Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Denial is not just a river in Egypt

Trust me, I know! Denial is one of my best coping mechanisms. Of course Cadence's heart murmur is benign... wrong. A third child will fit perfectly and easily into our lives (Yes, she is a perfect fit. The easy part... wrong.  My best friend is just taking a long vacation... she's not moving away and we will see each other often, right?!

I was raised in Columbus, Ohio, went to college there, and began my career there. This equated to lots of friends. I could call a number of people, any time, any day, and have something to do or someone to see. When I started travel nursing there were usually other travelers to become quick, fast friends. Brad and I met, fell in love, moved to VA, bought a house WAY out in the country, and had a baby. The last two components made making friends particularly challenging. I felt very lost and lonely for quite a while without my girlfriends to call on and hang out with. Once we moved to a neighborhood I joined a playgroup and met a lot of wonderful people and made some good friends. Unfortunately, this neighborhood is quite transient. I have some fabulous friends who have stayed around, but I've also seen a lot of people come and go.

Kristi and her family moved just down the street from us in 2007. Her daughters were the same ages as Sierra and Laurel. We saw each other everyday at the bus stop, carpooled our kids when they were in the same activities, and soon became good friends (as did our girls). When Brad started grad school (the hardest three years of my life) she was there for me. She supported me through all of the challenges of being a "single" parent and missing my husband. I trusted her with all of my worries, my celebrations, and my children. When we were on our way to a funeral and Laurel started puking, Kristi insisted that I bring Laurel to her house and she kept her. Did you hear that? She kept my puking child in her house with her 3 kids! Who does that?! I knew that I could always count on her and she'd have my back. For the first time since college I found someone I would call one of my "best friends".

About a year after they moved in she commented that her husband felt that he was ready to "move up" (read: move away). My initial instinct was to pull away, not get any closer, not open myself up to disappointment when she moved... but I didn't. Thanks to the bad housing market she got to stick around for another few years! In the last year she became good friends with Kelli, and by association, so did I. And I feel so blessed. We've had a blast this last year! We've crashed wineries with our 9 kids (total between us) in tow, cheered loud at late night swim meets, celebrated many birthdays, and enjoyed s'more and wine evenings. The three of us even managed to get away to NYC for a girls weekend. But one thing that I have loved the most, is knowing that these women love my kids. I read this in another blog and immediately thought about Kelli and Kristi:

"Can I get an "amen" for how good it feels to watch your friends love your babies? These kids are my heart and when you love them, you consequently just found yourself a deeper place in my own heart. Likewise, to let my friends know I love them...sometimes loving their kids is the best place to start."

Just two months ago Kristi broke the news that her husband was getting his promotion. I tried to hold back my tears at the playground and couldn't talk to her, knowing the flood gates would open. Not only was I losing my best friend but so were Sierra and Laurel.  Kristi and I were sitting about 5 feet apart, not saying a word, when Cadence walked up. Cadence walked over to Kristi, took her hand to make her stand up and walk, and sat her down on the ground next to me. Our own peacekeeper -that girl's got some instinct! But it made me feel like everything would be alright. Distance changes some dynamics of a friendship, but it doesn't change the fact that I have a friend who will always be there when I need her. It doesn't change the fact that she helped put another wonderful friend into my life. And as someone wise said "Sometimes God can make a void and fill it at the same time".  In the meantime, Kelli and I will plan our next girls trip to meet Kristi in Chicago!


  1. Aw. This totally made me cry. Good friends...especially such a precious, trusted friend..so hard to come by!!:( Praying you guys will all be able to figure out a way to keep this treasured friendship strong. I have been blessed with a couple of amazing long distance friends. We always pick right back up where we left off!!! Best wishes to ur friends. ;-)

  2. I have been on auto pilot but that just came to a screeching halt so I could have my breakdown and much needed cry. Love you lots!