Six friends we all have.

I support you.

When was the last time someone stopped you, looked you in the eyes and I said, I support you? I’m willing to bet it has been a long while. It’s overdue and you need to know you are supported.

I also believe in you.

When was the last time you felt that someone truly believed in you? That they had your back without judgment or something to gain? Or, that you believed in yourself even?  My guess is it has been too long, and you need to know I believe in you.

What you don’t always realize, is that I see you friend. You’re the friend that loves so intensely that you guard others. Not yourself, but others. You’re different, and I love that about you. You are in the fight of your life right now. You are battling for your family, your faith, your worth and some days your sanity. You love friends, and having fun, but life is serious right now – so you must give it all of you, which means you can’t make plans, or tell someone to save a place for you in their life, because you are fighting for a place in your own life right now. The fight takes every day to try one more thing, that you pray this time will work. The hope you cling to when that last-ditch effort and Hail Mary pass is actually working, but you don’t want to jinx it. The unconditional love you give, but don’t ever fully get returned. The work you put it, that isn’t always matched. The exhaustion from always having to be on top of everything, for everyone, yet being so completely unraveled on the inside that an internal tantrum is just what you need. A good five minutes to cry, scream, kick and meltdown because you do not have it figured out and you need help, but YOU ARE TOO STRONG TO ASK FOR IT, because strong people aren’t supposed to ask for help. I see you girl, and I love you. I understand you and it is okay to not have it figured out. It is okay to ask for help. It is okay to decompress and have a place all for yourself.

To my friend who just lost her mother. How are you coping? Are you struggling raising your children without her guidance? Life got really hard on you, all of a sudden, didn’t it? You went from having a person who would answer your call about all the big and little things – to having no one on the other end of the line. You went from having that one person who was always in your corner, the person with the ability to soothe and calm you, the one who’s love was unconditional, to feeling like you have no one, and are lost. You’ve got children who need you, who require every ounce of everything you have, everyday – but all you want is one more second with your own mother. One more minute to be her child, again. And, there is nothing that can change that, and it is not fair. You were not ready. You were not prepared for this type of loss, this magnitude of permanency – and you are mad! IT’S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY! It’s okay to feel hurt, you’ve suffered a loss girl! A giant loss. But, you are not alone momma, she is still there, loving you as unconditionally as before and breathing strength into you, from a different angle and perspective. So that you too can be for your babies, what she was and still is for you.

To my friend who lost her child, I think of you often too. Your family dynamics have changed, haven’t they? I always here people tell you it will get easier over time, but people don’t know – you just fill your time with too much “busy” to make life easier to live. I imagine you avoid places, dates on the calendar and maybe even people who will never understand. You live each day knowing there are no answers that will ease your pain or that of your family. You probably can’t remember when someone took the time to really ask how you are or a time where you really shared the truth of how you feel? One of the most painful parts is that people mean well, but don’t ask if you are well, right? And, you don’t want to the weight of you not doing well on their shoulders – so you stay silent. You are in an impossible situation, you’ve lost a child, but you still have other children who depend on you. You’ve got a job, a home, a spouse, and, you can’t afford to give up. You have people or things depending on you – so you keep going. You stay busy. And, you live each day with more than just a piece of your heart missing – it’s like a soul wound– an actual mass in the core of your existence where something beautiful once was but was removed without your permission – stolen really and can never be replaced. But you are that woman- the riser – the champion. On the days when the sun shines through and covers that wound, the warmth returns, and the memories temporarily fill it and you feel okay. You feel like you are going to make it today, and you know it is a daily type of win. You should know it’s beautiful to see you smile, to hear you laugh and seeing you enjoying the things you can. You live for those days, don’t you? I love that for you and want those days for you. But, you need to know that on the behind the scenes days, the days where you fall apart at the seams, or your family does, you are not alone. You have people who love you, care for you and would be there in an instant. Friends see no weakness or strength – only love and support.

We all have our paths that we are asked to walk without understanding. With blind fear, anger and heartbreak. We have strong friends that we do not check on because they just keep fighting in those trenches. We don’t get in those trenches though, we don’t get dirty and fight with them, because we are fighting our own fights. Or because we don’t want to take on their battles – so we stay a silent supporter.

