There is a friend…

..that sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24 b

I have amazing brothers and sisters. I don’t know what I would do without them. There are not words enough to describe how much I was blessed with the cream of the crop when it came to siblings.

But God sometimes gives you friends that are like a sibling.  A little over 18 years ago, I met such a friend. She was about 10 years old, and not the age you would think when looking for a friend. Her mother is this beautiful person, who took a young mother under her wing and encouraged me through the early years of parenting. Her young daughter came alongside me, and cheered me on so to speak.

Tiffany Anderson was smart, funny, and spunky. We could be honest with one another, but sometimes it took work when she was younger to pull out what she was thinking. As she got older, this got easier for her, especially with texting and FB messages.

IMG_0372But when we lived together, she would be the one to come and rock the babies, wash my dishes, and help me clean out my nasty “fridge”. (A hole in the floor, moist to keep cool, but a habitat for fungi. I am not sure who thought that was the best idea.) Life was not always easy for us.

When my husband would go on a work hunting expedition, or to visit his parents, Tiffany would come and stay overnight with me. It became our tradition, she would “take care of me”. Fred had gotten a job working nights, and so Tiffany came to stay the night. In the morning, the baby, H. started crying and needed changing. I did not want to wake up Fred, so I hurried down the stairs a bit too fast. I fell, breaking a bone in my foot. Tiffany woke up and came to my rescue and went to fetch a wet cloth to ease the pain and swelling. I will never forget because she ran back into the house like her hair was on fire, a dripping rag leaving a trail behind her. She had seen some of the other men of the community coming down the boardwalk and realized suddenly that she was in her nightgown!

IMG_0371 IMG_0373

Some of the other children and cousins in the community.

After we moved away, our visits were limited, but Tiffany still managed to minister to us from afar. I was reminded of this by this picture of P.’s my oldest 5th birthday. His aunts and uncles were away, but sent gifts, including one from Tiffany, a little build it yourself birdhouse. He loved that thing!

IMG_0375 It might be hard to read, but it says about how Tiffany sent the birdhouse. It was the little things that meant so much.

This year, we got to talk a lot more with the advent of FB in her life! It was so much fun.

I got this message back in July from her and to me, it just spoke of how she was just the best friend and encourager.

“Have to get ready for work, but just wanted to stop and tell you that you are a beautiful, loving, godly woman, an amazing mother, and a faithful, trustworthy wife. Like in Proverbs 31. And… a wonderful friend!!! I love you, Martha!

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And God has given you things to say and write that is worth hearing and reading and will bless the people who get the chance to hear or read what you have to say. Don’t give up! You are special!”

It makes me cry to read that, but as I go through my house and see the little things she sent me, the picture of her smiling face on my corner shelf or the cute purse she gave me recently, I choke up. But it is the words she gave me, encouraging me to go throughout my day and give it my best.

IMG_0559_2 IMG_0609 IMG_0560I see her love for my boys throughout the years and the joy that she brought to my life will never be forgotten.  I loved seeing what she was doing with her life. I so enjoyed hearing how much she loved her parents, her little sisters and how she missed her big sister that lived far away. I am so going to miss hearing her voice, seeing her words, and knowing that I can’t tell you about the cute shoes I found, or the new haircut I got.

Tiffany, thanks for being my friend. Thank you for loving me even though you knew me better than many do. Thank you for teaching me about what love is. I am really going to miss you, little sister.

Tiffany Rose Anderson- June 19, 1987 – October 14, 2015


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