Or at least a friend like Amy (Ames for short) has been to me.
I met Amy at a neighborhood babysitting co-op meeting. I don’t think the co-op ever formed, but a friendship between Amy and I did and I’ll be forever grateful.
I have been so blessed with unbelieveably close friends from growing up and college but when I moved to Houston I didn’t know a soul. I’ve made lot of friends here, but Amy will always be one of the best. She has personified friendship to me in more ways than I could ever count or repay.
I will never, ever forget the day when she called and asked me if I wanted to meet her at the pool. I told her I’d love to, but the thought of lugging a 9 month old, a 2 year old and a 5 year old to the pool (read: 2 out of the 3 couldn’t swim and the one that could needed to be supervised very closely but was too big for the baby pool). She said OK and hung up. About 15 minutes later she showed up at my front door with…I kid you not…a swimsuit with a built in safety ring for Brittany and “boat float” for Savannah…and always being a stickler for detail, she even brought a swim diaper. I opened my door and she said … “Come on…we’ll make it work.” And make it work we did. We had a great time and after that, I realized it wasn’t quite as hard as I originally thought.
But that’s just the start. When Savannah was 3 months old and diagnosed with RSV, the nurse told me to count how many times her sides were contracting per minute as she breathed. I could barely think straight, much less count, so I loaded up the baby and went to Amy’s house for her to count. After Amy’s diagnosis we were off to Texas Childrens Hospital for oxygen.
When I was asked to bring Valentine’s cookies for Caroline’s pre-k Valentines party and Brittany and Savannah were little bitty…Amy showed up again. With homemade cookie dough for me to bake.
And when I was at that same preschool and they needed a volunteer for something Amy leaned over and said…you CANNOT volunteer for that. I heeded her advice and was so glad she “convinced” me that job was not a good idea.
Amy has helped me rearrange my furniture, hang my pictures, pick paint colors, driven carpools with me, lended an ear or a hand…whichever was needed at the time. She’s done it all.
When Caroline went to kindergarten….it was Amy’s house I instinctively drove to and cried because my baby had just gone to school. She reminded me there were still lots of people at home…and Jacob wasn’t even thought about at that point!
And when that same baby went to middle school and the first morning of school didn’t go like I had planned, it was off to Amy’s house again. Only this time she lived in a new neighborhood. Even though it was only about a minute from her old house, it was in a different neighborhood with a different elementary school and even a different zip code. She wasn’t home but I got her on the phone and she talked me through the middle school blues.
When she moved, I realized her new next door neighbor was my friend Lori. I told Lori she wasn’t just getting a new neighbor, she would be getting a new friend. And I must have been right because Lori hosted a “going away” luncheon for Amy last week.
Today the movers came and are moving Amy and her family to a new town. Although it’s only about an hour away, that’s about 59 minutes more than I wish it would take to get there.
But make no mistake…the day Caroline goes to high school (which seeing how she has 6 days of her 7th grade year and 8th grade to go – it’s coming fast!), I’m going to be heading out I-10 West to see Amy. Because it just wouldn’t seem right if I didn’t.
Amy and her husband are living their dream and I’m so excited for them. They bought a business in a smaller town and are moving closer to be part of the community. And Amy…Bellville isn’t just getting a new neighbor, they are getting a new friend too.
And the weirdest thing…after I went and told Amy “bye” today, I got back in my car. As I drove off, the radio announcer said…”when you have a good friend, you keep them.” And then he quoted the verse….”a good friend sticks closer than a brother.” WEIRD – it was like it was scripted for that exact moment. I like the Message version of that same verse (Proverbs 18:24) which says…”Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family.”
Ames, you’ve been like family to me.
I’m gonna miss ya!