Friends

Friendship 101

Meet my friend, Trina.

Don’t go stealing her away though.

Just meet her and appreciate her like I do.

I am perhaps the most blessed woman in the world in many ways.

One of them is that I have terrific friends.

Trina is one of them.

How do I love her?

Let me count the ways:

1. She is my flower fairy.

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It started when I was labeled with the dreaded “C” word. She came over and planted pansies in my flowerbed so that I could see them every day and be reminded that I could be like the pretty pansies — strong and resilient. They helped me make it through the worst winter of my life.

I love flowers but I’m not much of a gardener. So I rely on Trina to help me. It is a treat to go flower shopping with her because she comes alive in a garden shop or nursery. I mean, really comes alive. Her pulse quickens, She squeals with delight. The array of colors and varieties of flowers and plants are the candy store to the kid in her. You know, the Christmas morning to her inner child.

I’m overwhelmed with all the choices and all the labels about sun, part-sun, shade, annual, perennial, border plant, etc. While shopping for flowers for a big pot on my porch, she says, “Think thrill, spill and fill. That’s all you need to know.”

Okay, so something that is beautiful and thrilling, something that spills over the edge and something that fills up the pot.

Got it.

I mistakenly went without her to get some mums and pansies for fall though.

Mums thrill. Pansies fill. What spills? No time to search for spilling plants so I went with only mums and pansies.

Trina to the rescue.

While visiting her daughter in North Carolina she visited a nursery and discovered — you won’t believe it — spilling pansies.

Yep, in North Carolina they have trailing pansies or “cool wave” pansies.

She was so excited she had to buy some and bring them home. And guess what lucky friend got some of these plentiful pansies?

Not only did she bring some home to me, she planted them. And they are spilling out all over the place in my pot on the porch.

Thrill, spill, fill?

Check.

She even added some spring thrill with some daffodil bulbs to delight me when the mums are gone.

2. She knows how to celebrate.

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Nobody entertains, decorates, crafts or celebrates like Trina.

See a beautiful wreath made of hydrangeas on Pinterest? Call Trina. She’ll get excited to make it, track down the supplies and make it with you.

Hosting a baby shower? Call Trina. She’ll rush over and help you make an enormous diaper cake.

Have a chronic illness? Call Trina and she’ll find a way to make it funny. We once had a party to celebrate diabetes so that we could learn how to entertain using diabetic-friendly food.

Daughter gets elected senior class president? Trina will show up at your house to wait for the results with you. Then, she’ll rush to the store to buy balloons and party supplies with you for an impromptu party in the school parking lot to celebrate.

Hosting a big party? Trina will come early and get to work helping set up.

Trina is so fun and ready to party that when my kids and their friends (including her daughter) once wanted waffles at midnight, they called her to ask her to bring them some. And, she did! (This might put her in the crazy category but that fits too.)

My daughter Sara once said to me, “Mom, why have you been hiding Trina from me?” It wasn’t that I’d hidden her, but Sara had to lose her teenage blinders to discover the gem that is Trina. Now, she says, “It’s not a party without Trina.”

3. Nobody loves to help people more than Trina.

A day is not complete without Trina helping someone. Last week she went to the bakery and found a round loaf of orange bread with a jack-o-lantern face on it. She bought it and said, “I have to give this to just the right person — somebody who really needs something special today.”

This is not an anomaly. This is how she lives.

The motor that makes her run is fueled with the question, “Who needs me today?” She genuinely wants to cheer people up and make them happy.

She takes care of her elderly neighbors, always searching for how she can help them. She takes care of so many people.

And there is not a better mother, grandmother, sister, wife, aunt, cousin, friend in the world than Trina.

When her kids are discouraged, she tells them to forget about their troubles by serving others. And, it works!

Trina is happy when I’m happy; sad when I’m sad; and mad when I’m mad. And she can change the sad and mad with a little silly.

Aren’t you glad to know my friend, Trina?

I’ll share her, but don’t steal her away.

She’s the real deal of a friend that everyone needs.

 

 

 

 

Friends

L-O-V-E

I’m in Arizona for Sara’s roommate, Julie’s wedding.  Julie has been like part of our family for the last four years.

She is the roommate you pray for when you want your daughter to be happy in her new college life.

One afternoon when I was visiting them during their sophomore year, Julie asked Sara about her day.  Then she said, “Come and sit down and tell me all about it.” She scooted over on the couch to make room for Sara and I, then crossed her brown Arizona legs and got comfortable, facing both of us, ready to listen, really listen to Sara tell her about her day.

That was the moment I fell in love with her.  I knew Sara had a generous, open, kind, and loyal friend, and that their friendship would not end at graduation when they went their separate ways to create their individual lives.

When they both applied for the London Study Abroad program, her Mom and I worried about what would happen if one got in and the other one didn’t.  How could we have half of this perfect pair schlepping to class during a cold Utah winter while the other one discovered Cath Kidston, visited the Tower of London, and watched London roll out the red carpet for a royal wedding?

 

Luckily they were both accepted and made their jolly trip to London together.  They attended prep classes on campus before they went, and walked in separately so they wouldn’t tip of f the other students that they were best friends.  This was their way of branching out. Then they met outside and came together like two magnets again.

They both flew to London from different places but met at the airport and rode together to their new home on Palace Court. They lived off cupcakes, crepes, and European chocolate; rode bikes in Hyde Park and had tea in Kensington Palace.  They celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland, and fell asleep on each other on every sightseeing bus trip.

When Doug and I went to London at the end of their semester to take advantage of them as our experienced tour guides, they were sad to leave Palace Court but when we took them to our hotel, they were giddy with excitement about sleeping in what they saw as fancy luxurious beds after sleeping on student bunk beds all semester.

We toured Italy with them and laughed at their goals of having gelato every single day and taking pictures of all their meals.

When we arrived early to help get ready for Julie’s wedding reception, Julie wasn’t in her wedding dress yet. Sara and Julie looked at each other and tears filled up in their eyes, and they grabbed each other in a tight hug.

“Do you want to help me get dressed in my wedding gown?” Julie asked.

“Of course!” Sara said, and they walked off together.

I couldn’t keep the tears from filling my eyes either as the two of them walked away.

Even though Julie’s got a new best friend and roommate, Sara and Julie’s sweet friendship will not fade away.  They have too many memories from their freshman dorm life to their dreamlike semester abroad.  They have helped each other through homesick moments, broken hearts and boyfriends, homework, finals, and studying stress, and a million other moments known only to the two of them.

As Julie climbed into her husband’s jeep with “just married” scrawled on the window, I watched Sara and the other guests send them off in with sparklers lighting up the night sky.   Sara and the other bridesmaids spelled out L-O-V-E with their sparklers. Just then, Julie turned around, smiled and waved at Sara, and I knew that another one of those priceless girlfriend moments had transpired.

 

I am so grateful for my daughters’ friends.  They are there for them when I can’t be.  They are the shoulders they cry on when they can’t cry on mine. They are the ones they confide in about all the things they can’t comfortably tell me.  They are the ones who keep them going in their day-to-day lives because they share a girlfriend bond that is different from a mother-daughter bond.

Congratulations Julie, and thank you for being Sara’s true friend, for lifting her up, cheering her on, and consistently loving her.  Thank you for being there for me because when God gives daughters good friends, he gives mothers peace of mind and solace, and to a mother, that is the greatest gift ever.