Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Once in a Lifetime

We had a guest last week. Actually, she can't be considered a guest, she's more like family. How did my friend Rachel and her new baby Silas end up on our side of the world, just for a visit? A few words: her VERY generous and thoughtful husband + frequent flier miles. Yes, her husband stayed with their other three so that Rachel could take about 10 days for a mom's only vacation! Hallelujah!!!

Oh, the joy of being reunited! It seemed surreal, amazing, unbelievable, and. . . perfect, all that the same time. And it goes without saying that my girls were ga-ga around this new little handsome man!

Rachel got the joy of sleeping on Dora sheets while these 3 munchkins got the joy of a "sleepover" in the school room.
A snapshot of a typical bedtime routine moment: A last drink of water, a last story that must be told to Daddy, and a sleepyhead ready for lights out.

Rachel used her time here fully. I would have liked to use it even more fully, keeping her up chatting til all hours, every night, but unfortunately I caught a nasty bug JUST as she arrived at my house. I had a terribly high fever and a deep cough, and was so afraid of spreading it to her or baby Silas! Thankfully they stayed well, but each member of my family got it, one by one. We all recovered fairly quickly, thankful for over the counter meds in a time like that! On the first day Rach was with us, I had to be a party pooper and take a nap. When I got up, this is what I saw:

What a friend! You know you've got a good friend when she is so happy to be with you that she willingly reads the Berenstain bears to your kids! (I personally don't enjoy the B. bears all that much.) But this next photo shows the true depth of her love:

She did my dishes. Yes, she did. That weekend was a perfect storm: my house helper had been sick, I got sick, Rachel arrived and I wanted to make nice meals for her, but what to do?! I stacked lots of dishes hoping my helper would come back to work on Monday but in fact a phone call Sunday night confirmed that she still felt terrible. I was feeling pretty lousy myself so Rach said she wanted me to save my energy and SHE would do MY dishes. There were tons, and also tons of plastic cups which I know Rach hates to wash, and she washed That's sacrificial love, my friends! I sat on a chair outside the kitchen door and joined in the conversation while I waited for my current round of tylenol to kick in. What a friend! Thanks, Rach! I felt so loved. And, the next morning I could get up and actually function in the kitchen since everything was. . . clean! I think she got a few jewels in her crown for that one!

Silas bear regularly stunned us all with his cuteness. Who knew boys could be so cute! We needed another dose of masculinity around here!

The girls did not cease their adoration. There may have been a request or two for our family to have a baby brother as they saw how great it was to have Silas around. Hmmm, well, we'll have to think about that one!

The next night I couldn't get warm since my fever was up again, so I dressed in multiple layers including my white fuzzy robe that makes me look like a woolly mammoth. Fever didn't stop us, though: we used my gas stove to toast a few marshmallows for a little evening snack. Fun times, fun memories!

I guess the tension was running a little high in the above photo! :) Nah, just being totally silly.

Sweetness and light. Would you look at that smile?

The ladies enjoyed a day out together...laughing, talking, drinking hot cocoa, playing "Ticket to Ride" and generally having a great time. What a blessing!

And just like that, we were preparing to say goodbye.

Clara Anne was sad to see Silas go. I was sad to see Rachel go. But I was thankful, so thankful, for the time we had, and so joyful to have had this once in a lifetime opportunity. For her to travel alone with the baby, so far, just to be together, was such an amazing thing. She came and brought us joy and fun and laughter and tons of GIFTS and a wonderful, refreshing spirit with her. I love this dear friend!

I'll cherish the memories forever...and look forward to the next time the Lord brings us back together! We had to say goodbye for now, but as C. S. Lewis so rightly shouted in his booming voice, "Christians NEVER say goodbye!" Not for real, not forever. The hope of heaven and life together with Jesus awaits us!
Love you, Rach--my sister, my friend. So thankful for you!

1 comment:

sandra said...

Wow. Wow. Wow. What a sweet friendship.