• ashirk@gmail.com
  • Kijabe, Kenya
on lasting friendships. . .

on lasting friendships. . .

When the Lehman’s brought Joe home from the hospital, his big sister Rose asked why Annabelle was there. . . mistaking the new baby in her house for our daughter. That is how far back these kids go.

Salli and I met July 2007 in residency, we had our second babies 3 months apart, our husbands survived our residency together with many trips to Milo’s and the zoo, and we have travelled to many corners of the United States together. Every home assignment has blocked out at least 2-3 days to visit them in Thomasville. Their family and home are, unequivocally a place of peace and safety for us..

When we moved to Kijabe, we were determined to maintain relationships in the US where the girls felt themselves, where they were known and seen and loved. Little did we know that we only had so much control – it would be a two way street where we would see the deep and abiding comfort that comes with friendship determined to span oceans.

The Lehman’s arrived for the second time in Kijabe 2 weeks into the girls school break this July – for Salli to workin our outpatient clinic and for the kids to explore. For two weeks, our kids acted like they had lived next door to each for their entire lives, they laughed, they played, they wandered, they commandeered their own vehicle for safari, and they planned outings and adventures – lost in their own world of knowing and being known.

At the end of the trip, our kids made a music video, and at one point Annabelle is sitting alone and as the lyrics “Once, I was seven years old, my mama told me “Go make yourself some friends, or you’ll be lonely” play, the kids come and join her. . .Salli and I both teared up at such a visual representation of the truth of this realized dream of lifelong friendship – both for our kids and for us. . .