With the recent untimely passing of an old friend, I've been doing a lot of reflecting back on times gone by. I've been leisurely and sometimes teary eyed wandering down memory lane. Thinking about old friendships that have changed, ended or grown apart in my lifetime...and the friendships that have continued to grow and have sustained times of tragedy & loss, marriage & divorce and distance.
I've been blessed to have had so many friends over the past 34 years. I've learned so much from all of them, even the ones that I'm no longer friends with. Thanks to Facebook, I've even reconnected with a friend from my early childhood that I thought I'd never hear from again...ahem, Kitsi!!
Right now I'm grieving and the sorrow and sadness is sitting on my chest...I feel like there is a sob stuck in my throat that either needs to be swallowed or to explode, but neither is happening right now. I know it's mostly my guilt for not being the friend that I could've been. Failing someone that desperately needed my strength and support is a hard reality for me to face.
Logically, I know that friendships grow apart and people naturally go their separate ways as their lives change. Intellectually, I know that it's IMPOSSIBLE for me to nurture and build every friendship that I have. But emotionally, I feel like I need to call every person in my life that I hold dear and tell them how much I love them and how thankful I am to have them in my life...even if our paths don't cross as often as we'd like. I'm grateful that they've in some way enriched my life.
I don't have time to call every single one of them, so I'm broadcasting by love & appreciation here...by name!!! And if I may have overlooked you, please don't be hurt. I've been lucky to have so many friends in my life that I can't possibly name everyone.
Jennifay (est. 1983) - Our friendship has withstood so many obstacles. Thank you for knowing me the way you do. Thank you for our inside jokes that NOBODY else on earth would find nearly as funny. Thank you for still loving me even after our teenage years, when I wasn't exactly always nice to you.
Katie (est. 1987) - Although we don't hardly ever talk anymore, I still consider you a lifelong friend. We have so many memories together...good and bad. Some of which didn't always end in Jennifay's favor. Maybe we weren't always the best influence on each other, but we sure did have fun.
Terri (est. 1993) - Not a day goes by that I don't think of you. I miss you more than I ever thought possible. Losing you was the absolute, without a doubt, hardest thing I've ever had to deal with. Having you in my life brought so much laughter, Rio Bravo and sunbathing into my life...and singing, I can't leave out the singing. I love you and hope that when you're looking down on all of us that you left behind, that you're proud of the people that we've become.
Kelly (est. 1994) - Thank you for educating me in the skill of "smart ass". If it hadn't been for that fateful day in Spanish class, I'd have lived a dull boring life in comparison. You and your family helped mold me into the sarcastic & funny person that I am. You've been my rock more times than I can count....and I've been yours. I know we don't have that mushy kind of friendship, but I want you to know that I love you so much and I admire you and the woman/mom that you've become. You are my example of a strong woman that has broken the mold when it comes to picking up the pieces and keeping on keeping on. Thank you for always being my comic relief...even at the most inappropriate times.
Wanda (est. 1996) - You are my person. You are the yin to my yang or maybe the yang to my yin. You've taught me to be a fighter...to stand up for myself and my kids. You've carried my load when I've been too weak to keep going. You've been my harsh conscience when I didn't want to face reality. You know me better than I know myself...and can read me like an open book (even over the phone). I know that I can call you at 2am...and you're gonna answer the phone and not even be mad when it's not an emergency. Although the same can't be said if I called you at say 6am. You're my cheerleader. You have helped me raise my children to be the confident young ladies that they are today. Thank you for our giggle-fests. Thank you for your stubborness...maybe one day it'll rub off on me.
Holly (est. 1997) - Granted you suck when it comes to actually being around...or planning birthday parties or answering the phone when it rings. But I know that you love me and cherish me as much as I do you. I'm so happy to have you in my life...and I'm so proud of all that you've accomplished. You've overcome the odds and made a wonderful life and home for you and your family. So when you drop the ball on the social side of friendship...always know that I forgive you :)
Sparky (est. 2005) - So what if I thought you were a complete dumbass when I met you...that proved to be part of what I love most about you. Your big heart and silly personality and protective nature made you a lasting part of my life. It doesn't matter if you're 10 min. away, across the country or on the other side of the world...you're still my favorite red headed step child. Your hugs can melt away any problem I have...I just wish you weren't across the country so I could have one more often. You've been a surrogate dad for my girls and shown them what a daddy's love should feel like. I'm so proud of you and the soldier that you are today.
Kimberly (est. 2008) - You are me...in a taller skinnier body. We share almost the same exact thoughts 99% of the time...only you have bigger balls than I do when it comes to saying them out loud. You are part of the village that helps raise my kids to be responsible and accountable and funny. Although I might be a little older than you, you're the wiser. I've learned so much from you and you've helped me grow as a mom and as a friend. You've brought a quality to my life that I didn't know was missing. We laugh until we cry or pee...whichever happens first. Thank you for sharing your home, husband and kids with me and my girls. We are all family now.
THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING MY VILLAGE!!!