It was a hot day in June, this very pregnant girl who said her name was Sarah introduce herself to me as we sat closely on a couch together. We both were at leadership meeting to help start a new church. As I sat next to this seemly friendly girl, I was a bit nervous she would go into labor as I sat next to her. She did go into labor, but about a month later, closer to her due date and thats when I meet Emma.
emma laughs
This little girl has been smiling since she was born. Showing joy to all of those around her. As she grew, my friendship with her parents grew as well. I cant remember my first meeting with John, but I believe it was at one of our first unofficially meetings at this church we were helping to start. There are few people in my life who I meant who I knew I would like right away. Im a bit fearful of friendships from my past. These people, the Pells, I knew I liked very much from the start.

They are from the West Coast, not California but Washington. Actually, Sarah and I discovered that we lived in a town 20 minutes from each other, just at different times in California. We shared our love of all things West Coast (proper Mexican food, the weather, a camp called Forest Home to name a few) and found somewhat a kinder spirit in that. Both being so far from home, and somehow someone who knew the culture you were missing. It was a comfort in a friendship, family that we didnt have near by.

Being that family wasnt near by, they started having all us “orphaned” folks over for Thanksgiving. Their other transplanted friends were there as well, introducing us to even more new friends and also to Black Friday shopping.
morning John and Emma
(John and Emma very early in the morning… the morning after Thanksgiving).

Before we got engaged, the Pells asked to do a premarital class with us and another couple. They went through this book with us that also went through before they got engaged (way back in the day). When you share your secrets, past and fears with another couple, you get close real quick. They helped us through a really hard times. Gave us hugs and encouragement through the tears. They cheered us on during the good times and even stood up at our wedding and gave us a charge as we entered the new season of our life as a married couple.
pells

Instead of passing out wedding favors, we took that money and gave it to the Pells because for baby number 2, they were adopting a little boy from Africa. They waited and waited. It was so hard to watch your close friends go through that season. But finally after lots of waiting and praying they got a sweet little boy named Johnny.
three amigos

Over these past four years, the Pell’s have grown to be family. I dont have the words to explain our friendship with the Pells – they just taught us a different level of friendship. They are some of the most giving people we’ve meet. So when the time came for John to start finding a professor job (after all, thats what brought them to North Carolina, him getting his PhD) we knew the end of living life with them would come to a close. We put it out of our minds and even played mad at them for a while. But last Monday night, we said our good byes. Sweet Emma started sobbing when Sarah told her she had to say good bye. As I held a crying Emma, I told her (and myself) and we’d see them again in December when we come to California for Christmas.

This week has been a sad week, with their furniture in our house reminding us of them everyday. When I go to their old neighborhood I take a longer way to avoid having to dry by their house. I know life will become normal without them around as time goes by. It just everyday when friends come into your life that you can laugh and cry with. Friends who will do anything for you and you’d do the same. And this post doesnt really share what this friendship has meant to us but its a small attempt to say how important they are to us.

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