I've been fortunate to have good friends throughout our time here. They move in and they move out, but I've been blessed to have at least one of them here at all times.
The first was a sweet woman I met when we first started going to church here. For the first three years of our residency she lived here but has since moved to New York. She is the mother of 7 children, and we had pregnancies that overlapped, so some of her children were the same age or very close to mine. She was always so optimistic and faithful about the events in her life. She taught me that family was the most important thing. She is a terrific mother, and one I want to be like. Her husband is a corporate attorney and traveled frequently so she was familiar with our lifestyle. She was the kind of friend that even though you might only see each other on Sunday you knew you could count on her. She was always offering to help. I've missed having here. She was my beacon, my example of how to survive and do it gracefully.
The same month that this friend moved, a new friend entered our lives. A third year medical student, his wife and their daughter moved into our congregation. Naturally having the same professional interests we were destined to be friends. Their daughter was the same age as my middle child and they were expecting. It was almost like looking at us as we moved here with one child and were expecting. Our daughters played together, we swapped babysitting, shared dinners together, and saw each other at the gym often. They moved last month for their internship and they will be missed. She exemplified living a joyous life. I don't remember ever seeing her down. She has an adventurous spirit that I admire and find lacking in myself. She is thoughtful and generous. She will be missed.
About a year ago another dear friend came to my rescue, although I'm sure she didn't know it at the time. Our congregation had some boundary changes that brought new families into our ward. I quickly discovered that she and I were members of the same gym and attended the same classes but at different locations. We decided that we should be workout buddies and for the last year I have enjoyed seeing her a few times a week. Not only has it helped my discipline at the gym, but it has provided for some time to talk, without children under foot, that I usually don't get. After an hour long class, hanging out on the treadmill to talk is a treat. We also have children that are near the same age and she has such a dynamic personality. She pulls me out of my shell and has introduced me to many of her friends who have become my friends. She has taught me to loosen up a little bit and just have fun, stop being so serious all the time. When I think about moving next year, she is someone that I will miss the most.
Last night she threw a baby shower dinner for me at a local restaurant. I told her that I didn't need a shower as I already had everything from my previous baby born during the same season of the same gender. She wouldn't hear of not celebrating this occasion. She is probably the most social person I know! So for the first time since I've lived here I went out to dinner with friends, many of them thanks to her introduction. As I looked around the table I realized that I have been missing out on so much of life. I've used my husbands job, our finances, our children, etc. as a way to shut myself off from people who I need in my life.
There are so many people around me who have offered assistance of all kinds that I rarely take up on their offers. Why? I think most of the time I don't want to impose on their life. They have things to do, kids to take care of, houses to clean, etc. I know that most of them wouldn't expect to receive anything in return. I need to do a better job of letting people in. It is something that I have struggled with my entire life. But I am going to try harder.