Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Circle of Friends

I’m an Air Force brat—a flattering term probably bestowed by a civilian. I’ve also been married to a government employee for 20 years. The seven years in this house are the longest I’ve lived anywhere. Not to imply that I haven’t left this house in seven years, just that I keep coming home to it.

Moving often isn’t easy, especially for children, but what amazing people I’ve met…let alone how many have met me :).

When my sons were tiny, I spent four years in a small, Nevada town. Actually, it’s a town now--back then it was a bump in the road. The nearby brothels put us on the map. Try explaining to young children that the glaring, pink lights they see at night are not a carnival…

I joined a mom’s group while still unpacking boxes, and met a circle of women who changed my life. The group was small, our children the same age and all of us stay-at-home mom’s. Not a phrase I’m fond of, but that’s another post…

Years later, I’m still in touch with these women, although some only at Christmas. I think about them often—a circle of friends unique to anywhere I’ve lived.

A few of us even did all kinds of odd jobs together during the evenings and weekends. We cleaned buildings--discovering that aiming is not a high priority in men’s bathrooms; pulled weeds; earned very little money; and laughed a lot.

A few days ago, I received a holiday letter from one of the women (I’ll call her Hope). Her husband battled bone cancer last year. He lost part of one leg, but is cancer free. Her letter was joyful, thankful, and strong—I was awed once again by her positive life view.

Hope is the first person I knew who endured terrible loss of family—her mother and sister were killed by a drunk driver. Somehow, she survived that loss, becoming one of the feistiest, funniest women I know. She and her husband started their own ministry, and she gives selflessly of her time and love.

Each of my Nevada friends has her own inspiring story, as do all the women I’ve known before and after. My life is enriched by their strength, humor and love.

We may not share jeans, but we’ll forever be sisters of the heart…

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