To my friend whose husband left for work and never came home. I’m here. I know you struggle with understanding why he would choose addiction over your family and your children. I know you are angry that he not only abandoned you emotionally and physically but also financially. I see that you are working your tail to the bone to make ends meet. That you are having to ask for help when your work hours overlap with school events, church and sports. I know you are exhausted with always having to find a way to make this work, or that work. I see you on YouTube figuring out how to fix your cars, your appliances, and reading empowerment quotes to boost yourself. You are TOUGH. You show the world you got this. But, in your free “few” minutes when you take a shower, you cry, you crumble, and you are not feeling so tough. You feel weak, and alone and like things are never going to be truly okay. But, my friend, they are, and they will. This rough path is building you and preparing for something so much more, something easier, more valuable and validating. Your babies see you still smiling, hanging in there, and getting it all done, and they are proud. If not now, they will be when they are older and look back. Keep fighting, and I’ll grab my boots, and join you in those trenches – any time.

To my friend who attempted suicide and feels guilty she survived. I’m so thankful you survived. And, your family is so thankful you survived. Not everyone understands depression, but I know it is work to keep choosing survival on the hard days. It was hard on you, waking up the next day, wasn’t it? You were confused, possibly angry – questioning GOD why he wouldn’t take you from all this pain. Or, maybe you felt relieved and thankful for a second chance, because you didn’t really want to die – you just wanted the pain to end, not just for you, but for them too. I know you love your family, I know you are a kind person, sometimes a very happy person and selfless too. But I also know there are days your mind paints a very different picture, and the odds stack up against you, the pain feels so real as if you physically can’t catch a breath and tasks as simple as getting out of bed would take the strength of God to pull you out. And, what you wish people could understand about you is that you don’t always know what day you are waking up to. After you decided to take your own life, and it didn’t work, yes, you got a second chance and a fresh start – but we don’t always realize your fresh start is different. Your battles inside yourself didn’t end, your self-esteem didn’t rise, your depression didn’t lessen, your suffering, pain, shame and anger didn’t disappear, you just woke up another day and not by your choosing. And, sometimes that is why you feel guilty, because you feel like you were ungrateful at first, maybe even still now at times. You didn’t choose to live, God chose for you. And now, you ask yourself all the time, why didn’t I die?  Why am I worth more than the others who did? It’s not that simple my friend. Everyone is worth life, love, happiness and you are no different. You have a story, you have a purpose and it is not completed yet. I see you getting stronger, I hear your voice and know your story – it is beautiful, you are beautiful and necessary. And, I am okay reminding you of that when you need it. I will come to you. I will check on you – and all you need to do is focus each day on living. You’re going to make it girl, and I can’t wait to witness your growth.

And, finally to my friend whose babies just moved away, starting their own chapter. Your loss is one few understand until it happens to them. Your house is quiet. Dinner doesn’t really need to be made, you and the hubby can fend for yourself if you want. Your friends think you are FREE, but all you want to do is go sit in their empty, painfully quiet room and smell their clothes while you cry. Yes, you are proud that you raised strong self-sufficient adults, but you would give anything to get a text from the second bathroom saying they need toilet paper. The only time your makeup, hair stuff and clothing go missing is when you forget where you put it. Joey doesn’t need a ride to practice, and his friend doesn’t want to stay the night. Jane doesn’t need the car on Saturday night because your car is way cooler than dads old beat up truck. Jane also doesn’t need you to braid her hair before bed or rub her back when Bobby breaks her heart either. You don’t feel needed. You don’t feel like you have a place. Are you really even a mom anymore, you wonder? What is a mom, when your children move away?  Then you get that call, asking how long you cook a turkey in the microwave – and you know you are still a mom and still needed. You wish your friends could understand that even if its down the road, it’s not in your home – and it’s a loss. It’s a transition, a difficult change to your normalcy – and it is okay to be sad about that. You’ve worked really hard and at times counted down the years to eighteen, so you could kick them out. But, we know your heart never kicks them out, your heart just expands to where they are now. And, you need your friends to fill in those places – at least until there are grand-babies.

Ending on lighter note was necessary because these are some tough women groups, and too often our tough friends go unnoticed. One of the hardest things I was told by an important friend of mine was this “I don’t check on you, because you don’t really “need anyone” you are tough, and besides, you probably have someone else who fills that role for you, like you do for me.” It was the most beautifully tragic thing I’ve been told – because I do need to be checked on and by more than one person. We all do. If we aren’t going out of way to show, we are invested in each other – what are we really doing? We all need love, acceptance and to feel important enough to be checked in on.

Go ahead, I know there is someone you need to reach out to now, you’re welcome, I’ll check in on you later 😊

1 thought on “Six friends we all have.

  1. Jess, I love your writings!! I love the way you think! The way you express yourself. The way you cut to the chase, with love, honesty, urgency, and have an answer of okay-ness. My favorite part is how you include God. It is tastefully full of truths.


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