I have shared our adventures on here before - Mayfield Dairy, Easter, pumpkin carving, coffee shop talks, loving on Noah, etc. - and today, she is flying across the country to move her life to Tacoma, WA for at least a year. And from Ten Mile, TN, friends, that's a little more than a hop, skip, or a jump - combined.
Al, Noah, & Me at CLS.
Al, Noah, & Me at CLS.
Our friendship has unlikely roots and an even more interesting path, though it seems inevitable that God wanted us to be friends long before we actually met. She is the little sister of my college friend, Rebekah, who I graduated with in 2007, but I never met Al in the two years I knew of her while in Tallahassee. My brother took a job at Camp Living Stones that summer, where Allison had been a counselor in previous summers and was returning once again. I emailed (maybe even myspaced) her randomly telling her who I was, who my brother was and what he was going to be doing, and asked her to please be nice to him. (I'm a good little sister like that.)
Little did I know, or anyone for that matter, that Matt and Allison would eventually date after that summer, Al would move to Englewood, TN to work at camp in the office, I would meet her a year later, and that she would tenderly change my life, my outlook on friendships, and be a constant and a blessing in an ever-changing season of my life.
This all sounds normal and simple, right? And for the most part it is... except that a little over a year ago (March-ish of 2009), unknown to me, Allison and my brother learned that God had other things in mind for each of them, but they decided to remain friends as best as possible.
In my opinion, this is when most folks would sever the ties with the significant other's family members for the sake of healing and moving on. Nope. Not only did this not happen, I was not even aware that the relationship had changed. Allison treated me, Chris, unborn Noah, my mom, dad, sisters, nieces, and nephews the same as she always had - sweetly, tenderly, genuinely.
I cannot begin to explain how thankful I am for her. For the time she spent loving me (us) when I know at times it wasn't easy. For putting herself in awkward situations. For being comfortable in my home with my family. For listening. For listening. For listening. For praying with and for me. For snuggling Noah. For warm, familiar hugs. For hilarity. For humility. For strength and encouragement. For tenderness. For her passion and love for others. For her selflessness. For her might and her sass. For her creativity and giving. For her laughter.
I will miss Allison dearly, but like I told her, Tacoma is so blessed and lucky to have her for the next year. I know she will make her way into the hearts of the people she meets there - her new roommates, the people she will be helping, a church she will find, a local coffee shop - and they will feel the same as I do when she has to eventually go from there. God has big plans for her and I can't wait to see where she goes...
I just hope for me she stops by Ten Mile on her way...