Tonight, after an emotional day filled with teary goodbyes, belly-busting laughter, and heartfelt hugs, Chase summed it up so well at family prayer when he said:
"Heavenly Father, thank you for blessing us with such good friends."
My heart is as full as my limbs are tired. I ache to the bone, but am more whole than I have ever been.
When we moved here six years ago, we felt fortunate to already know one family in St. Louis. Good friends from grad school lived here, and we rekindled that friendship instantly and effortlessly.
It wasn't long before we were embraced by many others.
I have been surrounded, for my entirety in this city, by the most fabulous group of women. My adopted sisters. Ladies who respond happily in the affirmative to my weekly texts begging for lunch out together. Women whose children love my children like cousins -- better, even. Women who willingly said yes when I sheepishly asked for a ride to, of all things, a colonoscopy (eek! THAT is devoted friendship, people). We have laughed until our bellies hurt, and cried on each other's shoulders. We have thrown parties together and done carpools. We have been supportive and supported. We have even gotten our mammograms together!
I can hardly bear to get in the car tomorrow and leave you all behind.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for loving me, for letting me complain, for laughing with me. For knowing that on a really bad day, a diet coke and a bag of cookies can do wonders for my soul. For thinking up a really great spring break trip, and then making it actually happen. For letting us put all the ugly guys on your team.
I thank you for making my children feel as loved by you as they are by me. For letting them into your homes, and into your pantries. For track coaching sessions and girl time. For deep conversations and laughter so heavy it ended gloriously in tears.
I love you more than I can ever say.
You have made me a better friend because I have known you. You have made my life rich just by being in it. I don't know what I will do without you.
So, it's got to be this: See you tomorrow, girls.
Because we really don't say goodbye around here.