Oh, The People You Will Know

I have the wonderful opportunity to know some amazing people in this world.

From close friends to barely acquaintances, I have met, sat with, enjoyed and lived life with some high quality folks. Artists, communicators, photographers, bleeding-heart saps, in the mud humanitarian aid workers, pastors, entrepreneurs and care-givers that inspire and encourage me have all often crossed my path.

The people we surround ourselves with play a key role in the way we look at the world, the depths we are willing to reach and the experiences we have.

On this road trip with my mom we got to talking about the positive and negative comments that people make and how they affect those around them. We talked about optimism and pessimism about life’s circumstances and who you call to talk about your feelings because you trust their honest outlook on your own situation having seen and heard the thoughts they have about their own lives.

Today, we stopped in West Virginia to visit my mom’s longest running and best friend, Rhonda. She and my mother went to school together starting in 8th grade, shared apartments, road trips and family emergencies, deaths, marriages, divorces, children, moves across the country and across the world. They have been friends for 37 years.

They call each other “bury the body” friends; meaning, if there happened to be a dead body in your life, this woman would be the one you would trust to show up, dig, and not tell a soul. They have been through a lot and probably hide a few of each other’s skeletons in their own closets.

They talked about how important the term “friend” is to them and that they don’t use it lightly. Today, social media says I have 400+ friends, but few of those listed know where I live, or that I run a business, or understand that deep need I have to set my feet in new territory – that it is good for my soul.

Where is the line we draw between a true friend, and an acquaintance that we are willing to associate with in a public forum? In some ways, these lines get blurred when words go viral, status updates can be responded to by those you barely know, and people you barely remember meeting can see your relationship status.

I want to take a minute to acknowledge three ladies that I would call to bury my bodies – and, in a way, have been involved in burying some of my [metaphorical] murders.

M – Heart of my heart, I feel like I could tell you anything, call you anytime, and go with you anywhere. And, as we both know, those three things tell you a lot about a relationship. I love the woman you are.

A – There is not a subject or feeling or situation that I wouldn’t trust you to know and share deep wisdom about. I love the way you think and the insight you have. I love the woman you are.

H – Your grace challenges me beyond my own boundaries. No matter how long it has been between phone calls, I know I can count on your great laugh, your honest seeking and your support. I love the woman you are.

And, if you each could call me real quick, I can’t tell you why, but I have shovels….

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