Sunday, November 9, 2008

November gratitude, part four

About 11 years ago on a brisk autumn night, Shane and I were invited to a dinner party at a friend's house. Although I knew the boy part of the couple pretty well, I didn't know the girl too well. I had met her a few times, once when swimming, I think, but other than that, they weren't people I knew well.

We gathered in the little apartment. I brought a loaf of store-bought garlic bread, which seemed appropriate until I sat down to eat the delicious made-from-scratch lasagna that Melanie, our hostess, had made. I looked around her apartment, which was cute and clean and housed a detail that endeared her to me: a cat.

That night, we watched the first DVD I'd ever seen. John, our host, had borrowed a projector and, after clearing a wall of its adornments, started up the movie. I remember sitting on the floor, laughing over the movie with this nice couple, eating yummy food and enjoying myself immensely.

I wish I could go back to that night. I wish I could tell myself how important John and Melanie would become in me and Shane's lives. I wish I could tell myself how many times over this exact sequence of events would repeat itself over the next decade. That eventually, they would be at our wedding, and we would be at theirs. That Mel would come and sub at my "wives of Shane's friends" bunko group, and I would be glad because I would know that I had one real friend in the room. That we would laugh at our significant others at numerous gatherings of John and Shane's friends. And that in time, me and Mel's friendship would rival John and Shane's, despite their having a 10 year head start on us.

Today Shane and I joined John and Melanie at their church to watch their new baby boy's blessing. Afterward we joined all their parents and grandparents and sisters and offspring for brunch. It may seem weird that we were the only non-family there, but it wasn't. Even though they didn't all know us, we knew who they were and felt right at home. We wouldn't have chosen to be anywhere else.

I can't say how grateful I am to have them in my life, and in my family's life. We all understand one another in such a unique way. I am so glad that I went to that long-ago dinner party and fought through our mutual shyness to get to know one another. I'm glad we've developed this friendship.

Today, I am grateful for this great family. I know that they were meant to bless our life. I just hope we've somehow returned the favor.


Ginger said...

Yes, they are great people! When Melanie moved to Spokane I wasn't sure if we would keep in touch because often that never happens and she sent me a Christmas card and that was the most excited I have ever been to get a Christmas card. :)

Lucy said...

Love you. Love Melanie. You two together are almost perfect.

What a blessing to have such a fabulous foursome to enjoy. I'm so, so glad you have each other.

Melanie said...

Wow, I have got to keep up on my blog reading! This post brought tears to my eyes. I love that you said our friendship rivals that of our husbands. It's so true, and I never would have imagined that 10 years ago.

I hope you know how grateful we are for your unconditional love, your support on occasions like last Sunday, and your company. We love you guys!