Friday, July 23, 2010

Hey Soul Sister

I did it. Last Sunday, I got in my unairconditioned van and drove from Los Angeles to St. George, Utah, with Conor in the back seat complaining almost the entire way about how his bum was bleeding. "The blood is coming out, Mom! I'm serious!" It was hard to convince him that it was only sweat, pouring off of both of us as we drove through 119 degrees for hours. I prayed that we would not die of heat stroke, and that the tires on my van would not blow until I could make this trip, and the trip home, oh--and the trip to and from Arizona to pick my kids back up. Another infernal drive. (If only sweating in and of itself indicated weight loss, right?)

Anyway, I did it. And now, tomorrow, I have to go home. I so don't want to go home. I mean, I miss my husband and I miss my garden. But the time I get to spend with Amber is so precious to me and so deeply gratifying, that I just hate for it to end. She is safety and love and acceptance to me. She is my best cheerleader. She loves every ounce of me, quirks, nerdiness, Molly-ness, sarcasm, vulgarity, spirit, and heart. She laughs at my jokes and I laugh at hers. (She's very, very funny in just the right ways.) She's insanely beautiful inside and out, and she is an inspiration to me. Her husband, Kevin, is just as wonderful. He's been an ardent friend and caretaker, completely supportive of my friendship with Amber. He is so generous to me, even taking responsibility for Conor so that Amber and I can spend time together and I can have a break. Their marriage is a joy to behold, a model for anyone. In fact, I think it is marvelous that my three best friends have the most incredible and inspiring marriages. They show me what is possible.

So while I was here, a week flew by. Mostly, it was chill. I don't need entertainment, really, just to be in her presence. Just to be around her and crack some dirty jokes, make fun of people we used to know, laugh at the old times. We threw a slumber party for her youngest daughter. We did some shopping. We swam in her pool and laid in the sun. We went to her sister-in-law's baby shower. I cooked a couple of dinners for her family. We saw a movie, we ate lunch out with Kevin, and we went to the gym late at night. (Like, it's 11:19pm and we just got back from the gym.)

But see, this is another thing about Amber. She just lost over 100 pounds. She was always incredibly beautiful and sexy, but now? Try and take her anywhere! So, to lose that weight, she exercises. A lot. Even in hell--I mean, St. George. She made me go walking with her in the heat. No seriously. Heat. For miles. After fifteen minutes my water was like bath water. My face stayed red for hours.

But the conversation was great. It always is. We could talk forever and never be done. I love the way her mind works, and I value her experience and wisdom as a wife and as a mother. But we can also be next to each other in complete silence, and that is perfectly comfortable too. I just like to be near her. Even walking in the heat.

Conor had an amazing time. You know, Conor thinks the entire world was created for his enjoyment and all people are there to serve him. But not in a bad way, if that makes any sense. He had great fun going to McDonald's with Kevin and the girls. He went babysitting with their oldest daughter and played for hours with his "new friends". He played in the pool with all the kids at the slumber party, and he almost drowned, but he's recovered nicely. He went out with all the kids to see Despicable Me. In fact, it's now 11:32pm and he just got home with tales of popcorn and candy. The hours are a little later here than back at home, and he's had a ball.

So, though I could stay here forever, never tiring of Amber and Kevin and their family, real life must resume. Tomorrow morning I have to head back home. But guess what? I'll be driving home on brand new tires with the air conditioning blasting ice cold. That Kevin. Always looking out for me. Let me tell you how I cried over that miracle and blessing. I had no idea what was coming when he asked if he could just borrow my keys. These are good friends, the best kind.

And I so needed this.

10 comments:

Saint Holiday said...

You have the greatest friends, Jenna! May the Lord bless them for their goodness to you. I love you.

Dad

Andrea said...

wow- what great friends. Can't wait to hear the van story. And I'd love to hear more of the weight loss- amazing.
So happy you have such wonderful friends and that you were able to visit.

Leslie said...

Oh Jenna.... I am crying. You are so lucky to have them in your life. If only everyone could have an Amber.

Hannah said...

Aww! I'm getting all teary eyed. I'm so glad you had a great time with Amber and that you are driving home safely. What wonderful friends they are to you.

Tristi Pinkston said...

What an awesome friendship ... and I'm so sorry you nearly baked. We don't have air conditioning in our van, either, but we haven't had to endure a trip in that kind of heat. Yet ...

Annette Lyon said...

Safety, love, and acceptance--the perfect combination. A true friend indeed!

amberwatt said...

Holiday is right. Jenna does have the greatest friends, but that is because SHE is the greatest friend a person could ever have! No one has made me feel better about myself. I am so grateful for her. She has been there for me through some really dark times and has dropped everything and raced miles to be by my side when I needed her. She has never judged me through my ups and downs and been the most important source of sincere advice. So, it's no surprise to me that she has sooooo many who love her and would do anything they could for her.....because she would and does for those she loves.

Jenna, I NEVER tire of you. I love being around you and miss you terribly. Thank you for always being there for me. I love you!

missy said...

The stories of your friends are amazing. Glad you had a safe and fun trip.

I have a favor to ask. Could you see if Amber would be interested in sharing her weight loss story? Her motivation? 100 lbs is a lot of weight. I have quite a few pounds that I need to lose, so I would love some extra help/incentive/motivation. Thanks.

Kimberly said...

I'm actually all sniffly and teary now. Oh what a gift to have such friends - I'm so glad for you.

Alejandra said...

I've never met Amber but I already love her :).