

We honestly don't do that great at keeping in touch. Of course, I wish we did better, but it is difficult with life and children moving at warp speed.

What I love about our friendship, though, is that it's OK that we don't talk often. Nobody's feelings are hurt. And when we get back together, we just pick up where we left off.

Now our kids are having that experience as well. They look forward to our visits and play so well together. It's fun to watch!

So, even though, having to say goodbye when a friend moves or leaves after a visit is difficult, I would choose to experience that pain over and over again in order to experience the richness of a special friendship.

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