Thursday, June 4, 2009

Gift of Friends- Gratitude Gift #26

Twenty three years ago, I started working at a 1-hour photo lab in the heart of Hershey. Who would have thought that working in the the sweetest place on earth would lead me into a family of friends that I will forever be tied to. My sister introduced me to the owners of the lab, Kaye and Eric and at 14 I began working part time for them while going to school. They had a son, David, who was about 1 at the time...he was full of firecrackers and giggles - I can still hear his deep giggle when he would be tickled under his chin. A few years later, their daughter Trish was born. Both children were no strangers to the photo lab. I still remember running photos through the machines while Trish was hanging from my hip. They were there everyday when I would go in to work, and I would pick them up and take them for slushy's at Turkey Hill. They would play in the back until it was time for them to go home...and then we would do it all over again the next day. We experienced many things together.....chicken pox, a robbery, getting over a Santa phobia, and too many others to mention. As the years rolled by, we became more and more like family. I got to see their sports activities and I got to know their friends. They saw me grow up and get married. I worked for Kaye and Eric for 14 years until they made the tough decision of shutting down the lab. This was a hard transition to deal with at first, but in the end it was the best decision they could make. I worked a few other places and for about 2 years we sort of parted ways. Then one day I was talking to Kaye on the phone and she ended up helping me get a job with her at Food Distributor in our area. From the day I started working with her again - it was like we never had lost touch.

We all started camping together and the kids started bringing their friends. Before you know it we had over six families, camping and vacationing together over the last 9 years. David is now almost 21 and Trisha is 18 and graduating today. These kids and their group of friends are like the children Shannon (my hubby) and I never had. While I am so happy that they have grown up to be such wonderful young adults my heart is sad at the same time to see all these wonderful years go by in the blink of an eye.

I am and always will be, forever grateful to Kaye and Eric for allowing me to be a part of their lives and family and for creating this circle of friends that now I hold so dear to my heart.