Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Beautiful Memories with a Beautiful Friend

::Phew:: I know that this post is WAY overdue, seeing that I have been home from California almost two weeks... Oh, it is amazing how time flies!

A Tale of Two Girls
Once upon a time there were two girls. One lived in Colorado and the other was going to school in California. They met because the one at college, Dawn, began dating Matt, who was a friend of the girl, Jaclyn, in Colroado.

For many years- almost 6 to be exact- they cooresponded via snail mail, email, instant messaging and phone calls. They talked almost every day, hours at a time, sharing: stories, feelings, dreams, secrets, spiritual growth, pain, sorrow, laughter and tears.

Theirs was a relationship like none before them and none after them. They felt a deep bond that words cannot describe. The only explination either of them could give was Christ and Christ alone. He was their passion, their love and their driving commonality. He was the center of countless conversations. He was the one that allowed and ordained their paths to cross in the first place. He alone was to be praised for giving the girls to each other.

Then one day Matt asked Dawn to be his wife. They were wed surrounded by family and friends. Jaclyn, to her sorrow and distress, was not able to travel to the blessed union ceremony. A year passed... and on another memorable day they called Jaclyn and told her they were expecting their first child. Much joy and excitement was experienced by all in the celebration of a new life. Jaclyn decided it was time. It was time to purchase the plane tickets that would bridge the gap between keyboards, cell phones and envelopes.

It was time to meet her bosom friend face to face. And Dawn, of course, had no objections!

So the plane tickets were purchased for two months after the baby boy, Judah, was expected to arrive. Jaclyn figured that since she had waited so long to meet Dawn face to face, that she might as well delay that day a couple more months in order to see the precious baby her friends were to bear! The months, weeks and days seemed to drag by as they both counted down to the time when their two worlds physically united. Three months. Two months. One month. Two weeks. The clock ticked by. One week.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow. This is how their last online chat ended:

(PureandSimple is Jaclyn, Opportunity is Dawn)

PureandSimple: and tomorrow we will see eachother face to face
PureandSimple: ACK!
PureandSimple: weird :-P
Opportunity: ::stunned::
Opportunity: yes
Opportunity: weird
PureandSimple: do you want me to call tonight?
Opportunity: I have no idea how I'll react now
Opportunity: only if you need to
Opportunity: or if you want to
Opportunity: I dunno!
PureandSimple: of course I want to
Opportunity: ack!
PureandSimple: but we have not talked in the phone in a while
Opportunity: or we could just save it, dear
PureandSimple: maybe it would make us feel better :P
PureandSimple: lol
Opportunity: lol
Opportunity: so you really are nervous?
PureandSimple: ok, whatever you say!
PureandSimple: yes
Opportunity: ok I"m glad
PureandSimple: and I haven't been until yesterday
Opportunity: but WHY are we nervous?
Opportunity: me either!
PureandSimple: I don't KNOW!
Opportunity: ::nervous laugh::
Opportunity: what weirdos are we
PureandSimple: maybe because we share deep, dark secrets but have never looked into each other's eyes? :)
PureandSimple: you know more about me than a lot of people
PureandSimple: but we have never met
PureandSimple: and it is just weird :)
Opportunity: and I was so gonna say something about knowing each other's deep secrets :P
Opportunity: anyway
Opportunity: you get going...I'mgonna go feed my awake son...and maybe get him back on his usual schedule
PureandSimple: alright
PureandSimple: see you tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Opportunity: I think my heart just stopped :P
PureandSimple: ack, I need to quit thinking about it :P
PureandSimple: me too!
Opportunity: me too!
Opportunity: LOL
PureandSimple: ha
Opportunity: ok
Opportunity: good BYE
PureandSimple: that's scary
Opportunity: Love you so much
PureandSimple: will we do that in person too, finish sentances???
Opportunity: and I am DEFINITELY excited now!
PureandSimple: ME TOOOOOOOOOO!
Opportunity: I knew it would come :)
PureandSimple: I love you soooo much too!
PureandSimple: BYEEEEEE!
Opportunity: don't eat chocolate ice cream tonight...I want to see you tomorrow!
Opportunity: bye!
PureandSimple: lol
PureandSimple: :P
Opportunity: ;-) bye


The day had finally arrived. My bags were packed. My tickets were in hand. I was boarding the plane in Los Angeles that would take me to the arms of the girl that knew more about me than most. I was nervous, excited and tired. The plane touched down and my stomach was in my throat. What do I say to her? Will I cry, laugh or stare? I took a deep breath and headed to claim my luggage. I peeked around the hallway into the baggage claim area but did not see Matt and Dawn. I stood waiting for my bags, looking for my friend when I spotted them walking down the hallway towards me.

