For a long time, as a child, I wished and prayed for a really good friend. I always had friends, but never a best friend. For years and years, I felt like the only one without someone to confide in. As an adult I found myself in a similar state - I'd had such close friends in college, but they didn't translate into the kind of everyday friendship I needed. Moving away from home, and starting a family didn't make it very easy to make friends.
At some point I reached out and joined the Chicago MQG. Almost immediately I had formed a close friendship with Em. What a gift our friendship has been! Many more friendships formed through the MQG.
Now somehow I find myself surrounded by friends. Some new, some old. Local guild friends, swap friends, and people from online. This was unexpected, it's as if I didn't know I would have such close friendships in my lifetime.
So now it's time for QuiltCon, and it's finally time to meet one of my closest friends, Shruti. Somewhere in the course of the past five years we'd become close friends. It started with me receiving a doll quilt from her way back then. Now it's a pretty regular string of facebook messages - nearly every day - sometimes more than every day. And we meet. And it's just like it always has been - friends.
The weekend went by in a blur - so much fun, so many memories. Now it's time to head to the airport - but first I text Shruti so we can say goodbye. Who knew this would be so hard? Standing in the hallway of the convention center, hugging, crying, then laughing because it's so silly to be crying, then hugging and crying some more. We'll make it happen. We'll see each other again. We'll work hard, we'll become famous quilters. Guilds will want to pay us to travel and teach together. We'll write a book. We'll chat online. It doesn't seem like enough. It's hard to know when we'll see each other again. More hugs, more tears. Someone walks by and we ask them to take our picture. It's a photo raw with emotion.
I write this with the lingering rawness in my heart. I can't forget how important this trip has been. Some day I might forget the rawness. I hope I don't forget how it feels to be loved by friends.
Thanks to Shruti, Emily, and all the amazing friends who made Quiltcon the best. I'll never forget all the smiles, the hugs, and all those great memories. These friendships inspire my quilting even more than anything else. I'm so grateful for all of you!!