Thursday, June 30, 2011

Circle of Friends

Well, back to the Diary Quilt. The next block up as I take you through my life story is a block dedicated to the little town we lived in just before moving to Brazil.

We had moved far away from home, a whole hour & a half drive from our next nearest relative!, and we felt a bit alone and lonely. It was hard being so far from family.

....I will  pause here for the laughter which must surely ensue, knowing that I now live a 10 hour *flight* away from my family.......

So, now that you are done laughing, it was a  hard time to live away from family. I was pregnant with The Adventurer when we moved, which meant I had to change doctors, deliver in a hospital with no NICU, and we would not have nearby childcare for the two older boys when the time came for me to deliver the little one. What were we thinking???

Oh, right; a job. A very good job, with a small little company, where The Chemist got to do more of what he loved and work for people who valued him, rather than being a grunt worker at a very large company with a boss who tended to credit the female co-workers for anything good and blame the guys for anything that went wrong. Yea, we pretty much wanted out of that work environment, so we moved.

We moved out of the first house we'd bought, we moved away from family, we moved away from the beach, we moved away from the town we'd both grown up in and lived our whole lives near (excepting college). It was a big, big step for us. And a little bit scary.  (yes, you can laugh again.....)

So. We arrived in this small town, population 10,000. In the middle of nowhere. Farm country, ya know? Nothing but corn and cotton everywhere we looked.

We rented a tiny little house, with the most wonderful landlady ever. The house was inexpensive enough that we could pay rent while waiting to sell our house "back home" and was just big enough that we all fit. Barely. But the yard.....we had a double lot, which was heavenly. We had an empty oversized lot next door, and the boys made it their own. We had, for the first time, Space. Not inside, but since we are outside people anyway, this was awesome. Thus the bugs I mentioned in an earlier post, and the stray dogs and cats that adopted us.

But I'm getting sidetracked. The block is not called "big giant yard around a tiny house" it is called Circle of Friends, which sort of implies I'll tell you about those people who make up that circle.

Circle of Friends
pink for me, red for The Chemist and the town
green for Momma 3M, my best friend there
and roses for the friends I kept with me when I moved

The first person who must be mentioned is Sandy, the land lady. She loved us like family. She was the first person to welcome us to that little town, and she really loved on us. She brought us fresh veggies from her garden and her friends' gardens. She made a fabric covered photo album for The Adventurer. She brought over sacks of halloween candy each year, and Christmas cookies, and Easter candy, every year. When we moved out and I showed her the wall where we'd been marking how tall everyone was, but hadn't had time to paint over, she cried at how much everyone had grown in the three years we spent in her house and offered to help me transfer the marks to paper so we could take it with us. She was amazing, and just the thing we needed when we first arrived in town.

The second person is really a group. We found a little church to attend, almost right away. We moved in at the start of October, and found this church probably in November. I was put on bed rest in December or so, and having only attended church there for not quite two months the ladies rallied around and set up a meal schedule. For my entire time on bedrest, people from church brought us meals, 3 times a week, each one with enough food to last us a few days. We were blown away. We had come from big churches and had never been on the receiving end of that. Ever. It was amazing. I have rarely felt as loved on as I did in those months.  This love and care only continued through the seven weeks that The Adventurer spent in the NICU in The Big City where he had to be taken after his early arrival, and even still after we got him home.  I don't know how we would have gotten through that time without the folks at First Christian Church.

Still, while all these people loved us and we loved them, we hadn't yet at that point made any true friends. Wonderful acquaintances, people we'd forever be grateful to, but not anyone that I could chat with on the phone, or share stories with, or get lost talking to, no good girlfriend for those girlfriend kinds of chats, at least no one local at that point.

Until we met the 3M family. Through an acquaintance of mine, we were introduced to a few other homeschoolers in the area, and they and we decided to start a park day/homeschool support group. One of the moms from that group instantly struck a chord with me, and I with her, and we've been friends ever since. She told me recently that at our very first meeting, me wandering around a Mexican food restaurant with a tiny Adventurer in tow, she felt an instant connection which mirrored my own. Our friendship has only grown over the years I've now been in Brazil, which is perhaps the best testament to friendship one can make. Anyone who's ever moved far from loved ones knows what a litmus test time and distance are for these things. Some friendships fade away, some die quickly, some stagnate a bit, but the best kind continue on even in the face of obstacles such as multiple time zones, new countries, new languages, and once a year visits face to face. This friendship, with Momma 3M, is one of those, and I am so glad.

One final thought: this block is not just about the friends that I made, but the friendships our family made. My boys and the 3M gang fast became the best of friends, and that friendship too has grown and lasted through the challenges of time and space. So even though this is my life story, I can't mention their mom without mentioning them. The joy a momma feels when her children make true friends, it's something worth talking about. It's worth cherishing, and worth sewing into a quilt square.

Of course I remembered old friends in this block, too; the rose floral that makes the corners is meant to represent the garden of friends I took with me to that small town, and who stay with me even now. That's the beauty of this block, that it is truly about the beauty of friendship, wherever and whenever one finds it.

To all my dear friends, thank you for being you. Most especially in this case to Momma 3M (who I hope likes her newly invented blog nickname....), and to all the folks in that small town, that once upon a time seemed so very far from home.

Have you a lasting friendship? Have you told that person lately what they mean to you? I hope you will; it's such a good thing to hear.

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely story and a lovely block. Great job! I just got back form visiting my "cousin" (we're related somewhere in there...I think technically we're 3rd cousins) who played Barbies with me as kids and who was a bridesmaid in my wedding. It's nice to have people you're close with over the time and space.