recently Mandi and I haven’t had our weekly chunk of time to spill our lives and hearts an hour and a half per person. ben and i went on a date three weeks in a row (i am glad i wrote this out, sometimes a lot only feels like a little until you realize it’s really a lot) and then she was in oregon. we are learning to squeeze our friendship into texts and 20 minute phone calls during the day. yesterday i called her in the morning, on my way to Tracey’s, and i was shocked when she picked up.
she told me about her trip, her kids schooling, her love for the country and their dream to own a cow. we joked about them bagging it all to come out to Jersey and part of me hurt as i laughed because of how much i want it to come true. i’m not the kind of person to see Jesus in mud puddles or church signs so when i sense Him at all, i take it as Him. so i am really ok with Mandi and I’s most likely distance for the rest of our lives because i’m pretty sure we’re going to be neighbors in heaven. i got that Direct.
i told Mandi i had to go when i got to Tracey’s. weaved in the middle of lunch box runs, cousins learning to play like getting into a cold pool, slowly at first, and a coffee date over the phillies and the cardinals and “what do you want to talk about next” with my nephew Bryce, we talked. and talked and talked. maybe the kids made six hours feel like two. or maybe it’s because she’s an adoptive mother and i am an adopted child and we have this precious love hurt in common. understanding here is so rare. or maybe it’s just because we’re becoming really good friends.
in between Tracey and Meredith’s, i made asparagus soup that my men wouldn’t eat. Meredith is new to me and we have come together over food and blogs and church. i call her the pastor’s wife ben’s never had and i think it freaks them both out. her a bit more because we’re strangers and who would say that? I go over to Meredith’s beautifully spotless house for warm cookies and coffeecake (now do you get it?) because together we have planned an evening with young moms in our church. the first 15 minutes we learned how to pronounce each other’s names.
2 hours in we are strangers talking about miscarriages, big families, small families, children far apart or close together, low milk supply, too much milk, mommy guilt, women that make us feel good or bad about ourselves, and the Grace that makes it all a wash. really, it was my mother letter put to conversation and i left feeling, “you too?!”
Juli was the cherry on the sundae of my yesterday. i remember when we were sophomores in high school, standing out in the church parking lot next to my house, her leaning on her car, me with my hip out. she was in like-love with Trent Regier and she just wanted a family. while i was going to prom with Trent, he wasn’t quite my type and the thought of kids gave me a rash. back then, we were completely different people, with totally different lives and outcomes, made of the same “stuff”. that’s still true for us. last night she messaged that she read my letter to myself and she’s there in so many ways and that she loves me. i have seen her maybe 2 hours in 10 years, but deep in my heart where the spirit outweighs the years, i love her too.
oh, these women. and not just these ones, but all the ones who we live different days, separate journeys, together. they pour color and strength into my life.
speaking of color, the next time i go to Tracey’s we are going to dye our hair. i am shooting for red but what if it turns out PINK.