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My friend Julie, a homeschooling mom of eight with a contagious smile and a faithful and huge heart, died the night before Christmas Eve in 2003.
I won’t get to send her a card this year.
A real card.
Not the cyber sort.
With a hand-written sentiment, crafted in my very best cursive that would have made Mrs. Love, my fourth grade, cursive-Nazi teacher, beam with pride.
I won’t be able to drive down the long dirt road to her little ranch-style home in the Michigan corn fields to drop off some lavender-scented lotion or an apple pie candle that I grabbed off the clearance rack at the store.
There will be no quick afternoon coffee when we take a break from being with our kids; no cup of steaming java over which I could tell her just how much she means to me and how watching her be a mom makes me a better one.
No today, on Julie’s birthday, instead I will spend time praying for her kids. And remembering her.
I love remembering my friends’ birthdays. The folks up to the Bath & Body works store know me well. I stock up on girly treats and stash them away in my “general store” (a large plastic tote) to be given to a friend on her special day.
It isn’t easy to remember all the birthdays of those I love.
But it is well-worth the extra effort to write them on the calendar each January. Or set a reminder on my phone.
My best friend from college, Kelly, has never once forgotten my birthday in 29 years!
It means so much to me. In an age of email and impersonal, an old-fashioned card or simple gesture stands out in love.
Don’t forget your girlfriends.
Some day, you might note be able to send that card or buy that treat.
I think it is time to pencil in our 2012 calendars, scribbling down the names of those we love and can’t imagine life without.
Will you join me?