We are getting ready to move. Four weeks from today our entire home will be in boxes and loaded in a moving truck. We’re moving “home” (for me) and to a place that is “almost” like home for Todd. As we start this process of sorting, boxing, organizing, tossing, canceling, starting, and sorting there is much reflection. In my sorting I’ve found dozens of journals that have chronicled my joys, pains, fear, excitements, thoughts and prayers over the past nine and a half years I’ve lived here. In one journal I found this quote . . .
“Indian wisdom says our lives are rivers. We are born somewhere small and quiet and we move toward a place we cannot see, but only imagine. Along our journey people and events flow into us, and we are created of everywhere and everyone we have passed. Each event, each person changes us in some way.” -Lisa Wingate
As I think about the 24 year old single girl who moved to California and the 33 year old friend, wife and mother who is leaving now, I feel and KNOW it to be true that every place and every person changes us in someway. There are those who collect shoes, purses, stamps or rocks. I collect people. So over the next month as I pack, clean, cancel, start, box and sort I want to honor some of those people who have changed me over the past nine and (almost) a half years.
I must start at the beginning and those are the first two people that I met, my first friends and two women who have become like sisters to me. My first roommate in California (we all met for the first time when we moved in together!) Gina and Kristin. I’m not great with dates, but I think that the three of us lived together for just shy of five years. We moved three times and had soo many good times. Kristin and I arrived in CA (both from the Northwest) within a week of each other. Gina the brave soul that she is, had lost her two roommates from college and took in two stranger!!
I can’t count the number of times that we woke up on Saturday mornings and found ourselves in the living room all wearing variations of the same outfits. (which was usually jeans or tan pants with some sort of a black top and black mary-jane shoes. ) About those shoes, we all bought, (within weeks) the same pair of shoes. I can’t remember who found them first, but we all fell in love with them, and since we all had different shoe sizes, we thought, “why not all have a pair”. . .
The thing about both Gina and Kristin is they became sisters to me. We lived our lives together for so long we learned how to spot when we needed space and when we needed a friend. We cried together, we prayed together, and mostly we laughed together. . . It’s such a blessing when a someone you live with becomes a true “friend” and not just a roommate. I know with certainty that we are friends, and friends for life.
Kristin taught me about the fine art of story-telling (she’s hands down the best story teller I know, and her life just attracts the craziest experiences. . . ), Henri Nouwen, and being committed to prayer. Kristin is maybe the only friend that I have that loves bookstores MORE than me. I can’t even count the number of Saturdays we spent getting coffee and then wandering in a bookstore, so long that our necks started to get sore.
Gina is the most responsible person I know. If she tells you she will do something, she will do it. Gina is one of those grace-filled, wise people who pours her life out tirelessly for people. She claims she’s an “introvert” in the seven years we lived together I’m still sorting out exactly what she meant by that. . .she’s one of the most loyal friends anyone can have. When Gina sets her mind to something, WATCH OUT. She taught me about setting and achieving goals, listening to God, and kindness to everyone.
I could go on and on and on about these two wonderful ladies. My life without a doubt is SOOOO much richer because of the years we lived together, the hours and hours we spent talking, laughing, walking and living life together in community.
Here’s to “My Girls!”