These two are those friends…
The ones who read your blog when no one else does.
The ones who drive over in the dead-end of night to help you through tragedy, who make Amtrak reservations because you just lost your parents in a plane crash and cannot bring yourself to get on a plane.
The ones who cry at your 25th anniversary wedding vows on a cruise ship to Alaska while the inebriated ship captain with the “Princess-bride” lisp mispronounces you “huthsband and wife.”
Those friends. The ones who invite your daughter, who is struggling at school, over once a week for sewing lessons. The ones who watch your baby for the weekend so you can attend a marriage retreat and baby pukes on their new carpet and they don’t mind at all.
She was the one who brought a basket of freshly-baked muffins to my house the day our oldest son left for college. They were the first ones to hold our youngest as a tiny preemie.
Once when I shared with her how disconnected I felt from my own extended family, and how painful that was for me, she labeled herself as my “sister” on facebook.
They are those friends, who have called each of our four children on their birthdays and sung them the “Happy Birthday” song every year of their lives since our kids lost their grandparents. The prayers for my children are like jewels strung from their hearts, now all the way to heaven, where I know she will still be praying for them.
When it comes to faith, I am confident that I possess belief in spades, belief that will endure no matter what. But these friends, these friends have more than that. Together, they were a dynamo of love together, full of grace and acceptance and humor and fun. They led, always, with their hearts. And they held on to you in such a way that you knew there must be a reason for everything and a God much bigger than reason.
They were our card-playing friends. Easy to laugh with. Easy to cry with. The only thing they ever judged was barbecue. Christ-like yet authentically flawed and human, always pointing to Him as their strength and reason for living.
You know. Those friends. Two of our greatest gifts. Today, we say goodbye for now to her.