Those letters stand for: Western Oregon State College Campus Crusade for Christ Best Friends Forever.....
Back row: Lisa, Kelly, Lydia, Gretchen Front row: Michele, Renee, and myself
Today, Michele and I reunited with these lovely ladies in Medford. Sadly, it's been three and a half years since we've all gotten together. It just seems like it's always so hard to figure out a time and a place and a gameplan (kids or no kids, spouses or no spouses?). But, once Gretchen declared that her family was moving to Pennsylvania, an immediate visitation was declared. And, suddenly, we all were able to clear our schedules to get together. (I guess that threatening to leave the state of Oregon is what it takes to make it happen!).
Despite the bummer that Gretchen's family is soon to take off (however, the reality is, it's only a 3 year commitment that they agreed to, so by the time she gets back, it will be just in time for our next get-together!), it was a really encouraging time with everyone. It's amazing how we all can be so transparent with each other, confident enough in each others' love for each other to strip our conversation straight to the core right from the start. (When we only had about 6 hours to catch up on the lives of 7 women - there's no time to "talk about the weather"!).
These ladies span the state of Oregon - all of us are still married and the range of kiddos we each have is from one child to seven....(the seven would be Gretchen's family......this is a picture of me with their youngest):
Little "Bo" was adorable, but I have to say he satisfied my baby fix for a while. A couple of the kids were there with us, but as they were Renee, Kelly and Lydia's sweet daughters - we barely saw any of them. If all the kids were in attendance, there would have been 21 of them running around! (And I doubt as we would have gotten any conversation had that been the case!).
We all met 19 years ago - on the campus of what is now called Western Oregon University. The year that we met, they were just launching Campus Crusade for Christ at Western - and we all got involved. We were part of the team of "founding fathers" (or "mothers", as the case may be) to get that program going at our college - and that is a very bonding thing to be part of. Clearly, it's a very strong bond, as it's kept us reuniting over the years.
This was my favorite meeting yet, though. While there were more experiences than ever before that each woman had to share regarding the hardships they've been through - or foresee in the future - I felt like we all have individually grown so much that some of the other things that used to be significant differences among us, are no longer a focal point at all. It's kind of like the high school 20 year reunion vs. the 10 year reunion - there's a whole lot less to prove these days. Instead, there's just a lot more wisdom, understanding, and "I've been there" moments.
I suspect there will be even more bonding between them this evening - as they're all spending the night with each other. I got "bonus points" for getting this whole thing organized, but obviously lost points by having to return back home early with Michele. (Nati has a game tomorrow morning that they really can't miss). Next time, though - whether it's Medford again in 2013, or some place nearer to Pennsylvania in between that time, we'll make the priority to spend more than 6 hours together - as I feel like we just touched the tip of the iceberg in all of the catching up we had to do.