I'm lucky to have my real life friends, like playgroup mommies, ladies in my unit, and a few strays I've befriended down here on base. I also have the ladies I keep in contact through email because we met at a previous station and have since moved on to other places that life happens to take us. Then there's the online friends I've encountered the last few years. It's strange having close "friends" who I have no chance of meeting any time soon, yet I talk to them daily, they know me better than most of my real life friends, and my mailbox is stuffed full of their love on a regular basis.
What's got me thinking of friends, you ask?
Well, I'll tell you!
I've come across a new kind of friend recently. She's thousands of miles and two oceans away, but I feel close to her. Her husband serves in Iraq with mine, and that's how we have gotten to know eachother. She lives in India and she's currently waiting on her Visa to come live in the states. Her husband was born in India, but has spent most of his life here. They are newlyweds, not even one anniversary yet, and they met online. She's so cute with her new wife jitters, and is she doing everything right, and how do I keep a new husband happy from this far away.
Actually, she's closer to the guys than we are over here! That thought gives her a little comfort as she anxiously awaits her Visa to come here and live with her aunt until the guys return. Until then, her and I communicate through email and pictures. She's already in love with the kids and can't wait to meet them! (Ya, it's easy to fall in love with them through pictures when the actual volume of how LOUD they can be is on mute!) I was even lucky enough to get a birthday phone call from her saying "Guess who this is?" Sadly, I didn't guess because she barely had an accent!
She sent Louisa this beautiful Salwar Kameez. She picked the blue because she thought it went well with Louisa's coloring, not even knowing that blue is Louisa's favorite color. And now this is Louisa's favorite outfit!
My book club read Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. I wrote my friend and asked if there were any "treats" she could send me that might also be enjoyed in Afghanistan, where the book takes place. She found that she could not send food through customs in her country, so instead she sent me not one... but ten Pashmina to share with my friends! This is me being silly in mine, but it can be worn as either a head covering (which they don't really do in India near as much as they do in Afghanistan) or as a shawl, which is more how my friend wears hers. A rainbow of Pashmina was set in the middle of living room floor of the book club hostess on Friday and I snapped pictures (actually Drew was my photographer) to send to our friend in India. The book club ladies were thrilled with taking home a piece of south east Asia, as well as a piece of this flowering long distance friendship they've been hearing so much about. I shared the pictures of huge smiles, pretty faces, and colorful Pashmina with my friend and she was so pleased that she made everyone's day like that. She says it's all she can do for now from so far away, but her friendship has been enough.
I'm slowly teaching her about American culture, and the woes of army life. She's excited to get here and start her life as an army wife and she's very proud of her husband. I can't wait to actually meet her, even if it'll be a year before she gets here.