Today I was having a blue day, and then I read my friend Aimee's latest blog post. Most days I have a pretty negative opinion of myself, I focus on my weaknesses, and the " I should have done this" or " I could have done that better" I can't tell you how much it lifted my spirits and brightened my day to hear my dear friend speak so lovingly and kindly of me and to see myself through her eyes.
Aimee's blog post....
Ashley and I met in church. My first Sunday in that ward, I didn't know why, but I just felt the second she walked into Relief Society, that we HAD to be friends. I smiled at her and waved. Probably several times. She thought I was some weird-o that wouldn't leave her alone! I was nervous about being in a new ward, town...State! A few weeks into my move, I got a job. But my job didn't pay regularly and I was barely making it. Ashley took my two littles in while I worked. And knowing I didn't have any money, she allowed me to pay her as I got paid. I feel horrible sometimes about it, she often would watch them for little to nothing, and she included their lunch and snacks. Our children learned to play together. And as I would hang out for hours after work, we seemed to bond really well. We had a lot in common. Our longing to be at home with our children, our creativity (even though we express our creativity through other outlets), our love of cooking/baking, our poverty, and our carlessness. Often, she would take me out with her foodstamps and buy my groceries, and I would take what little money I had earned from that week, and buy her diapers and wipes. Mind you, we walked to the grocery store or Kmart to purchase all of these things. We walked to WIC offices together, trying to tame our toddlers. Our 4 children (and her one on the way - Ollie) were naughty most of the time. I'm sure some wondered how we did it. We wondered how we did it. Burger King closed their playground. (I'm quite certain our toddlers had something to do with it's demise...)
Ashely is a wonderful friend. She is always kind, optimistic and positive. She's always baking something, even when it's 110 degrees outside and her children are driving her crazy.
She gardens and sows, even into the wee hours of the morning. She definitely deserves the crown of Domestic Goddess. She's the friend that I know I can call on anytime, even at 2am and know that she will listen, completely. She's the friend that came and flushed my dead goldfish, and cleaned out the cupboards that contained a mouse, because I was too chicken to do it. She's the friend who said, "Of course you can do it" When I said that I was done. She believed in me always, even when I couldn't see anything.
I believe that the kind of person you are is reflected in your children. Ashley's children (along with being normal little rambunctious boys) are very kind-hearted. Always wanting to be their best, even when it's hard for them to be. I miss sweet little Caillou's heart felt, "Can I come play at your house?", "Will you come with me", etc..
Just a few days before I had to leave, I stopped by to check on little Ollie real quick before I had to head to a family gathering. When I got inside, Caillou came running straight out of the tub to see me. Great big smile. And Jasper was calling me. "Aimee Aimee" I have never in my life felt so loved, besides my own children of course. These boys are such angels. And just like my children, their horns are holding up those halos. :-)
Every problem we have had has either been solved or been made into something severely comical. Several times we wished for a video camera to film all of our adventures. I'm pretty sure a major network would have picked up our reality show in an instant. We are worth it! There was never, ever a dull moment when we got together. I love our little stitched together family. Yes, in the end of my little Ramona adventure, that is what she became. Ashley was more than just a friend, she was a Godsend. She was a sister. Those boys are just like my nephews. They are a major part of my family. They always will be.
I still don't understand all the reasons God had me go to Ramona, but I will be happy even if it was just to learn, and grow and laugh and gain a sister in all the process.
You're the best, Ashley!
I am so lucky to have such wonderful friends in my life, and even more so to have quite a few of them.
"Yesterday brought the beginning, tomorrow brings the end, and somewhere in the middle we became the best of friends. ~Author Unknown"
Thank you Aimee!!! Thank you for brightenning my day, thank you for everything. I love our little stitched together family and miss you guys so much.