It's been a roller coaster of a week. As most of you know, we recently moved from Utah to Oklahoma for family reasons. And it's been a great move. But Monday, one of my husband's friends died back in UT and he wants nothing more than to be back there, supporting their mutual friends and receiving a shoulder to lean on in return. The funeral is today, so it's been especially hard.
In today's post, I want to honor friends--and family, who are usually our first friends. I say usually because family relationships are complicated and tricky. Family relationships taught me it was possible to love someone and hate them at the same time. They also taught me that you can become incredibly close to some members of your family, but with others you will never feel a bond closer than mutual peace. While you still love them because of who they are in your life. Complicated.
In this post, I'm simply going to call them all friends. It will save time.
Some friends you will never shake from your life no matter what you do, or don't do. I have one like that. We left OK 12 years ago, and I left behind a wonderful friend. We had spotty contact over the years, but when we moved back it was like I'd never left. She's awesome like that.
There are friends back in UT I never want to lose. My friend, Rebecca, who spent the latter half of 2011 battling breast cancer. My friends Karen and Karen--one an awesome, loving, giving author and the other an awesome, loving, giving home-schooling mom and walking partner. Jennifer, the mother of a little girl I'm never going to be able to completely let go. Briana, a fun-loving, sassy mother of twin boys who will melt your heart if you get too close. Then there are the friends I left behind in AZ when I moved away from my childhood home. The list goes on.
Interestingly, I've found that the more pieces of my heart I leave behind, the more my heart is able to grow and swell and let in someone new. This is huge for someone who used to be so boxed in to her personal space she didn't let anyone in. Back then, loving meant hurting. Pain.
I've apparently grown a lot since then. I can credit that to Bryan, my husband of 16 years and my very BEST friend.
There's one more friend I want to mention. This is a person I met because she was dating my brother-in-law, but we both quickly realized we'd be friends even if that relationship didn't work out. Thankfully it did, because I've never seen either of them happier than when they are together. But I have a stake in her that reaches beyond family. She is a sister of my heart. And she's going to be there forever. This is Mel. And because this is a writer blog I'm going to share with you the link to my personal BLOG so you can see what Mel and I are up to. And choose to be part of it, if you like fun, books, and prizes. :)
Hug a friend today. You'll be better for it.