Those Along the Journey (Part 1)

“The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense” Proverbs 27:9 NLT

Today would have been my eight year wedding anniversary. June 4th is a day I thought I would celebrate forever but it has quickly become just another day on the calendar. I remember the first anniversary that happened after my husband had left because I was devastated since the kids had left a few days prior and it was just another reminder of my crumbling life. Two of my best friends decided to take me out for dinner that night to help me make it through the day. As I think back on that time I am reminded of the incredible people the Lord put into my life at the exact time I needed them. Friends are truly a gift from God. While I have a lot of close friends who I am eternally blessed to have, there are a few friends that were instrumental to me during that time in my life.

Sonja and I ate ICE

I first met Sonja while I was in my senior year of high school. It was certainly not best friends at first sight but eventually we became inseparable. I think it is safe to say that, in a lot of ways, Sonja is my twin because we often get mistaken for looking alike and our personalities are almost identical. She walked a hard journey with me through the ups and downs of infertility and the journey of foster care. She was a source of laughter for me and an ear when I was having a hard time and she did it all without complaint. I can remember in December of 2016 that she was the first person I called when I discovered text messages between my husband and another woman. She came to my house from her job without hesitation to listen as I cried and gave me the courage to confront him about it. She was also there the day my husband left and even picked me up on the side of the road when I had a panic attack because of all that was happening. She sat in silence with me while I processed my ever changing life. The biggest mark she left on my life was the day that my kids left. She loved my kids and was such a wonderful auntie to them. She hugged and kissed them goodbye and she felt the weight of my heartbreak that day. She was just there when I needed her most. Not long after this, she experienced some transitions in her own life and her and her husband moved out of state. I like to think that Lord let her stay here as long as she did because He knew I would need her and when I was strong enough, He let her go.

Cynthia and I in Chicago

I met Cynthia a few years after I met Sonja, yet unlike Sonja, Cynthia and I were best friends from the get go. Her husband and my husband worked together, so that is how we met. We had a lot in common and we just clicked so well. My kids adored their aunt “Symphony”, as they called her, and she too loved them like her own. Cynthia was there for every single part of their lives with us without hesitation. When I had surgery she practically moved in to take care of me and the kids and she never once complained. I knew I could always count on her. I do not think I have enough adequate words to describe what our friendship meant to me during that time or even what it means to me now. I felt her heart crushed just as much as mine did when my kids left because she was so invested in their lives. I mean, after all, she was there when I seen my first picture of them, she helped me create their rooms, throw their birthday parties…she was always there for them and for me. Cynthia has a heart of gold and she is as loyal as it comes as a friend. I honestly do not think I would have been as strong as I was during that time of my life without her. Just like Sonja though, Cynthia’s life took a transition shortly after my divorce and she moved back home to Chicago.

Friends are great treasures and I have had to learn that sometimes they are planted in your life for a season because the Lord knows what you need and when you will need it. I still have a great relationship with both Sonja and Cynthia and wish more than anything the three of us could all be together again, just like old times. The impact that they both have had and continue to have in my life is something I will carry with me forever. I have a few other friends whose stamp on my life deserves some recognition, but that is a post for another day. In the meantime, I think its important for you to understand a few things about the summer of 2017. As you may recall from previous posts, I tend to shut off my emotions when they become too much for me to handle. Sonja and Cynthia were critical to me even functioning on a daily basis, but I still continued to lock my emotions away tighter and tighter. I walked around pretending everything was okay and that I was strong and managing just fine. On the inside, though, I was a ticking time bomb and it was not until I was faced with another unexpected turn of events that the walls that so heavily guarded my emotions would finally explode. Stay tuned for “Those Along the Journey Part 2”.

Sonja and I at the movies

To Sonja,

You, my “best fran”, have impacted my life in far greater aspects than you even understand. I cherish our friendship and feel so fortunate to have you in my life. Thank you for being there during one of the hardest seasons of my entire life. All that you have done for me has not gone unnoticed and I love you more than you know. I pray nothing but blessings on your life. Though your journey has taken you away, our friendship will last a lifetime.

Love you always!

Halloween 2016

Dear Cynthia,

I can never describe how much I appreciate our friendship and how much your time here in Tennessee impacted me for a lifetime. You were always there and always willing to help when needed and offer support when I was so lost and confused. Your love for my kids was undeniable and they were blessed to know you and their uncle J. You impacted their lives and made an imprint on their hearts that I know they will remember. I love you and wish you were here more than anything. I am blessed to have a life long friend in you.

Love you always!

2 thoughts on “Those Along the Journey (Part 1)

  1. You have some wonderful friends and I am glad that you found someone along the way to share in the laughter and split the pain. So sorry to hear that they both are no longer here, but I encourage you to stay in touch. True friends are gold.

    Like

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