I've been sitting on a post about this connection for about, oh, twenty months?
Just looking at this picture makes me cry. Big, fat tears. I remember Sean coming home from school way, way back before classes had even started in Phase One. He mentioned a family that had come from Alaska and that "the dude looks just like Captain America." All I heard was "family" and I sunk my teeth in. I was looking for connections. They met us for pizza and I knew I'd made a friend for life.
Then, it was only the two girls and the third girl was just a bun in the oven. Now look! There's kids coming out of her ears! What kind of crazy people reproduce during grad school?! ;)
Christine is one of those super tough girls that gives voice to my inner thoughts. She's true and genuine and hilarious. She sews amazing creations and her home feels like just that. Each home of hers I've been to feels so welcoming and cozy and is truly a reflection of her.
Our "school friends" are a special kind of different. What can you say about someone who has gone through something so...exhausting alongside you? They get it. THEY GET IT. Christine and I text rant back and forth about all kinds of things. Mostly the similar threads that run through our menfolk. For the last twenty seven months, this amazing family has been a constant in each of our lives. I've gone to Christine for parenting advice and sewing tips and I'm certain her wisdom has saved Sean's life a time or two. Her girls are the picture of grace and femininity and exactly the type of young women that will make awesome adults, wives, mothers.
I thought for sure we'd all end up together after school, but it's not to be. I know our paths will forever be entwined within the military anesthesia community. I know our bond has been forged through this stressful time in our lives and that makes for a lasting friendship. Still, the thought of watching these babies grow up via Facebook makes my heart ache. I don't want to see Bella's first prom dress in a picture! I want to discuss how high the neckline ought to be in person. :D I want to give flowers to Ava after a ballet performance, not just click "like." I held sweet Iris when Jude wasn't even a bump yet. And Luke, sigh, he and Jude were supposed to wreak havoc together.
I have to stop here. We aren't moving tomorrow. We still have time. We have more memories to make, our two families. Such is the military life. I'm always sad to leave the friends we've made, but cherish the blessing of ever having met such people in the first place.