September 5, 2010

friends are a gift

2 years ago. August 2008.

I was sitting in Starbucks{our home away from home that year}, shooting the breeze with Ellie. Lorie was due to meet us any minute. I started peppering Ellie with some direct questions about her future. She seemed a bit evasive at first, but eventually she caved.

She had wanted to wait til Lorie got there....

to tell us together.

that she was moving,

away from us.

Although I knew she was not staying here forever, her news still hit like a ton of bricks. I somehow hoped, maybe, just maybe, she would still stay. Oh I prayed she would stay.

Normally when people tell me they are moving{happens more often than you'd think} I do the same thing:

Smile graciously.
tell them I love them{which I did}
tell them I'd miss them{which I would}.
tell them, "No, I'm not upset with you...I understand"

And then go home and mope a bit before accepting my new reality. It was hard, but I tried to have a good attitude.

My sister's husband is in the military and it's so hard on them moving their family. Telling people "we're moving"... and have people get all weird after that.

I wanted things to be different when someone told me they were moving. I was determined to love them to the bitter end, til they drove away in the sunset. Waving my hanky in the wind.

First Ally. Then Jessi. Then Gretchen.

I was starting the get good at this. I pretended to be an angel(far stretch, I know) that was on a mission for the sole purpose of {lovingly} transferring them from one location to the next.

I don't know why it was so different with Elles. Perhaps my little angel wings just plumb wore off. I fell back to earth in a big heap of dust and unfortunately, Ellie got the brunt of it.

There was no gracious smile.
No, "I understand".

I think I just stared at her in shock and then told her exactly how I felt. In a nutshell, "How could you do this to me????....Waaaaaah."

I just could not pretend with her. I silently willed Lorie to get here FAST, to bail me out.

When we broke the news to Lorie, she too was devastated, but much to her credit, was a bit more gracious, as she gave Ellie a huge hug. Ya know, while I sat sulking in the corner.

And there we sat in Starbucks. I am sure people around us thought someone had died. We were starting to make a scene. So we decided to move locations, to our second home-away-from-home. Target.

"I need a new purse!", Lorie announced. We walked down the familiar aisles of Target until Lorie found her yellow purse. But it wasn't before long we sat huddled in a mess on the floor at Target in the shoe aisle. Making yet another scene. This was turning out to be a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

We were supposed to go on a road trip that September and since Ellie was not moving til Decemeber, we still decided to go. Or at least Ellie and Lorie were determined to go and drag me with them.{Mind you me, I had terrible morning sickness, being newly pregnant with Twain}.

As we were driving up the coast to the beach house, Ellie left us with a few words of wisdom on friendship that I will never forget.

She explained to us how special we were to her...maybe too special.

Here is what I heard, and some of this might be slightly paraphrased:

"I had an epiphane", she said. "Friendship is a gift. A wonderful, amazing and special gift from God."{and here's the hard part} "But that's all it is. A gift. It's not a requirement. God is all we truly need. Our life should not fall apart if that gift is taken away." And she reminded us that we should love all our future friends with everything we've got....even if they end up moving away from us too."

At that particular point in time, I was not very receptive to these pearls of wisdom.

In fact, what I really wanted to do was throw a big fit. And I wanted her to throw a fit too. All I knew was that Ellie was leaving. Somehow, I thought that perhaps if I was a better person, a more amazing spectacular friend, maybe she would have stayed.

I know now{and did then}, that her moving had nothing to do with me. I could have given her the moon and she would not have stayed. She was meant to move.

Now that she is gone, and the dust has settled, I have had more time to process her wise words. We should feel so very blessed and thankful for the precious friends God loans us, but we should not hold them so tight,
like we own them.

And there is so much freedom in this. We can love our friends to the death, like God wants us too, without worrying about what we will get in return. I am free to love my new friends that God has sent my way. And He has graciously bestowed precious friends on me, that I hardly deserve.

So this August, Ellie was coming through town and wanted to meet up with us for a bit. And we were gonna celebrate her birthday at IHOP.

What do you buy for your friend's birthday when she's super artsy and hip?

Last year we took Ellie on a shopping trip and she picked out a dress and necklace. This year we did not have enough time to shop, so what's a girl to do?

Handmade dish towels.

It's a little bold and daring to presume I could make something cool enough for her house, but I figured if she did not like them she could just stash them in a drawer{DO NOT HIDE MY DISH TOWELS ELLIE. I WILL FIND OUT} or use them as rags. Who couldn't use cute dish rags?{DO NOT MOP THE FLOORS WITH YOUR DISH TOWELS ELLIE}

I went shopping for some fabric and figured I could use the left over fabric to make myself a present(hey, I deserve a bone or two for my slave labor of love).

I decided to applique a swallow out of newspaper fabric for the first one.

And for the other towel, a little v-formation .

Don't look too close.

Aw, what the heck. Go ahead and look close. I think the handmade imperfections give it charm.

It's the little details that count.

Like if you look really close, you can see a couple makin' out in the background. Hey, get a room!
Ok maybe they are not making out, but they looked awfully snug to me.

Sometimes I like to play with the presents I make, just before I wrap them.

