Claudine Phillips

When Friendship takes your breath away

I wish I had taken more pictures.

I wish I said yes more when she asked to get together.

I wish I had called her more.

I wish I had more time with her.

I find myself thinking these things about a friend of mine that is moving back to her home state tomorrow. I get so choked up even typing these thoughts. She was my first friend when we moved back to Colorado 10 months ago. I actually met her at the library before she moved into the cabin next to me two weeks later.

I love how God works.


She is the true thing. This courageous soul shares her heart without abandon and lives life fully. Once I heard her admit that she had no idea what she is doing {homeschooling, raising kids, and being a wife, friend, daughter, sister…} and was ok with that, I knew we were going to be great friends.


I immediately fell in love with how her children loved my children BIG, the way she loved me. Her passion for nature taught me how to appreciate {and discern} the sounds I hear on my hikes now. This city gal never heard a frog croak or robin sing. It was just all that “nature noise” until I listened, and I mean really listened. My friend took me to places physically, emotionally, and spiritually only a trusted friend could take me.


I look back at our short time and see that “I” did nothing to make this friendship materialize. It just happened. God put us together for so many reasons. So many I can see today, yet so many more reason I can only imagine over the course of our friendship.


God had me in a season of “ten months at a time” recently. I was in California, just 10 months before this sweet season happened in Colorado. I, too, was in her shoes leaving soul sisters. These friends taught me how to selflessly invest in people that may not be around in a year. These friends embraced me, took my family in and held me close. So close it was heart wrenching to drive away. They treated me like family. Its all worth it, however. It’s happy, heart-wrenching tears that I would rather cry.

I will never forget you, my precious friends. Never. Thank you for the gift of friendship and love that taught me how to pass along this gift of love.  My new friend leaves tomorrow and I find myself in my California friends’ shoes. Staying, but still saying good0bye. It’s just as heart wrenching. Almost unbearable.


I have an overwhelming rush of sadness take over me when I think of her driving away, but it is mixed with a equally overwhelming dose of gratitude. I feel so undeserving to have a friend like her. Although having her at arms reach is what I prefer, I look forward to meeting up at national parks for camping, ski slopes to play, FaceTime for the kids, and hours of long distant calls for us.


I know how to do this long distance friend thing, it just never gets easier. Never.  I have said good-bye to friends in the past, but it seems different now. Now that I know me better, I am embracing fully, loving deeply, and without abandon. It hurts more to say good-bye now than ever before.

My friend, I hope you know, I hold you so close to my heart. Thank you for loving me, my family, and my children so wholeheartedly, so beautifully. You have taught me how to be a better friend. I am grateful.

Experiences like this leave me wishing for more time. I think this is just what happens when you find that special forever friend.

I love you, friend,  and I will see you soon.