My litle family and I have been through one of the hardest years of our lives. Some of you know why, and some of you don’t. The details of the why don’t really matter, and they are not some that can be shared in a public forum. Suffice it to say, I have been focused on being the best mom EVER for my kiddos over this time. And while no one is perfect, I’d say I’ve come pretty dang close to nailing that one. My children are healthy and happy. They are growing into these fine little almost teenagers, and I could not be more proud to be their mother. It is truly the best ever, and I am so blessed by God to have them.
Where I have failed is in being a good friend. My social interations have been limited due to work, grad school, keeping healthy with workouts, and being a Mom. And my natural inclination when things become stressful is to not let my friends know, and to pull inward.
The result here is that I have not been there for friends when they have needed me, which I regret. Friends are precious to any moment of life.
I’ve had a few signals pop up here and there to point me back in that direction. A chance encounter with a long lost friend, at church no less, and the invitation to her wedding allowed for a reconciliation I did not know I needed.
A wedding, the joining of two souls into one, is one of the most beautiful things there is- so long as you can view it through a lens clear of cynicism. This one was likely one of the sweetest, as they were told why fool with a wedding? But there is nothing wrong with celebrating love. And to be invited into that space is something sacred.
Then a book popped up out of seemingly nowhere.
It was given to me by my oldest friend.
I don’t remember what the transgression was that she referred to in this note, and looking back at the year and month I can only imagine it was from the disasterous summer when we tried living together.
When I found the book, we were not speaking. Not out of some disagreement, but simply growing apart. As life can so often do. Prior to the book’s appearance I run into her, and she told me she was mid divorce and that we should get together. I should have reached back out, but I didn’t. And we didn’t talk. The book showed up not long after, and it sat on a living room table. Just in my sight when I passed by on occasion. I did not open it, but it was an occasional reminder that I should stop being so stubborn and just make the call. For various reasons, I did not feel like I could.
Having long time friends is important. I can’t say that I have any from childhood, my circumstances being that I was quite shy for much of my elementary/middle/high school life. It’s one reason I encourage my children to cultivate friends now. But I do have two from high school who were my closest- a set of twins. The one I met first from drama class, junior year. And as it were, it was a crush on a boy that brought us together.
The boys in our lives have played supporting roles throughout our story, as we have gone through spaces where we were speaking every day to not at all. Spend the night parties at my house, when we would fold your sister in to our group- that night that I had to miss the Cherry Blossom Street Party because my mother – I swear on purpose- scheduled my wisdom teeth extraction that day. Jordon giving us the tape from the Central High School AV Club films. I’ll never forget W.A.Y.N.E. and all of those silly boys from back then.
That time when I took a little bit too serious my promise to hurt Ryan if he ever hurt you, thank God for Jim Garrison carting me out of the courtyard. Literally.
This was not one sided, as I have never forgotten the time when you left work mid shift to come and save me from a bad situation of my own. And how, when we were working together at Enterprise and I was pregnant with Lily Kate, you convinced me to take it easy as I was doubled over with Braxton-Hicks in our office.
The other constant in between us has been your sister, who I know often heard my frustrations with whatever situation we were in. Thank God for dear Becki, someone the both of us have needed.
While I may have been a bit over protective, what you do not know is that the instinct at the time to be overprotective came from the fact that I had never had a close friend before. Over the years, being protective of a friend can twist into judgement wrongly placed. And I am deeply sorry for that. I am, however, grateful for the chance to be a friend again.
Jessica, I somehow never even opened the book you gave me until the other day- I can’t explain why except that perhaps God knew I didn’t need the message until now. You went in and wrote notes in the various pages of the book, eventually saying perhaps someday we would have one of our own.
I’d like to think this is the beginning of it, and with no better timing than when you are going home to the man who I know you were meant to be with. God’s plan is one that is never meant to be known to us, and it’s been a long and winding road to get here. I’m glad to be back in your life when your forever starts.
My love to you-