Monday, June 28, 2010


Today I said my first wifia goodbye. As far as I know, I will not see Andrea again before she moves to California. 2200 miles away. Stinky.

I know that odes to these women have already been written on several blogs lately, but here are my own. My life has been changed forever by each of them:

Tiffany: She is fiercely loyal to - her country, her husband and children, her state (Texas!) and the people she knows and loves. I remember thinking shortly after meeting her that she was the kind of person I "wanted on my side". =) She is funny, has a great sense of humor, is very down to earth, speaks her mind, and is, surprisingly one of the more emotional ones in the group. She has faced some great challenges and suffered some significant losses during these past three years, and has triumphed in the midst of them all. Her husband, Matt, plans to serve in the military for many years to come and I know she will be the amazing support he needs to make that happen.

Jodi: She has done an amazing job of loving and caring for all of the rowdy kids in our group and helping the rest of us retain our sanity! =) She is cute, sweet and extremely thoughtful. If there was a birthday to be remembered a shower to be hosted, or an event to be planned, she was usually heading it up. She would do anything and everything for anyone who asked (and often Without being asked!) She has a rare gift of seeing and meeting needs in a special way. She is addictive to talk to! I know I'm not the only one who has returned home after Jodi has babysat my kids, and then stood at the door talking for Forever with her, because she's just so fun to be with and talk to! =)

Andrea: Always smiling, always positive, always on the go and happy about life! She is an inspiring "force" - she really gives off energy wherever she goes! The rest of us joke that she is like the Tasmanian devil - spinning here and there, constantly going and doing, and Never tiring! She is fun loving, lives life to it's fullest and is soo much fun to be around! She is the one who introduced me to MOPS, one of the stabilizing forces in my life right now, and I will always be grateful for that! She is a great story teller and has had us rolling on the floor more than once! Andrea, may you never slow down... =)

Wendi: A giver, of herself, her time, her home, whatever she has. She has the gift of "making people feel comfortable", whether in her home, in their own (when it's a disaster), with who they are, where they're at in life, or whatever. She just makes you feel like "it's okay, you can do it, it's going to work out". She has taught me (by her amazing testimony, faith and grace in an incredibly hard situation) much about infertility, sensitivity, caring, and reaching out. Things I never would have known had I not had the opportunity to be closely involved with someone going through it. What a miracle and blessing it has been to see her life change in soo many dramatic ways over the past three years! What an awesome God we serve. =)

Sarah: I remember the first time I met Sarah. I liked her, I thought she was super nice and sweet (and she had the tiniest, newborn, red haired baby), but at that point I didn't see us ever being super close. Boy was I wrong. Yes, there are many things about us that are different, but I feel like those are the things that have surprisingly brought us closer. I have learned so much from her about life, people, myself even. She and I share a love for Africa and hope to someday end up there together, doing something to help those that we have been so touched by in past visits. Philip and I have tentative plans to take a "kid free" trip to Japan to visit Sarah and Rob and I know we will do everything possible to make that work out.

Sarah and Jodi together gave us the most amazing gifts yesterday when we were all together. They bought us gorgeous silver Pandora bracelets with a Wifia "W" charm on it. I love it. It's one of the sweetest gifts I've ever received.

The words on the front of the cards that Sarah gave us are perfect:

don't just "happen,"
but the best ones
seem to fall into place
right from the start,
naturally and easily,
as if they were
always meant to be.

These five women are the kind of friends who:

* Noticed if I bought a new shirt or did something different with my hair.
* Felt comfortable watching my kids and taking care of issues when they came up
* Saw me at my best and worst... and still kept me around. =)
* Encouraged and supported me when I went for several months of counseling due to some stress, anger and anxiety issues.
*Never made me feel like I had to be someone I wasn't.
* Always made me feel loved and valued as a vital part of our group.
* Were the ones I loved to spend time with on weekends, girl's nights out, holidays and any weekday that we decided to gather!
* God sent along to help this Canadian, new mom, culture shocked, far from family, small town girl adapt to and embrace this new home and new life here in the Air Force in Florida. They rock.

Jodi, Andrea, Tiff, Wendi and Sarah... thank you for reaching back when I reached out for friends. Thank you for accepting me for who I was, and for creating a "safe place" where I (and each of you) could honestly live out and express our frustrations, stresses, tears, and questions about this crazy life we called Residency. Thank you for all of the encouragement and support as we trekked the "mom" road side by side. Thank you also for seeing me as someone outside of a "mom", I have loved being "just Me" with you, too! =) Thanks for all the laughs, the memories, the tears, the chats, the lunches, the babysitting, the stories, the hugs, the pictures, the phone calls, emails, Facebook messages, the texts (even if I didn't text back!), the birthday cards, the parties, the baby gifts, the chocolate, the newborn baby snuggles, I could go on and on...

Thank you.


Jessica said...

*tears* praying for each and every one of you incredible girls as you start this new chapter of your lives. I know you all will excel no matter where you go. Thank you for being such awesome friends and a huge blessing to my sister-in-law!! :)

Mom W. said...

Very nice tribute to some wonderful "kindred spirit" friends in your life Joia!!

Flakymn said...

I think you captured everyone perfectly ... bless you sweet friend.

And thanks for dinner.

Mom E said...

Again, Jessica articulated my exact thoughts. The fact that you have this many friends in which to tribute, is really a tribute to yourself. A person with this many friends (and true friends, not acquaintances)is an indication of what a wonderful friend you were first.

Thank you to each and every one of you for not only being a friend, but for being Family to my precious daughter-in-law. You All Rock! My heart and prayers go out to all of you as you enter the next phase of your lives.

TLA said...

Joia, this was beautiful. I hope it's still ok if I read and follow you/your family even though you all are headed in different directions.

Joia said...

TLA, Of course! =)