Friends come into your life in many ways. Robin (pictured with me) and I met at She Speaks in 2003. She had just been widowed for the second time in a freak boating accident. I had heard about her before I met her. I didn't know what to say to someone who had seen such tragedy. I was intimidated to talk to her, to be honest. I remember when she gave her testimony I just couldn't wrap by brain around that kind of loss.
After she spoke I have no idea what I said to her, or why, but we began to talk. What began as a casual conversation became several hours of us just slipping into an empty room in the middle of She Speaks and talking. It was the beginning of an unexpected friendship.
Thanks to the miracle of email, she and I were able to keep up after She Speaks. She went back to her home in the Adirondack Mountains of NY state to mother her 4 boys. I stayed in the south and begged her to move down here. She said she would let me know what God told her to do. And I respected that. Finally, after 4 years of having a house on the market, she sold it and moved to a town about 2 hours from me. It wasn't next door, but it would do. At least we were kind of close by. I could live with that.
Last Tuesday, Robin drove to spend the day with me. We talked and had lunch and talked and got her hair cut and talked and attempted to shop but were too busy talking so we never got out of the car and went to Starbucks and talked some more. Then we were just having so much fun talking that she decided to stay for dinner with my family and then she just said "Oh why not" and stayed for our small group meeting. She arrived home 12 hours after she got to my house. It was a day for catching up, for celebrating a friendship that bloomed in an unlikely place-- in the soil of grief and loss but with the water and sunshine of laughter and girlfriend time.
I am grateful that sometimes God sends us these unexpected packages called friends. This one in particular has been a huge blessing to me. I told my small group when I introduced her the other night that she is one of my heroes. And that's the truth. I am blessed to know her and I look forward to more 12 hour marathon friendship days in the future!