Wednesday, January 13, 2016

My Tribe

I normally don't dedicate posts to a specific person (aside from D and my kids) but I have a friend who deserves it. I will start by describing her in all the typical ways that she is: she is strong, kind, creative, caring, compassionate, honest, supportive, resourceful and inspiring. I know she is these things to me as well as everyone she meets.
So why am I writing a post about her? A little while ago I texted her to see if she wanted to do something with me. The idea was simple, text everyday (the military separates us from being close and small children make it difficult to do much but text daily), keep each other on track to be healthy, happier people. When I initially spoke with her, in my mind we would just text "hey I did some squats or a minute long plank." Luckily for me she strives for way more and she started sending me daily workouts or as I like to refer to them "C's daily torture." When I woke up completely hungover on New Year's Day, my lovely friend badgered me all day long until I finally did my workout. I had some choice names for her that day but by the end of the workout I had nothing but love for her because she pushed me beyond the point of excuses and laziness and made me do something that makes me better.
C: part of my tribe and a big support in my life. 

I told her I was going to write a post about her but one part of information was missing from my mind. I could not for the life of me remember when and how we met. This is rare for me. So I asked her and reluctantly she told me: "It was after your friend M died in that car crash. You were sitting in the cafeteria, you looked so very, very sad. I gathered every ounce of courage I had, and asked you if I could sit with you. You maybe shrugged your shoulders or said yes or something...I sat down. I am not sure we talked that first time. But we did the next day. And more the next." As back story for this, my best friend for years, M, died in a car crash when I was in seventh grade. The kind of feelings you feel when your best friend dies that young are hard to explain. It's obvious why I don't remember how I met C now but when I think about going through all of that I am so thankful (even more so remembering this time) that I have a friend like her. In her words "I like you. Then, and now. Besides...You are my people. My tribe." I could not have said it better and I feel the same way.

We remained friends through high school and reconnected when we were stationed up in Alaska. Our oldest spawn are about two months apart in age and I know they would be such great friends if we lived anywhere near each other now.
Small boy and Sass around 8 and 6 months old 
I remember going to see her in the hospital right before Sass was born and thinking that I just want to be there for her and help her and that even if we didn't constantly hang out or keep in touch in the future that this is someone who I would always reconnect with in some way.

I can't tell you why I still have this but through all the moving we have done (including my constant dorm and apartment switching during college) I have kept this "happy picture" that she gave me our freshman year of high school.

It usually stays tucked away somewhere in the closet of whatever house we live in, safe with the teddy bear that once belonged to my best friend M, Small Boy's baby blanket with his birthday on it, and various letters and things people have given me throughout the years. I find it and smile at it every time I clean my closet or get nostalgic. I never could throw it away and I think if I ever lose it I will have a good long cry. 

So why am I suddenly dedicating an entire blog post to this one person? Like I said at the beginning, she's helping me in so many ways right now (and in the past). She has three amazing little people and her big guy is away from them all for an entire year. She is "one man banding" it right now and let me tell you, she is doing a hell of a job. Despite the fact that her middle child seems determined to kill himself, her appliances break, and she had to scrape a dead skunk off her driveway (and all the various other things that go wrong when your spouse leaves), she takes the time every single day to inspire me and support me to get healthier. And she lets me do the same for her. It's one thing to tell someone to workout and push them past all the excuses you know they will make but it's another to do that AND lean on them to push you as well on the days you don't feel like it. We are here for each other for the good days. That's easy. But we are really there for the rough days. And C has been there for me since the roughest days I had when I was young. 
So I raise a glass to one of the most amazing women I have ever known and deem myself incredibly lucky to have such a selfless, caring friend. She's my people and I love her dearly. 

A Time I Had

Me and C freshman year high school.

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