Thursday, February 12, 2015

Happy Galentine's Day.

Today is officially 'galentines day.'
I think this term and this day were originally dubbed from the show, Parks and Recreation, but I don't really know and honestly don't really care.
The idea behind this day, this February 13th, is to celebrate the ladies in our lives and I think it's genius.  The goal is to wrap them up in compliments, adorn them with gifts, and celebrate them for all they do for us.
Minds, Bodies, Spirits.
This day actually means something to me and I think it was the best idea next to coffee creamer ever to be invented. 
To celebrate the women in my life for all they have done for me would take an eternity but I sure can express my love for them to the best of my ability.  It will still be lacking but it's all I have.  It's all I can drum up because to be perfectly honestly when I sit down and think of each of them, the members of my village, and think about all we've walked through together I'm completely overwhelmed and the words fall incredibly short. 
This time of this month is really very difficult for me.  A couple of years ago these weeks were leading up to some of the worst days of my entire life.  I didn't quite know what was soon going to happen so hindsight makes it all the more painful.  It also makes me see things with a really wide and gracious perspective.  It makes me look back and appreciate the backbone that I was given by way of support and encouragement from some of the strongest women I know. 
I'm so lucky to have them.
At this point so many things go unspoken between us. 
We are in a room and we look across the table at one another and each of us knows the extent of all we have endured, together.  It's a very peaceful, nurturing, content feeling to have shared in the most vulnerable, most raw, most intense, most devastating, most joyful, most beautiful, most terrifying, most abundant things with them. 
The eyes of my friends have seen it all.  Their ears have absolutely heard it all.  There has been no filter, no resistance.  It's as if we all entered into this union together knowing that we are in it for the long haul no matter what that takes.  I have a beautiful marriage within these friendships; one more fulfilling than I could have dreamed. 
I have been strewn across a couch, snot dripping, sobs heaving, shirt soaking, screaming, flailing, stomach jolting, body trembling while several of them held me.  Tightly. 
Never to let me go-not until I was ready.
I have been looked in the face and told very sternly that I was going to the lawyer, tomorrow morning, 9 am.  Enough is enough. We will go with you.  It will be ok.
I did.  They were.  It was. 
I have watched them fill my yard for every cookout and every birthday party.  I have watched them watch me as I speak to a crowd of hundreds about our girl, our Mabel.  I have watched them bring babies into this world, leave loveless marriages, move across the country with one bag, or move across the country with many little boys and one little girl that stole our hearts and gave us hope.  I have held each of them as they have experienced loss; of a parent, a pet, a job, a home, an unborn baby, their dreams.  I have met them in the doorway of my home, our safe place, after long days at work, long days with children, long nights with husbands, long mornings with bosses and long lists for the days ahead.  I have held hands as we cross the finish line of races we have prepared together, I have encouraged each of them on new endeavors, whether joyful or difficult, in hopes that whatever it is will teach us ALL a lesson about life.
And it always has.
And they've always always done the same for me.
We are a team, this village and I.  We work together to come up with plans for our weeks and we do life very well together.  We nurture each other's children, we attend appointments when other mommy's cant, we step in and play whatever role needs to be filled for whatever moment we are in and we do it really very well.  It is practical, tangible and the greatest gift in this world.
We have bought homes, left homes, gotten engaged, gotten divorced, had children, found diagnosis', shuttled children, attended every ballgame, and dance recital, pledged to every math-a-thon, bought every girl scout cookie, answered every single text and every single call.  We have dropped every single thing to be there for one another in those darkest moments and we have learned to do so very functionally. 
We are the lucky ones and every day we know it. 
Our lives are very rich and oh so full because of one another.
So without further ado:
To my dearest galantine girls, my village,
Today I want to say thank you.  Thank you for blonde haired boy brothers, chubby cheeked & Asian girls, talks of IEP's, ADD and every other behavioral issue that comes upon us (there's far too many, lets just admit it.) Thank you for late night talks and day time walks.  Thank you for answering when my text simply says, 'kitchen floor kind of day.' 

Thank you for coffee & flowers unexpected, last minute grocery store trips, being a school bus when I needed you to be, and giving of yourselves so wholly.  Not just to me, to everyone.  That's what you do; you are givers.  You are the most selfless women I know and I'm inspired every day to continue being that way because of you, and in spite of my circumstances. 

Thank you for cookie dough and wiener roasts. Thank you for pulling my living room apart to put me back together and for never leaving my side in it all-not ever.  Thank you for holding Mabel and buying her pj's (and meeting my glance when we all know she's getting way too big to be wearing them.  Thanks for pretending she's still an infant right along side me.) 

Thank you for walking in and loving each other, too.  We all met somewhere in the middle and because of that common ground we have branched out to each another in ways we never would have expected.  That has been the most rewarding and most beautiful thing about this life with each of you...seeing us grow into one another as well. 

Thank you for the strength that you give me.  Thank you for the peace that you bring me.  Thank you for the assurance that on my worst day, the front row on either side of me will be lined with faces that shine brightly the light of God and the hope of each other.  You will never know what that means, but I do.  I know because I've already walked through some of life's hardest things and I did so hand in hand with you.  Looking back it felt like a year of my life was a really tough 'red rover' game where none of you would let go of me long enough to let anything else break through. 
You were my barricade.  You were my fortress.  You always are. 

Thank you for deciding not to run or leave.  For instead, buckling down when life got really incredibly mucky and terribly painful and deciding to walk through that freakin fire with me.   
None of you thought twice.  You just stood there, taking the lashings with me, one after another.  And it refined all of us.  It sharpened us.  It created in us....

Today is about you. 
But I celebrate you every day. 
Your wisdom, your beauty, your successes, your triumphs, your stories.
The gift of your friendship is what makes my life complete.  Seeing you makes me know we are all ok no matter what is happening around us. 
Together we make up  this really powerful, eloquent, strong-willed village of women who have seen it all, endured most everything and came out better than ever.  Every single one of you is a really necessary part of me.  So thanks for being you. 
I love you.
Happy Galentine's Day! 

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