Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Bittersweet farewell

Everyone knows it is difficult to make meaningful, deep relationships as an adult.  I have a lot of friends and I am blessed because of it.  But I only have a small handful of friends that can show up at my doorstep while I'm still in my pjs, or that I invite over for a luxury dinner of pancakes on a Sunday night, or that I will jump in the car and run to Starbucks with at 9pm to chat, or that I can complain and whine about a bad day and know that its ok.

In January of 2006 LD and I met Jared and Heather.  LD and I got married in August of 2004 and Jared and Heather had gotten married in August of 2005.  Jared was the youth pastor at Next Level and we had just started attending.  We just recently talked about meeting in the hallway after church and Jared and Heather shortly inviting us over to hang out.

They were our very first friends we made in Charlotte and we had no idea the life adventures we would share together.  We took a few trips to the beach, a few to the mountains, the zoo, the pumpkin patch, and they both at different times went to Detroit to be at LifeChangers (without LD and I) and got to know my parents very well.

But we just hit it off, right from the beginning.  As an adult couple it is incredibly difficult to find other couples that you both enjoy equally, that you would both choose to spend a Saturday evening with.  There were many times that Jared and LD would meet up for a drink one evening and the next evening Heather and I would head to Starbucks.  We never made plans, rarely had a plan once we decided to hang out and over the years it turned more to a family than a friendship.

Before either of us had children we had our sweet babies Bella and Tonks.  LD and I would dog sit Tonks while the Kirks were out of town and they would return the favor when we left town.  They were most definetely our first babies :)

When you don't have family that lives close as LD and I do, your friends become your family and you rely on them for a lot.  We have called Jared and Heather in the middle of the night for emergency situations, cried to each other over saddness, loss, anger or hurt.  We have moved each other to new homes, celebrated over new jobs, and most importantly....celebrated new lives as we became parents!

Jared and Heather were in the waiting room when Clare was born and were in the room minutes after she entered the world.  Jared prayed for Clare and for us as parents and it was a time I will always remember.

And of course they were there when Elle was born too!!  I sadly missed Jude's birth when I was visiting Michigan and was so bummed not be visiting her moments after becoming a mama.

Not only were they there when the girls were born, they love our girls.  They were there for first birthdays and first steps...all the big milestones.  They stepped into the role of our family in Charlotte.

While I was pulling up pictures I noticed that I have NO pictures of Jared and LD and I guess thats just because we are cuter...just kidding!!!  I do think there are so few pictures of us because it just became normal life to be together and not an event.

When Jared and Heather told us they were planning a move to Boston because God called them to start a church there, I wish I could say LD and I were instantly overjoyed and celebrating in all God had called them to.  But was hard from the beginning.

LD and I both knew that the Kirks leaving Charlotte was going to change our everyday life.  LD and Jared had started leading a men's life group together early Friday mornings in the fall, which only deepened their friendship.  Heather and I started a tutoring program at the church in the fall that we co lead.  And when we moved to our new home in Wesley Chapel we lived only 4 minutes from Jared and Heather, so Heather and I spent at least once a week walking to Target :)

There are a LOT of funny memories we have shared with Jared and Heather, but I think our last night before they left sums up how we did life together.

After having a big farwell party Saturday night, I was still not ready to say goodbye so I told them we would run by sometime Sunday.  Of course the day went fast and they were busy and it was 8pm and our girls were in bed.  I had spent most of the afternoon crying as I tried to write a card to Heather and knew I just needed to run by and give them both a hug.  Well...LD was not letting me go without him.

So we called our neighbor and she ran over to sit with the girls while we went to say goodbye.  When we got to their empty house, Jared was attempting taking down a baby gate and Heather was cleaning.  A friend had given them a bottle of wine the night before and after much frustration with the baby gate, Jared was determined to open the bottle of wine.

After a few youtube videos on how to open wine without a wine opener, LD and Jared accomplished the task with a screw and pliers.  They were incredibly proud of their achievement.

So the three of them (minus the preggo lady) said cheers with their solo cups of wine in their empty house and toasted to friendship.  On the first drink Jared swallowed funny, and out came a mouthful of wine, right onto Heathers face and shirt!  There is never a dull moment with Jared :)

Sitting on the floor of their empty home with solo cups of wine, toasting to friendship was the perfect last memory of this chapter of life.

We are SO going to miss watching Jude grow up on a daily basis and keeping him at our house while they have an occassional date night.

We are going to miss having our first Charlotte friends live 4 minutes away to do life with.  BUT...God is good and has called them to something bigger than they had ever dreamed.  I cannot wait to see what God has in store for them and the lives in Boston that will be changed because of their obedience to his call.

Praying for you dear friends and we are so thankful God allowed us to have the last 6 years full of memories :)  Love all three of you!


Heather Kirk said...

So sweet and so true to our friendship. I love you, LD, and your girls so much! The day we met I could have never guessed how close we have become and how many memories we made. Love you Mel!

LMV said...

I don't even know these people, and I was bawling like a baby as I read your post, Melissa. SO very sweet. Jacob and I pray for friendships like this all the time. What a blessing!

jacksonfamily said...

They are hard to come by Linda. Wish we lived closer to spend more time together!

Love you heather! Man, we have gotten old ;)

Corey T. said...

I am in agreeance with Linda. I was very teary eyed reading this post. That is amazing you guys built such a beautiful strong friendship. Nick and I totally know how hard it is to form close couple friendships. So special and such a blessing that God placed you guys in each other lives, and not just for a season but a lifetime. I admire yalls deep friendship and pray that God places friendships like that in our lives one day too! So sweet Melissa. I know God is going to do great big things for those two!