The time has come for our friends to leave. They will be heading to Dallas on Saturday for about a week and then on to Singapore. I’ve been dreading this since I heard about it. I’ve thought about it as little as possible. When I’ve allowed myself to think about the actual “goodbye” it’s just been too much. I said my goodbyes to Tommy and the kids on Tuesday evening and that just kind of made it all real. I’ve spent the last couple of days dreading having to say goodbye to Andrea but today I did that too. And really, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had built it up in my mind to be. There were some tears but not just uncontrollable sobbing, which is what I was afraid of. I didn’t get snot on her shirt or anything gross like that. I know I will see them again and I just hope that’s sooner rather than later.
When we first kind of met the Stunz family, Anna was four and I was her preschool music teacher at St. Mark. We had just started going to BPF at the time and all I knew of Tommy and Adrea was that I thought Andrea sounded like Cher (sorry Andrea) when she sang and that Tommy reminded me a whole lot of my brother, Edddy. Eventually we started going to a small group at their house called Trek. We just really connected with them early on. One of the first times I went to their house I spilled water all over the floor in Andrea’s kitchen. I was embarrassed and apologized and felt like a dummy. She just said something about liking when water gets spilled on the floor because she knows at least that one spot just got cleaned. They just made us feel so welcome in their home. We liked them immediately. They even introduced us to the world of marbles and made us this insane Spiderman board.
And gave us these “inappropriate” cards to go along with them. Andrea was so embarrassed when we opened the pack and she saw this card. Phillip and I thought it was so funny.
At the beginning of a friendship there are always some of those surfacy kind of games that people play. There may have been some of that at the beginning but it seems to me that we’ve mostly just been exactly who we are with the Stunz family. And they’ve been exactly who they are with us. We have not always agreed on everything. We’ve even had a few misunderstandings. But at the heart of our friendship there has always been honesty and transparency. Just a pure friendship that I believe is a rare gem.
We have eaten many meals together. We have made fun of Andrea’s love of both brown and “clean” rice. We evacuated for Hurricane Rita together and still wanted to hang out after we got back in town. (I think it was Rita anyway…hard to keep track.) We have visited an awesome church in Houston many times together. They were there for us when we lost a son and they were there for us again when we gained a son. And they’ve been there for all the celebrations and heartbreaks before, during, and after it all. They have seen us at our lowest and they have loved us anyway.
I know this is not really goodbye. It’s just kind of the end of an era of sorts. I will miss seeing them and hanging out with them but I absolutely know that we’ve got countless more marbles games, brown rice, bad jokes, and good coffee left to share. And until then we’ve got e-mail, phone, skype, blogs, and of course facebook. Phillip and I hope we will be able to visit them in Singapore but we’re unsure at this point how or when that might happen. So there you have it. They’re leaving and there’s not a thing I can do about it. And even if I could, I wouldn’t. They’ve been dreaming about this for a long time. And as much as I selfishly want to keep them here, there is no way I would wish this adventure away from them.
Okay, enough of all that. Let’s look at some pictures.
These were from March when the Stunzs rented a beach house for Jake’s birthday. We went up one evening to hang out. Jack had strep throat and they wanted him to come anyway.
I went over to their house to take a few pictures before they turned the keys over to the new buyers.
Last week Anna came over to play with Jackson before he left for Colorado. Jack spent some time playing Castle Crashers on Xbox 360 with one of his favorite girls.
And on Tuesday we went to the “goodbye” pool party.
Alright, well we love you guys. And thanks for loving us. We’ll see you later.