they are still best friends. and when you are four-almost-five, a year or two together is quite a significant portion of life. a year of separation, due to a family move, has not dimmed their friendship. two mother-hearts are torn when they mention missing one another.
she loves surprises, this sweet daughter-gift of ours. and we love giving them! this time it was a few precious hours, shared with others, but a chance to eat pizza and giggle and dance and just be friends together again. a time to renew and reaffirm the depth of childhood friendship. a time to forget the separation and miles and hours now required to enjoy what they once took for granted.
the inevitable tears came. copious tears. a child’s sorrow is hard for all to bear. the deep, unchecked emotion of childhood. the great joy replaced by grief.
as I tucked the still-sorrowing girl into bed, we talked about the roller coaster emotions of the day. was it worth having those precious few hours together when it made her so terribly sad now? “oh yes, mommy. I would rather see her for a little and be sad than not see her at all. she is my friend and I love her. even if I am sad now.”
I left her room with the refrain of Psalm 84 running through my head, with its modern adaptation:
Better is one day in your courts
Better is one day in your house
Better is one day in your courts than thousands elsewhere
how amazing! better is one afternoon with a dear friend than not being together at all. better is one day in God’s presence, in His courts, than a thousand without Him.
even more amazing is that, unlike leaving a friend and feeling bereft of their presence, we have the gift, not only in the here and now, but into the infinite future, to live each day with God, to be in relationship with Him continually.
there is no bitterness of separation, only the sweetness of days, of life, together.