I have a dream buried in the deep recesses of my soul. It is a dream that I visit from time to time and each time a smile is brought to my face and a fire in my soul. The dream is far-reaching and really the chances are slim that it will ever happen. But still, I visit the dream and my heart swells with happiness at the thought. In those moments, I am reminded of how blessed I truly am.
In the dream I see a room full of women. Women who have passed through my life and have left footprints that will never fade away. Some of the women are older than me, some are younger, and others are the same age. Some I still talk with regularly while others voices only echo from deep within my memory. Some of these women were a on the “Top Ten Friends” list that we all created in elementary school while others have entered my life during my mothering years. Some gathered on dorm room floors with me while others I have never met face to face. Some of these women share my DNA while others couldn’t be more different from me. Some of these women walked into my life when I least expected it and others came in when I most needed it. Some lived generations before me, while other are a generation behind. Some of these women entered my life for a season and others will remain for a lifetime. Despite their many differences, all of these women have come into my life at one time or another and breathed life into my soul.
In my dream we are gathered together and we are laughing. We are talking, sharing stories, and trading experiences. More than anything, though, in my dream I see myself with the opportunity to say thank you for the lasting impact that their lives have brought to mine.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about friendship. I’m not sure why. I think it has something to do with watching my kids get older and making friends. Watching them talk, play, and interact. Finding myself hoping and praying, specifically, that they will form solid friendships in their lives.
I’ve also been thinking about friendships because the older I get, I’ve been surprised to learn just how important friendships are. During these years when I am knee deep in dirty diapers, schedule juggling, and complete exhaustion, I’ve found that the women in my life, present and past, are my lifeline. Somehow, when I think I just can’t go another step, I’m reminded. . . yes you can.
I think women need friendships in a way that men don’t understand. (I am no expert, this is just my observation, no need to comment on how sexist or wrong this statement is.) Just yesterday I text a friend who lives several hours away. . . I miss you, it said. Several minutes later my phone rang and her tearful voice provoked my tears. We didn’t know why we were tearful, we just were. I can’t see Chad ever having an exchange like this. Sometimes, a connection is so deep it extends beyond words.
If I’m being really honest, I didn’t recognize the full value of the women in my life until I lost my Mom. Before we lost her, my Mom was my go-to person. She was the one who heard the details of my days, the one I depended on to guide me through this motherhood journey, the one I would go to bounce my ideas off of and the one person who I felt really knew me. It was in her absence that I realized, I can’t do this alone.
At this point in my life, my heart overflows with gratitude for the women who have and continue to be a part of my story. The women whose stories intertwine with mine and provide support for the journey. Women who wrap their arms around my little ones and make it clear that we are not in this alone.
There are texts and emails that close any distance in a moment. There are gatherings at parks when babies are passed from hand to hand and laughter is shared as easily as tears. There are exchanges of love and knocks of common sense. There are shared stories and shared meals. There are faces of comfort and the joy of just being together.
Oh, and there is wisdom all wrapped up in love. . .