"True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils. Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island..to find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune; to keep him is a blessing.”
I don't remember meeting Melis...in fact, I distinctly remember after initially meeting her thinking that she I would most likely never be super close (if you ask her, she'll tell you the same thing!). She and I are not much alike in personality, and we had different groups of friends when we were in college. What we DID have in common though was our husbands. Our guys were brought together through the Harding Football team, and because both Melissa and I were at all the games, and because our guys often wanted to hang out outside of practice or games, we inevitably wound up drawing closer.
God obviously knew the two of us were meant to be life-long friends, whether we knew it or not! :-) And so the Lord started providing opportunity after opportunity for us to draw closer. Chad and I were at her wedding and within the next few years, had helped them move multiple times (they helped us as well...you'll be hard-pressed to find two couples who have moved more times than our families have!). We experienced a pregnancy together (Kayden and Rauly), and as I've found with both Melissa and Jamie, there's nothing like a pregnancy to bond friends for life! :-) The Hicks family were the last people we said goodbye to when we left Arkansas and I honestly didn't think I'd be able to leave her...and then she was the person I called and sobbed to when we moved to Savannah and realized what we'd gotten ourselves in to! I remember cheering over the phone when she called to say she was pregnant with Janey, and crying on the phone when her sister called to tell me that Janey had anencephaly, and I will never forget the day she buried her sweet little angel. Since that day, the Lord has continued to draw us together...through joys and sorrows. She's one of my biggest cheerleaders (and vice versa) and we'd share each other's burdens in a heart beat. Sometimes I'm amazed at how two girls who weren't initially drawn to each other have become so near and dear to each other's hearts.
Melissa may be one of the best unexpected blessings I've ever received and it's always such a joy to watch our children playing together. I love Kayden and Brecken as if they were my own,...and despite the distance in our homes, my kids have managed to build a solid bond with her girls that I am confident will also last a lifetime.
I've been blessed to have a few friends that I will hold on to forever, and Melissa is one of them!