It took all of my will power not to sew aqua crochet trim on the green towel. But crochet and swallows don't really go, and I don't think aqua crochet screams Ellie either. I guess I'll save the aqua crochet for my towel:)

All wrapped and ready to go. I made the card from a left-over piece of fabric that was my "test run".

The back is just some muslin fabric, with a "Happy Birthday" stamp and sharpie message.

And the best part for me. Going to brunch at IHOP, to meet up with the dearies.

Ate everything on that plate, even the eggs.

It's been SOOO long since we sat playing paparazzi, making spectacles of ourselves. I miss that.

But mostly, I miss her huge smile that matches her heart.


  1. Davi: my closest friend moved away one year ago. when she told me, I cried. I still love her just as dearly but I have been there with you as far as " letting go" goes. we visit them, they visit down here, but it will never be the same. my heart does out to you... adorable towels by the way.

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  3. I don't like when friends move :(

    I kinda think it makes you love them a little more though :)


  4. Thanks. I needed that post. I'm always the "Ellie"...the leaving one. I'm not sure which is worse. Being the one left behind or being the one leaving everyone and everything familiar to you behind only to have to search out all new friends. It makes me want to guard my heart and never make new friends. Ellie's advice resonated in my heart and I knew it was something I needed to hear as soon as I read it. I admit it was painful and I grimaced.

  5. I'm a bigging crying mess. First suzanne's sad blog and then this. oh davi. so many emotions in this one blog. I laughed and am now crying. oi what is wrong with me?! oh that's right, I'm continually blessed by YOU and by our friendship and then friends we have been blessed with you.

    I love you.

    but seriously that WAS a horrible, no good, VERY bad day. bleh.

  6. such a sweet post for your dear friend. it's never easy losing a friend to another city. boo. i've been there too. but it makes it all the better when you get sweet moments like this one, at ihop. SUCH fun towels! i like how you model'd them for us :) love you!

  7. moving away last year was hard. I get it, im the friend that moved. Its so hard! Bless yoU!

  8. I can see why she's such a great friend...especially after reading her "epiphane"! That is such a great thing to remember!!

    And super cute towels! I love your craftiness!

  9. I too am always the "Ellie" in the situation and it's rough. I don't know which is worse. Having friends leave is the worst. But, it makes you appreciate them more I think. What awesome words about friendship...I never thought of it that way. Love this post and love those dish towels you made! :)

  10. ok so i leave town for 3 days and two cute posts come in a row and i didn't even know! love the towels, love the thoughts on friendship, love the baseball party. so creative.

  11. I read this post and the post from Kara {though I don't know her}. They were both such great reminders that loved ones are a gift; a little glimpse of heaven. I never got to know Ellie well, but based on what I've heard about her, she seems like someone very special. Such a thoughtful gift you made her!

  12. you are a wonderful friend--near or far! it's nice to know God gave you friends all around the state / country ....and beyond...

  13. ok, i'm in love with her 'epiphane' .......... to think that we aren't entitled to our earthly friendships, because they are a gift - is a huge dose of reality!
    so often i find myself relying on my friendships and relationships for my happiness....
    and to think God can and will take those away from us, because he really is the only thing we need.......SO powerful. :)

    it's clear to see you 3 girlies have such a healthy be able to center it on our Father, you are obviously keeping each other in check, growing, and learning from one another!!

    and thank you for admitting you wanted to throw a fit. i too would have burst into tears, and even considered stomping around....... :) but really, such a hard thing to have a friend move away.....but its clear that you gained from this experience, once the 'dust settled' :)

    ps. LOVING the towels.
    i mean, how do you dare wipe even your freshly washed hands on those beauties!?!?! :) :)

  14. The special thing about a true friend is that when you see them again it is as if you have never been apart. The friendship just picks back up where you left off. I have been blessed over the years with many wonderful friends and I will always cherish having them in my life. Now that we have such great communications, it is so easy to stay in touch. I know I'm dating myself by saying that...ha. You are such a creative woman, those towels are an extra special gift because you made them.

  15. Hi Davi. I'm not great at this commenting thing but I thought you should know that I read your post. :) I am just in shock that you remembered a word I said on that roadtrip - I thought you were too busy thinking of reasons I should stay! Thanks for all your sweet words once again... and thanks for the I-hop - with a side of hash browns and toast and pancakes and bacon - oh, and some extra creamer.

  16. Such great wisdom here. As a recent mover I got so much out of it too. Because it is just as hard trying to find new friends in a new city as it is to leave old friends in an old city.

  17. I've moved a lot and it is so hard to give up your friends and everything you know, and then start over from scratch. And how can you NOT cry when a good, dear friend announces she is moving? Ellie has some wise words though. It is so special to have such wonderful friends and it sounds like you have quite a few!

  18. Thanks for this encouraging post! I have moved so much and definitely feel that I've let people down! It was nice to read such an open confession from the other end! It made me feel better about moving away from people I love!!

  19. I do think you all will be forever friends and that is quite something in itself!

  20. such a wonderful post. It made me all teary... I've been there too, on both sides.

    Friendship is indeed a gift and an amazing blessing, and you girls are rich in it. So glad you got to have your reunion and spend some wonderful time together. :)