I am not the type to use my blog to write long and lengthy discussions on feelings or such...except that one time with my home birth...but this week I've been feeling differently.
Sometimes it isn't until years later that we see all these strings being pulled together and the shape of those previous moments building a beautiful tapestry.
Evan was born and raised in Oklahoma. Chris moved to Oklahoma at the age of 11, or something like that, and into Evan's ward. Many years later, Evan, Chris, Teresa, and I all lived in the same complex in Provo while we all went (some more successfully than others, oh, I digress) to BYU. Chris and Teresa were married. Something like four years later, Evan and I were married. Teresa, by way of marriage, became my husband's best friend's wife AKA my best friend (so no one is offended-- I have many).
After 4 months of being married to Evan, Teresa and I actualized that relationship. See Teresa and her sister, Jenny, have cystic fibrosis or CF. It's a complicated disease that screws with all mucus areas of the body like sinuses, lungs, digestion, and fertility. It also means a lot of treatments (daily at home), medication, and 2 week hospital stays periodically as needed. While there are many ways to help people with CF, eventually it will become fatal.
Teresa and Chris were living in Provo with their four month old daughter, Halle, when we became best friends. Teresa had to be at the hospital in Salt Lake. I lived in Salt Lake. I was not working, just being pregnant. I spent a lot of time with her. I thought it would be awkward--but it never was. Instant friends, just add the hospital and stir :)
Since then, I have kept Teresa company on several hospital visits. This week and next, I will be keeping Jenny (Teresa's little sister) company on her hospital visit up here. Jenny's family and child live about 2 1/2 hours away. We really didn't know each other until this hospital stay and the opportunity for me and all my boys to spend time with her. Again: instant friends, just add the hospital and stir.
In order not to sound like I am tooting my own horn, this isn't about me going to the hospital. Although Evan and I love it. Not the part where Teresa and Jenny are sick. But as I told Evan last night, I have a captive audience. Evan loves the hospital food. Hopefully no one thought we were less self-centered than that because we aren't.
What I am getting at after all of this, is what if Chris's family didn't move to Oklahoma or Teresa didn't marry him or any of those other things? What if Teresa's sister Jenny wasn't her sister or didn't live here? I would have a huge whole in my life. These women are amazing. They have amazing strength, tremendous courage, are wonderful mothers, and more patience in their little fingers than I have in my whole body. I stand in awe and am amazed that they are my friends and want me to come visit them. The more I know about them and CF, the more I see how much room I have for improvement in my own life--how much I take for granted. How strong their parents and their siblings are, and particularly the strength and faith their husbands show in being there right along with them for every lung functioning test, each sputum culture, lengthy hospital stays, painful PICC lines, and expensive daily pills. I would not live my life with as much grace as they do and I do not accomplish as much as they do, even though I am healthy.
I've been very blessed in my life. What was not intended for me to have in a biological family--I do love my sister and mother---I've been abundantly given in my friendships and in-laws. Fantastic people who care for me, support me, teach me, and set wonderful examples. Even friends for whom time and distance does not change our relationships--we pick up like we were never apart. For those seemingly innocent things that have built me a wonderful tapestry of human relationships, I am frequently overwhelmed with gratitude. So thank you. Please know, I stand in awe at all of you.