I'd like you to meet the Big House Girls...
Amy, Susie, Wente and me (Wente was forced to wear that crown and "cape" in celebration of her engagement, but I think she looks pretty cute with it on)
We all met in college and lived together for a few years in... you guessed it... a big house. :) I feel the need to inform you all that we were intelligent, creative individuals and I have NO IDEA why we started referring to our home as the big house. All of our friends did too, and it didn't seem odd at the time. Now, however, when I say it to people they think it sounds silly... like how my friend Katie used to say they were having long spaghetti for dinner. Like short spaghetti was an option? A bit of stating the obvious. Anyway, regardless of how it started we lived in The Big House and became The Big House Girls and had Big House Parties. Good times.
Susie and I were best friends, and while I knew Amy and Wente (whose name is really Sara) from church we didn't know each other all that well. The three of them were all in grad school studying to be speech pathologists (which is why I know terms like aphasia and try to sound smarter than I am). Amy and I have talked often about how before we moved in together we would have thought we had nothing in common, but we turned out to be so much alike it was scary. I love it when life surprises you like that.
I'll be telling you lots of Big House stories in the future, I have no doubt, but for now I'll tell you that these three girls are amazing, supportive and life-long friends. Right now my friend Wente is having to say goodbye to her dad who passed away last week. Yesterday was the wake and today is the funeral and it's times like these when I normally would move heaven and earth to be there for her. I wish more than anything I could get in a car and travel. We're taught how to be good friends when we're in preschool and are told to share and be kind and considerate. But no one teaches how to do that from a distance ... fill in a gap of space and let someone know you care when words seem inadequate and a hug would say it all.
The words I can say is that Wente's dad should be so proud of his kids. His health had been deteriorating for quite some time, and while it was time to stop medical treatment and release him from the hospital, none of them wanted him to go to a nursing home. He was a farmer who took good care of his big family and every one of her siblings stepped up with their mother when it counted to take care of him. He was released from the hospital to his home with hospice care, and his kids made a schedule for the next two weeks so one of them would always be there with him. He made it home to the farm, and passed away the next day with every one of his children by his side. We should all live such a blessed life and have such a beautiful tribute in death.
If all of you reading this could just say a little prayer for Wente and her family today I would appreciate it. Maybe it will help her feel the hug, even from a distance.