Thursday, October 19, 2006

unlikely friends

I have become friends with a lady who lives a few doors down from me and goes to my church. She is in her 60's, her husband was in the Navy and just passed away last summer. He was a pilot in the Vietnam War. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.
Last night we drove together to the Visiting Teaching Open House last night which was awesome and we had this yummy cake. (Her daughter in law also lives down the street and is good friends with my friend Cara W.)
She drove me back to her house because she wanted to show me the photos of her husbands funeral at Arlington.
I didn't leave her house until 12:15 am. She told me some awesome stories about her husband. He was in the Vietnam war and his plane was shot down. The story is amazing and I felt like it was better than watching a movie hearing her tell the story.
I know she misses her husband so much and loves him so much. She showed me photos of him as a pilot and clippings from the paper the day he came home hugging his family in front of the plane. I wanted so bad to ask her if I could borrow it to put on my blog to show everyone, but didn't really want to go there.
We talked about what it was like to raise 4 kids on your own when your husband is gone. We have a few people in our ward. I cried with her when she talked about tying her Christmas tree to the wall because she couldn't find the Christmas tree stand to make it stand up, while he was gone over Christmas.
I am constantly amazed at the family sacrifices that happen while we are at war. My husband as seen many OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom) patients. His training at Vanderbilt has been a lifesaver for him as many of these cases are one of kind and so unique. I always how was the mother or wife after the surgery, "don't forget to give her a big hug" .. then he laughs at me.
But back to my new friend. I gave her a big hug and told her how grateful I was to her for sharing her stories with me and how sorry I am about her losing her husband. She said, "I will walk you to the corner" (our houses are 75 yards away from each other) It reminded me of my best friend from High School who we lived 7 houses away and we would always walk each other half way home.
I walked my way home to my wonderful family just beginning our adventures and so grateful I had Jeff to come home to. She walked home to her wonderful family who don't live in the walls of her home any more but are still so much of her life but just in a different way.
We may have seemed so much like "unlikely friends" but after last night we seem so much the same.


michelle said...

Great post, Kristi, and great photo. I have found many unlikely friends through Relief Society. I remember when I was a young girl wondering how my mom got to be friends with so many unlikely women at church, people I never would guess she would be friends with. Now I know.

Amy said...

You really have a talent for connecting with people that I admire. I don't know if I can imagine anyone I would think would be unlikely to be your friend! You seem to embrace all people of all walks of life.

I love talking to older people. I had the same opportunity last night to talk to an older sister in our ward. I got to hear all about her children and grandchildren. She was so sweet, and I think she has so much to teach me. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Jill said...

That's such a great story. It's perfect that you were the one to go over there and look at her pictures and listen to her because one of your many talents is valuing the past and sharing your emotions. I'm sure it meant a lot to her that you cried too. That was very sweet of you, and I love it that it made you more appreciative of your family and where you are in your life together.

becca said...

oh I love it!!! How sweet is that you spent so much time with her, I am sure she enjoyed it just as much as you! I love hearing peoples stories!!

Encore Dance said...

Thats such a nice post, Both of Jared's grandparents served in WWII and I love hearing stories. Grandma Rea and Grandpa Fred actually were married on one of his leaves when he was stationed in Calif. Thoes women were so strong. IT's so nice to be connected with the past. I'm sure you were a big comfort to her.

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

*I love that photo--it is so romantic. *What lucky women you both are to have each other as neighbors. *I'm so glad you included the part where she walked you home. *Thanks for retelling the story and reminding me to be grateful for so many unsung heroes.

Amanda said...

I really enjoyed that post, it is so great to learn other people's stories...
Also, thanks for giving the link to the cake recipe...I ate something at a restaurant once that was similar to that and have been wanting to try making it at home. I am so into old fashioned homemade desserts right now and that one looks perfect!

amy m said...

I love friends like these. It seems that I get along better with others older than me. I love what I learn from them and what they give to me.

I can imagine you have friends everywhere you go of all ages. You're so easy to talk to and such a riot.