This week just flew by! We were out of town for a few days, attending and photographing (John was, anyway) a beautiful wedding of a young Christian couple. The bride is the youngest daughter of some very dear and lifelong friends of ours, and she was radiant and glowing–at only 19 years old! It’s amazing–we recall when her parents, Greg and Melanie, got married just two weeks before we did! Our lives crossed, criss-crossed, and continue to intersect throughout our 32+ years of friendship, both in and out of the Navy.
Our shared memories take us from Pensacola Florida, to Okinawa, Japan, Honolulu, Hawaii, Pensacola again, Germany, Virginia Beach, Fort Meade, Maryland, and their home in North Carolina:
~We all got orders to Okinawa, Japan, (but it took 6 months for John to get over there!)
~We talked about the hopes of having children and wondered how long our Navy career would last.
~Mel and I served two years in the Navy (at that time) before starting our families.
~She planned and gave me a surprise shower for my first baby (who is now 30) in Okinawa.
~She called me late at night while in labour with her first daughter (now 29 1/2),
~We attended the oldest daughter’s christening in Okinawa.
~We met up 5 years later in Hawaii at the Hale Koa Hotel (an Armed Forces Rec Center).
~Had BBQs and picnics at their home on base, or our Sunset Beach house.
~Camped out with scorpions at Bellows AFB Beach.
~Watched our girls play in their hot tub on the lanai.
~Babysat for each other.
~When I went back in the Navy, we connected in Pensacola once again.
~Homeschooled our girls together, visited each others church, and kept in touch even when they were in Guam and we were in Germany!
~Greg visited us in Germany.
~When our families landed within one hour of each other, our friendship continued to grow and flourish.
~We encouraged, strengthened, comforted, exhorted, counseled and loved each other, through times of difficulty, challenges, losses, joys, and disappointments.
~They made a 4 hour trip to celebrate my husband’s 50th birthday!
~Mel made the wedding cakes for the wedding of my second daughter.
~Greg spoke at my retirement, and Melanie made a ton of great Filipino Food!
~We sang praises together in our front room with 2 of their daughters and 2 foster sons!
……And here we are now, reviewing photographs of the wedding of their youngest daughter.
I should probably share some eloquent quotes about the significance of such enduring relationships. But for now, I think I’ll just reflect on the beauty of these dear friends and thank the Lord for them. We are truly blessed.