Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Gift of a Lifetime.

Moving several states away
when I was 12 years old
was probably one of the hardest things in my life.

I left a bunch of good friends at a school I loved
when we moved away,
and we didn't have communication like we do now:
phone calls were too expensive,
no facebook.

All that we had were letters,
and they swiftly became too tedious on both sides.

I worked at the Christian camp that my dad did,
helping in the kitchen or in a cabin of girls.

It was when I was fifteen,
staying in a cabin as an assistant,
that I met a girl who would change me.

I would have a friend.
Tammy became a great friend
and started coming to the camp on weekends to help out as well.
She was a tom-boy who lived in a nearby town with her single Mom and her older brother.

 I liked Tammy.
She was fun, a great listener, easy to talk to,
had a great sense of humor.

She was the friend I really needed.

 Working at a camp brought a life I loved:
 a group of us who all worked together,
and then did fun things together when the work was done.

 But of all the friends and people I have met,
Tammy has always stayed a real friend,
a faithful friend.

She is like family.

 Over the course of our teenage years,
I noticed that Tammy was getting prettier and prettier.

She seemed to lose that tom-boy look.
She grew a love for sewing and doing crafts,
which, of course, I did as well.

Ever since I had known her,
Tammy had confided that she had a crush on one of the guys we worked with at the camp.

 I always thought it funny because he was so much like a brother,
but she had her heart set on him.

 I'd ask him about her,
and he'd always say that he saw her as just the little girl he'd met
when she was twelve.

And then one day,
I guess he realized she wasn't a little girl anymore.

 He noticed how beautiful Tammy was,
inside and out.

I think it was one of the happiest days in my life
when Tammy told me she and Danny were going to get married.

 To see how she had grown,
not only in years,
but as she loved the Lord
and He had given the answer to her prayers,
the desire of her heart,
and now she was getting married...
 it was just perfect.

As I continued in my life,
finishing college,
Tammy began her life as a wife.

Visiting her in her home,
I knew she'd have a knack at this home-making thing:
her home was so cozy
and pretty
and always well kept.

Motherhood seemed to fit her very well, too.

 But throughout the years,
the things that meant so much to me
were the letters she wrote while I was away,
the times when we got together when I came home:
it was as if nothing had ever changed.

When I began nannying and fell in love with my boss's brother,
I kept it a secret from most of my friends until I knew it was going to be something;
but Tammy was always somebody I knew I could tell.

 I think she was as happy as I was when I got engaged.
 It isn't often in life when you find a friend you keep as close to you
throughout most of it;

a friend that you don't have to spend every spare moment with,
but when you do get time, it's as if it is dessert
and you want to soak every sweet morsel out of it.

It's not often you meet a friend who doesn't change in
their love toward God,
whose decisions don't drift,
whose focus on right doesn't waiver,
who loves you through all your travels in life,
who always wants the best for you:

a wise friend.

But when you do,
when you find and keep a friend as valuable as all that
but who also loves so many of the same things that you do:
crafting, home-schooling, the Bible, 
and now even >blogging<,

it's almost too good to be true.

It's a priceless gift.

I don't think that there is much of anything better.

Happy Birthday, Tammy!

Thank you for being my friend.


  1. What a beautiful tribute to your friend. You have both been blessed.

  2. A good friend is priceless, and so are those earrings, made with so much love.

    Happy birthday to Tammy!


  3. Tammy is beautiful and sounds like the two of you have an amazing beautiful friendship. What a wonderful blessing. Happy, happy, birthday Tammy!! Sweet heart earrings! Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

  4. Love those Pics :) I would have been bawling my eyes out if the kiddos weren't gawking at me while I was reading it. :) It is amazing how well you knew/know me. You are one terrific and special friend. I needed you--still do:) Thank you! Love ya!

  5. Tonya, that was so beautiful!! Great pictures & story about your friendship with my daughter. She was very blest when she met you & your Family at Teen Haven Camp. She needed a friend who truly loved & served the Lord. Thank you for being my daughter's friend throughout the years. God Is Good!! :)


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