Wednesday, December 21, 2011
our good friend, Lauren
Okay, so I lied. I am not just a little sad at the moment. I am very sad. Like, can't stop crying when I hear a gushy song on the radio and can't look at photos without a mini-meltdown sad. I miss my friend very much.
I mentioned before how she and I lead pretty different lives right now. She lives and works in a little town called El Geneina, which is in the region of Gharb Dārfūr, which is in the country of Sudan, which is on the continent of Africa. She is working to implement plans to bring water and sanitation to people who left their hometown during the wars and have since returned, but have no work or homes to return to and therefore live in camps together (internally displaced person camps, for short). She is very strong and brave and walks through the desert to get to work and lives without hot water. I, on the other hand, am currently gallivanting around Italy and Europe, eating rich foods, enjoying hot showers, and working to raise a kid and grow a new baby. You don't need a microscope to see the contrasts.
Except, when we are together, you would never know how different our lives are. When we first met as freshman in college, we were a couple of self-conscious goodie-goodies. We have remained friends as we've both evolved into more confident (and more fun) free spirits. Fortunately, we have changed together and have been able to maintain a deep, strong, and loving friendship that transcends our differing paths in life.
Her visit to Italy was perfect. We showed her Naples. We ate lots of pizza. We soaked up some sunshine. And, we were fortunate enough to be able to take Lauren back to Florence. The land where she studied abroad in college while I was being chased by sharks. I've always wanted to visit this place with her. The actuality of it is still a little unreal.
She had no problem fitting right into our little life here. She showed Graham pictures of camels and patiently walked hand-in-hand with him down the Ponte Vecchio while he looked at each and every jewel and gelato flavor in the windows.
She helped him get dressed in the mornings, and she read stories whenever he wanted.
Her patience was impressive. It caused me to reminisce about the time she came to visit us in Oklahoma when Graham was a mere few weeks old. Tony had to leave on a Navy trip, so she sat up late with me and helped me rock my baby to sleep. She fed him and changed his diapers and basically became a second mother to him while she was there. The examples of her goodness and helpfulness in my life are endless. I miss her. Now that she's gone, it feels like we are missing a member of our family.
I don't like that feeling one bit, but I gotta be me and stay positive and be grateful for the time we got to have together.
Thank you, Lauren, for using your very precious and well-deserved R&R days to be with us.
And come back, soon!
I need you!
Posted by Blaine Family at 7:42 PM