Thursday, April 23, 2015

An open letter to a dear friend

Dear Mary,

I've written to you before now to tell you how much you mean to me, but I want my children to always know what a special place you have in my heart. So I'm writing a letter to you here, even though you will probably never see it. Social media's not your thing, you live life pretty much disconnected, which I love about you.

It's been four long months since you have moved away. I have always known you were a good friend, but I scarcely realized how much you meant to me until you were gone. There are so many things I love about you and admire about your personality, it saddens me we don't get to be a big part of each other's lives anymore.

I loved your companionship. I loved that our kids could play together in my messy house and I never felt the need to impress you. I loved that one of our kids would start screaming and we could both smile because if it wasn't your kid, it was mine. I loved that our kids loved playing with each other, and were each other's best friends. I loved that we could swap tantrum stories and middle-of-the-night stories and everything in between. I feel empty without it Mary, no one can replace you.

I love your support. I was nervous to tell you that I was going back to school, nervous that it would change our relationship, or that you would see me as different than you. You didn't bat an eye when I told you, and you'll never know much that means to me. And through all of the juggling you stood by me and you were proud of me for doing what I knew the Lord wanted me to do. From the bottom of my heart, I am grateful to you for that.

I love your compassion. You were constantly serving me, asking me what you could do to help. You and Matt babysat for me many times when I was pregnant with Ephraim, times when I didn't think I could go on, and you would come in and rescue me. I have learned so much from you. One time I met you at the park so you could watch my girls while I went to a meeting for school. I started sobbing, the weight of being a student-mother heavy upon me, and I was embarrassed. You so gently embraced me and encouraged me with my burdens. I hope to give to others the gift you gave to me that day.

I love your kind and gentle manner. I often recall memories of you in my mind when I try to deal gently with one of my children. I see your sweet family sitting in a row at church, your children lovingly obedient to parents who kindly teach and guide (although you probably wouldn't agree with this statement!). I love your soft-spoken manner and the deliberate way in which you speak.

I love your unworldliness. You and your family love to live simply and found happiness without frills or fanfare. We never talked about movie stars or the latest this or that. I love that. I love that about you. I love the choices you make that make you different than most. I feel comfortable around you, not judged and not unique.

I love your honesty. I love that we can share with each other our struggles and our trials and feel safe. I love that you let me be a part of your life in this way and I love that you are a safe place for me.

We may never live close to each other again, Mary. But know that I love you, I appreciate you, and I am forever grateful for your friendship. You cannot be replaced, I feel honored I get to call you my friend.

Love,

Ashley



1 comment:

  1. This is close to my heart! My bff next door neighbor is graduating and their family is moving away in just 2 weeks and I'm already heartbroken. AMazing friends are hard to come by and man oh man you miss them once they're gone! I'm already making my list of the neighbors I'd like to live by in Heaven. You're ding amazing Ashley!

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