Reading through the last month of posts, one would get the idea that I’m an unhappy person. I’m not. Most of the time. I am truly blessed. I don’t live a charmed life where everything is wonderful and rosy, but I have received more than my share of blessings. Sometimes, I let the sadness creep in and forget everything else.

I have a wonderful family. My parents loved me and were always supportive of anything I wanted to do. I was blessed to have my dad around until about 6 months ago and he just missed celebrating 55 years of marriage with my mom. I thought everyone grew up with a family similar to mine. We were the norm. And then, I went off to college. That’s when the reality of divorce and blended families came into my life. I was an adult before I was aware that not everyone liked their families or were even welcomed by them. It astounded me that parents could just cut their children from their lives for any reason. When I married, I became painfully aware of what it meant to be part of a dysfunctional family. So, I am very grateful for the blessing of my mom and dad and brother and sister. I was blessed.

By the time I reached my late twenties, I had decided that marriage was not to be part of my life. I was making plans to go to seminary and move on with my life. And then Terry made an entrance. I had met him a few years earlier when he served as interim Youth Minister at my church. I was interested in getting to know him, but he didn’t return the interest. Three years later, he once again stepped into the interim youth position. This time, I was determined to ignore him completely. I had other interests. Then one day, I realized how childish I was being. We were married seven months later. It wasn’t always easy sailing. We had some rough patches. And, through the years, I learned to appreciate Terry’s quirky sense of humor. I let go of my expectations and embraced what was real. Terry truly became my best friend. We talked and laughed and cried. We raised two kids together and lived vicariously through them. Life was messy and busy and hectic and wonderful. We were blessed.

And just as quickly as we started our life together, it was over. Terry died from complications of pneumonia and I believed everything else died with him. I didn’t understand how the world could keep spinning. I resented other couples. I resented happiness. I begged for all of the pain to end. I was angry and hurt and confused. And, God never left me. Even when I couldn’t feel it, there was hope. I had friends that came along side me during the darkest days and carried me. When I couldn’t remember how to breathe, someone was always there to remind me. My son and my daughter were often my only reason for getting up in the morning. We grew closer because of our grief. And even in the pain, we were blessed.

As I have learned to live again these past eight years, I try to remember the lessons I’ve learned. I try not to put off telling those around me that they are important to me. I say “I love you!” whenever I can to my kids and to my dearest friends. Because I am acutely aware of the loss of my best friend, I’ve learned to truly treasure my closest friends. BFF is a term that is bandied about way too much, but I have learned the value of that Best Friend. I’ve been told that I’m a bit obsessive about my friends. And maybe I am. But, I never want to miss the chance to share the blessings of friendship and love. I don’t know how many days I have and I want to make the most of the blessings that God has give me. I want to show love quickly and passionately. I want to spoil and pamper those that I love. I’ve lived a life of “wait until later” and later will never come for us. I don’t want to waste another moment. I am blessed.

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