I can't remember when I met Momma Bean and neither can she. That might sound odd, but we both have pretty good memories. We attended the same small college for undergrad, and we know that we met during our first year there, but pinpointing an exact time has eluded us. In essence, our friendship began without us even realizing it.
During our first two years of college, our paths didn't cross that often; she was taking science classes, and I was taking business classes. But once we became roommates during our third year, the official memory book started. We made evening runs to eat Chinese food or her favorite--Mexican food from The Adobe. We stayed up late trying to hit the word count as we wrote papers for our Directed Readings class. We made death-defying road trips on ice and snow to the south plains. Then, I graduated and went to work, and seven months later, she graduated.
She used her "lag time" to enjoy the arts, and I had the privilege of visiting her family in New Mexico and watching her perform, along with her brother, in a musical. Yes, Momma Bean can dance AND sing!
During the time after our graduations from college, we both applied to two graduate schools, and we both got accepted to the same university. We knew what that meant: we were meant to be roommates again.
However, our roommate days didn't last for long. Momma Bean married Daddy Bean, the object of one of our daring road trips, during the Christmas break that first year of grad school. But that didn't stop our friendship; after all, we still lived in the same city and attended the same church.
Our "calcium runs" to Marble Slab saw us through grad school, and I ended up moving to Fort Worth. I watched from afar as Momma and Daddy Bean began to grow their family through foster-adoption, a lengthy, emotional process that was hard to watch but for which the end-product is amazing.
Three years ago, Momma Bean called to let me know that they were moving here, to my city! I got to see her more frequently and attend some of the Beans' birthday parties and holiday cookouts. Momma Bean and I even got to celebrate our October birthdays together this past year with a night out for dinner.
I found out today that the Bean family is moving back to the south plains. When she told me that she was moving, I realized that I had failed to take advantage of her time in my town. I had assumed that she would be here forever. That we could grab lunch whenever. Yet, we haven't done that often enough over the past several years while she has lived here. She holds a full-time job, plays mother to three little girls and step-mother to Brother Bean, and is an amazing wife to Daddy Bean. So finding time with her wasn't easy, but it wasn't impossible either. Instead, we let time get away.
I know that her moving will not cause our friendship to disintegrate. After all, we've done this before. Our friendship has withstood the test of distance. We just have to be more intentional about picking up the phone, emailing, and scheduling a road trip every now and then. In the meantime before she leaves in July, we have both agreed to make time to go to lunch and get together while they are still in town.
I share this to honor Momma Bean for her enduring friendship and to encourage you to spend time with your friends. Don't assume, like I did, that they'll always be just across town. Because sometimes, as I'm finding out, God likes to shake things up a bit and move people.
"A friend loves at all times . . . ." (Proverbs 17:17)