Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Ephraim Keeps on Giving

One of my most favorite things happened this morning.

Someone found me.

Don't you love it when a blast from the past blows in?

I moved to Mayfield, KY just before I turned 5 years old...and I mean JUST before.  My mother has always told me that at my party, just after they sang to me and right before I dove into that chocolate on chocolate Duncan Hines cake tradition (help me, Rhonda), I looked around at my family and said to her, "But, where are all the children?"

Talk about breaking a momma's heart.  She's still not over it.

I, of course, made friends quickly as I was never lacking in the outgoing personality department.  My parents had us in church before the moving van left town, so my first friends came from First Baptist Church of Mayfield...where many many precious childhood memories were made.

Enter:  Sarah Lampkins

Sarah was a year older then me, which translates to ultra-cool when you're 5 years old.  She was also an only child, which was fascinating to me.  When I went to her house, it was so all about us and I was so all about that.  My mom was busy growing an 11 pound baby in her womb shortly after we moved and she was...well, let's just say she was happy to send me to the Lampkins' Home as that baby grew.  At Sarah's house, there was no big brother to antagonize and torture me, and no baby brother to tend to.  Don't get me wrong, I loved my family...but a break is nice even for a kid.  On the flip-side, Sarah loved my house.  She loved the noise and the people and even the mess (no offense to my mom, she loves a tidy house, but a mother of 3 has an uphill battle in regards to home-cleanliness).  She loved being tortured by the big brother and and wagging around the baby brother.  We had a friendship that worked for both of us.  We had mountains of fun and made mountains of drama..and we loved every second of it.  She was my favorite "play and pretend" friend, and I smile every time I think of us in that bathtub protecting our children/stuffed animals from the "impending doom of an F-5 tornado just outside our window."  The "storm" passed, and then we just hung out in there and ate Better Cheddars.

Those things were awesome.

Do they even make those things anymore?  They were delicious.  And my mom wouldn't buy them.  But Sarah's mom did...along with nacho cheese in a can and cinnamon rolls (of which Sarah always gave me the center portion because it is completely the best, and that right there should prove to you her precious and giving heart.)

We were kindred spirits in regards to food.  Meaning, we loved and lived for it.

I moved away when I was 11, and have been a Carolina girl ever since...that is, in regards to geography.
(Make no mistake about it, I will be a Kentucky Wildcat until the day I die.)  Sarah and I have done a pretty decent job of keeping up periodically through high school and college, and even some in our 20's.  She knew Chad was sick, prayed fervently, and kept up with us.  I even visited her family after he died and had such a great time.  The last 5 or so years though, we've been silent, lost touch.  But, I knew I was on her mind just as she was on mine, and that we would find one another eventually.  Friends like us don't die.

And find me she did...today.

Sarah had looked me up on a friend's FB account (she doesn't have FB, I'd long looked for her there), and she found me there...and she found Ephraim.  There, on the blog, she found out why God had laid me heavy on her heart these past several weeks, why she was compelled to pray for me and reach out to me...she learned about PJ.  What a beautiful thing, to know God honors those old friends in such a way.

Then, she found Ephraim. She read it, and she loved it.  I can't tell you in words what that means to me, how important it is to hear...and you know why?  Because Sarah Lampkins was there in my family's Wonder Years.  She was there.  She saw it.  She knows my loss as few of my friends do, and she celebrates Ephraim with me...

Welcome back, Sarah Lampkins Todd.  You've been missed, old friend.

Ephraim.  It keeps on giving.

Thank you, Lord...

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