We met in Utah where she photographed my son Owen’s birth. The last place I would expect to find a friend.
I decided to stay at my mom’s house and have him there, even though we were still living in Washington at that time. She was more than I could have ever hoped for, a doula and photographer all in one. Sharon had a natural birth with her daughter, and this was my first (natural birth that is). She kept me calm, reminded me to listen to my body, and kept me laughing. We became fast friends and she made my first natural birth a calming experience.
Several months later I went to Utah for the FIND photography workshop in Orem, UT. Jonathan Canlas is an incredible photographer and teacher. It was a dream of mine to attend for a long time. That year, I was lucky enough that he decided to have it right in his lab in Orem, UT. Only 15 minutes from my parents house. I found out that Sharon had attended one of his workshops in the past, so we made plans for the kids and I to visit her while we were still in Utah. She wanted to hear her all about my experience, and she told me all about hers. We took pictures of each other and gave each other photography tips. All the while our kids played like they were the best of friends.
Fast forward a few months and Sharon was calling to tell me that she was moving to Seattle, less than 40 minutes from my house! She also told me that they found an apartment but it wouldn’t be ready when they needed to move and they didn’t know where they would be living for the first few weeks.
Of course I offered to have her family (Sharon, her husband Kerry, and their daughter Lusilia) stay with us. At the time we had 3 kids, and my sister-in-law was living with us. We were all in our 2,000 square foot house. You would think that two weeks of living with someone you only met twice would be hard. Of course they would get on our nerves… or we would just want our house back because of awkwardness, or just need quiet. But that was not the case at all, we didn’t want them to leave. I hardly knew her and we had never met her husband before, but we all instantly got along and have been like sisters ever since.
This unexpected friend took our family pictures at our first house and our second house. Since then she has moved to Alaska and back to Utah. They have added a little boy to their family and are expecting a third. They have visited our family for weekends, and sometimes several weeks at a time from each of the places they have lived. She and her husband even recently drove all the way from Utah just to help me. I was sick and Gabe was going on to be gone on a business trip all week, so they just dropped what they were doing. She is that kind of friend. That kind of person. Selfless and willing to serve at the drop of a dime. Beautiful inside and out.
What about you? Do you have any unexpected friends?
Have they surprised you, or have you surprised yourself? What characteristics did they have that drew you to them? What have you learned from them?
I will be sharing one of the many many things I have learned from Sharon in my next post, so keep an eye out. This is something everyone needs in their life!