My heart began beating faster as I raised my hand and waved. I could see the expression on her face was nervous excitement too and it made me feel better! I walked to her, on wabbling legs, all smiles as we embraced for the first time. We hugged for a few moments until I realized I had left all my bags unattended. Opps. I claimed my checked-in suitcase and we were off to the car.

It was an odd mixture of strangeness and normality to be in her presence. As I looked at her with my friend Matt, carrying their son, Judah, I was struck with her beauty. Her eyes are stunning. Her face when she smiles is full of joy and light. I wanted to stare at her and soak in everything about her. I knew I had five days, but that did not seem like enough time to catch up on the last six years... or to save for the next six.

It was five of the best days of my life. I will treasure them forever.

This is a picture of Dawn and Judah during a morning feeding. It was incredible to watch Dawn as a mother. She and I have known eachother since we were both young, single and dreaming of marriage. Now she IS a wife and mother. And an amazing one at that. She is gentle, fun and patient. She cares for both Matt and Judah with grace and honor. As I watched her and looked around her home I could tell that she takes joy and pride in being a homemaker. In all of our conversations she displayed herself as one who loved homemaking, but being in her home and watching her in action confirmed that she takes seriously the role of womanhood that God has given to her. She was a wonderful example, encouragement and hope for me!

Darling, fun, cuddly, cooing Judah was so much fun to play with. He is one of the most beautiful babies I have EVER seen. I am so glad that I waited until he was born to go visit!

What words can go with that picture? He is the picture of a happy, content, well-loved and cared for baby!

The Saturday I was there we went to visit the beach. It was beautiful, windy and cold. We enjoyed a delicious picnic lunch on the sand while listening to the roar of the waves. It is such a relaxing, refreshing sound! Dawn and I walked to the water and it was soooo cold! Granted, it was not as cold as the river glacier water I play in here, but it was a lot colder than I thought it would be.

Matt and Dawn had asked me to watchJudah while they went to see X-Men III. I was honored and delighted to be Judah's first baby-sitter! We had a good time playing and singning. Amazingly, I took this picture of him and I looking at eachother!

Bath time!

A Palm Tree near their home... and Dawn and I in our Sunday best after church!
A view of the countryside on the way back from church.

A family picture the morning of the day I left.

The day come for me to leave and how sad I was inside to have to part from my precious friend. Every day was full of joy as I stepped into her world, held her son, teased her husband, cleaned her kitchen, cooked her dinner (with Matt- that was fun!), cooked with her, watched her TV, slept in the room next to her, walked with her, shopped with her, laughed with her, sang with her, worshipped with her, drove with her, played Mancala with her, listened to her coo with her baby, watch her cook, sit with her as she nursed, watch her talk, see her smile and gaze into her beautiful eyes.

Overall, she was exactly as I had always imagined she would be. Except... she was better! I cannot begin to describe my feelings and emotions while I was there. It was surreal. It was amazing. It was a blessing!

What do I take from my time with Dawn? So much... One, her eyes and smile. When I close my eyes I can see hers as they light up when she laughs. Two, as I looked around her home, watched her with Matt and Judah, I realized how much she delights in being a woman. She takes seriously the role of wife and mother. She is delighted to work with her hands to make sure that Matt and Judah are cared for and that Christ is honored in their home. Three, the ride to church on Sunday morning when Dawn read aloud a chapter from the book she and Matt are reading (Sacred Marriage). As I listened to her read, I soaked in her voice, influction and conviction. They are a young couple that are truly putting Christ first in their marriage and family. I knew, in words only, before I went to California, but was then able to see firsthand that it is true.

So, I will say the same thing about Dawn that she said about me: She is what she says she is. There is meat behind all she tells me about her life. She is real. She does not pretend to be perfect, she knows she is not. She does not only have outward beauty, she has beautiful depth of character. She does not just say she loves Christ, she does and you can tell. I could go on and on and on with sappy feelings. Dawn alone will be able to understand the deep emotions of what she and I experienced.

Thank you, Dawn, for being who you are. Thank you for your undying friendship over the years. Thank you for your shoulder to cry on, your listening ear, your encouragement, love and example. I had so much fun being with you. I wish it never would have ended. I didn't expect to miss you as I do. I didn't expect to feel overwhelming feelings of love for you.

You are a treasure. You always have been. You are more precious to me now than ever before.



Spanish Morning said...

You got me back -- I got so teary. I miss you so much, my Friend. You have encouraged, blessed, and admonished me with your words. All you have said is truly what I aspire to...to hear that someone sees it in me though she knows my struggles is humbling (as my mom said). I love you so very much. I am GLAD God has allowed me another woman to know me so incredibly well. It is comforting to not be alone with my woman's brain. :-)

So are you coming in January or what??? :-P

Ann Marie said...

I'm glad you had such a mahvelous time! Thanks for sharing the precious pictures!!! God really knew what He was doing when He created friendship (and everything else, but friends are such a bonus!) :)