Of Brats and Pumpkins.

For the sake of anonymity amongst friends, I will spare them the embarrassment of including names. Which may, infact, defeat the purpose of this. You know who you are…. I think….

I feel inspired to write from a couple of circumstances. Brad and I recently attended a few weddings, and I commented to him that it does not seem right – the only times we express how we feel about those around us, are when someone is marrying, or passed on. Why is it, that we do not say what could be said? Now, he feels that his friends and family know how he feels – but, convinced as I am that he truly reflects love, affection and caring, I do not know that many of us say what is really, REALLY on our hearts. And certainly not in front of others. Can we not have some sort of mid-life eulogy? I have learned more about myself, from others in the past month, than in my entire life combined I think. And it has been an amazing process.

Another factor that influences this blog has been the reaquaintance with old friends… and the regrets there are that I short changed myself. I feared all the wrong people, for all the wrong reasons, and missed out on some great experiences. I am learning that even the ones who seemed so put together, so on top of things, had insecurities of their own. I know that things work always for the better though – for God promises that He works all things for the good of those who love Him. So – for those of you, from high school, who have walked back in – I praise God for second chances.

I have let too many good friends go. The occasional acquaintance that could have been something more… that common spark, that walked away. From a lack of time? Sincerity? The fear of vulnerability? Excuses, I think, most of the time. I have the best of intentions… and I am sorry things never went beyond that – L.a.T.
Back in grade eight – I became close to someone… and one day at recess her best friend walked up to her and said “what, is SHE your new best friend now?” while I was standing there. And I walked away from J. We smiled in the halls for the next 5 years, but never spoke again, I don’t think. I have few regrets in life – and this is one of them. Amazing, how pivitol a small, preteen moment can be. I did not stand up for myself, or my friend. I got bullied out of a relationship that I treasured.

And then there are all the potential relationships around me – the new our-kids-swim-together ones, and the old, I-recognise-you-this-is-awkward-I-forgot-your-name ones… And I am too afraid to act on my heart’s cry “Be a friend…” I know I am not alone in this fear of putting myself out there – I think that if I actually anticipated people reading this, I might not write. : ) Do you see me as I see myself? Do you think I am stuckup? Proud? Silly and fluffy? Do you wonder if my head is on straight? Do you have me figured out? Or do you mistake me?

And there are no guarantees that the best relationships are the natural ones. There are those people you just click with. Instant chemistry. They get you. And the water runs deep in the first moments. And then there are the ones where someone says “You’ll really like her, give her another chance” and sometimes, another chance, and another…. I think I blew a few relationships in Windsor – by leaving a bad first impression. By being opinionated. By being open enough that people thought they knew me, without being vulnerable enough to be sweet. For that I am sorry.

L. Brat. My only hindsight regret in moving to Windsor was leaving you. I had no clue what you endured those 5 years, and I am sorry for that. You have proven so true as a friend. I know of no one more level headed in dealing with people. Not to say you are stellar at taking your own advise : ) but your wisdom is beyond your years. And you remind me of Jane in Pride and Prejudice – forever finding the best in those around you. It is a true gift, and one I hope to emulate.
You have taught me to assume the best in others. To listen before finding fault.

L. Hmm…. not what we expected years ago, is it? Amazing, how long a relationship can go on, with nothing happening, and then to be suddenly thrust into an explosion of enjoyment. You are quickly teaching me – that first impressions are not always lasting ones, and that some of the truest relationships may be borne of a contentious start.

S. A bright spot. I could not leave you standing there next to the wall by yourself a few weeks into Bible study when you made your first appearance. Kindred spirits – your soul is so, so very beautiful. You love, and delight in simplicity of heart, and humble my own heart with such an easy, natural personality. And you’ve got me hugging people. I thought the only people who voluntarily touched others were those paid to – massage therapy, dental hygenists…. 🙂

R1. And the reason for this blog. You have taught me more, from a greater distance, than I could have thought possible. Your life lessons will stick to my bones – because they are not ones that come naturally to me. To never assume the other person is mad at you. To wait things out when a relationship is tough…. Patience… To not try and fix everything the moment it has gone wrong. So many times, I think to second guess myself, to call up and apologize for saying too much… and instead wait. And have been amazed at the results. Thank you for a lesson in trusting my friends to be friends.

G. Dreamer. I worried about you today – too many 2:22, 3:33, 4:44, 5:55 to make me comfortable…. God has, for whatever purpose, allowed me the chance to pray for you when you have really needed it. You have taught me that following your dreams can be an exciting, amazing, exhilarating ride. I have loved every enthusiastic bit of news you have ever had to share. You have forgiven much, and for that I am grateful. You have taught me that it is not always about people changing, but sometimes about changing viewpoints….

H. How does one sum up daily interaction? You listen to what I do not say. You know how my day is, just by how I say hello when I answer the phone. You take me to get tattoos. You have my children over, even when you know that the L/A combo is going to be disastrous. You love me, with a fierocity, but not a jealousy. You trust my instincts. You enspire me to get in the Word, to memorize the Word, and to pray.
You have taught me that being a good mom is not about how one was raised, but where one turns to. You have taught me to believe that God can use even a stay-at-home Mommy for His glory.

B. You hate me putting you out there – so I will make this as impersonal as possible…. You are my constant companion, listening ear, strong provider. You are a rock to lean on, and an amazing example of what it means to truly be a loyal friend. You are always right – it’s kind of an annoying trait, really, but I love that you do everything you do with purpose and intent.

Too, too many others… I praise God for the ridiculous amount of people He has given me. I thank Him for the lessons I can learn from each one of them – and trust I will be journeying through life with each of you….. Thank you!

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