Liz is a (Canadian) friend I met in Italy, where she and her family still live. She became a fast friend as well as Conner's piano teacher, passionately using her musical education to pass on her gift to the next generation. I met her through Ruth, and the three of us got together as often as we could. That is, with three deployments and eleven children between the three of us, not nearly often enough.
Several weeks before Ruth and I moved from Italy, we went over to Liz's for some rare girl time, and Liz surprised us each with our own teacup: all three had the same design but a different color scheme. She had recently returned from a trip to Canada, and while passing through London on her way home managed to get a bit of shopping done. (Typical Liz: her husband's deployed; she's traveling alone with three young boys; and she thinks to go shopping for teacups.) She got one for each of us so that, whenever we have a cup of tea, wherever that may be, we will be reminded of our friendship. I don't have to tell you how touched Ruth and I were by that gesture, and by the sheer ingenuity. I am definitely going to use that idea myself some day and pass it off as my own.
Though it really shouldn't be surprising: Liz is nothing if not interesting. After she studied music she went on to earn her law degree -- a natural transition, to be sure. And throughout our friendship I have garnered snippets of these years in school and the three roommates of hers that she has often spoken of who have all stayed close since that time. And I am so sad for my friend Liz right now because, as I am writing this, she is traveling to the funeral of one of these dear friends who just died in a car accident, leaving behind a husband and two young children of her own.I am so sorry for what you are going through right now, Liz. And I want you to know that I'm thinking of you and sending out my prayers, for you and your friend's family. And I am picturing your friend opening her own front door, the same one that you and I will someday see her in. And she'll be waiting for us -- no introductions will be necessary -- and we'll all talk and laugh like it was just yesterday that we last met. Because it is heaven, after all.
But for now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go get myself a cup of tea.