Tuesday, July 19, 2011


At last, the post I've been trying to write for the past two years.

Honestly I don't know why it's been so hard to do.    It's easy for me to gush and could go on and on about this incredible woman (and I frequently do).   It's just there's so much more to Jodie.

Yes,  she's a phenomenal mom,  and by phenomenal I mean totally kick ass put my lame mothering skills to shame sort of mom.   And she's absolutely a one and a million kind of friend- you know,  the kind of friend that knows just how you take your coffee, and just when to invite you in for a cup.  She's not only the most hard working and giving person I know,  but also the most thoughtful and sincere friend I've ever had.   I feel like I'm learning to be a better person because of her.

But she's so much more than all of these things.

Jodie is the hand that wiped my tears.

Jodie is the voice that tells me to get over myself.

Jodie is the smile that can light up a room.

Jodie is the reason I believe in friendship.

When I met Jodie, gosh like 12 years ago (wow, we really are getting old!) I never in a million gazillion years would have guessed how important and permanent she would become in my life.

It was a company party.  Jodie worked with Jud and I was the new kid.   I remember meeting her and thinking,  wow this chick has her shit together.   She was gorgeous, dressed incredibly, very smart, talked all businessy,  mingled with all of the "important" people.   My insecure self felt a little out of place.    But as soon as she started talking to me those insecurities faded away.  She was real.   She was genuine.

Over the next few years we saw each other occasionally.   Jodie left the bank to stay home with her kids  and my life at that time was all about my growing family.    I remember bumping into her a number of times at story time with the kids, and every time she was so warm and sweet.   I always thought, man I wish I had a friend like her.

Then two years ago when we moved to this part of town,  I emailed Jodie because I knew she lived in the same area.    I thought maybe she could give me the scoop about the school and maybe even get our kids together so they felt like they knew someone when they started school.    Sending that email was probably the smartest thing I've ever done.

It was 4th of July and Jodie had written to tell me about the big parade and festival at our local park.    Jud and I packed up our excited kids and started walking to watch the parade.   I immediately noticed all the people lining the streets and started to panic.     We were so stupid, we didn't go out early and set up chairs or a blanket.   Jud and I started bickering because I think I may have mentioned going early to save a spot but he didn't think it was necessary.     I remember being so irritated because there was no way we were going to get a spot where the kids could actually see,  I started envisioning the walk home with sad disappointed kids... when Jodie walked across the street, sort of like my knight in shining armor ;)    She of course had a blanket all set up and invited us to watch the parade with them.    The kids all immediately hit it off.   They got along almost bizarrely well, like friends at first sight.   That night we watched the fireworks together (on their blanket of course because we didn't go early to get a spot for that either)  both of our families.    I kind of knew that night that this lady was going to be in my life forever.   At least I hoped she would.

Since then Jodie has taken me under her wing.

She has taught me, she has listened to me, she has really understood me.    Not to mention she has saved my unorganized butt on many occasions.  

Having her just a few blocks away makes me finally understand what it's like to have family close by.

During our wait for Will,  I had mentioned to Jodie that I was really nervous about the travel to Ethiopia.    I was terrified about making the trip alone, but there was no way Jud and I could both go because we had four kids at home and no real other options.   Jodie looked at me and just said "no. you both need to go.  you're both going."  

Seriously, who does that?   Just takes in someone's kids?  

Not only did she take care of all four of my kids (plus her own three) so that Jud and I could travel together, but she loved my kids while I was gone.    I never ever could have had the experiences I did in Ethiopia (like meeting birthfamilies) if it weren't for Jodie.   Knowing that my kids were with her put my mind at ease and I was really able to just focus on the trip and embrace that whole experience.    For that I will always be indebted to her.

I don't know how I would have made it through these past few years without her love and support.

When I told her I was going to speak at my mom's memorial service, she made sure she was there.    She knows when I need her without me ever having to ask.

Part of me is going to be lost when she moves.   And the other part is going to be texting and calling her nonstop!

Jodie- I know you hate being the focus of attention but I had to find a way to tell you all that you mean to me.   I'm so grateful to have you in my life.


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