What’s wonderful in your life?
What are you thankful for?
Ever have those days when you don’t feel grateful? You’re so over-wraught with stress and worry about life’s complications… big or small… like traffic, money, family issues, kids, husband, boss, etc?
I have those days more than I should! Wednesdays seem to be the worst day… you know you’re only 1/2 way done in the week and you got another 1/2 to go. It’s not like Friday, when you know you’ve got a bit of a reprieve… oh, no…. it’s still a ways away until the weekend. Wednesdays have never been my favorite day and only come in 2nd to Mondays! So, for this week, I thought that I’d try to make a commitment to myself to, at minimum, remember what’s wonderful in my life on Wednesdays. Time to share…
What’s wonderful in my life? One of my very dearest and closest friends, Danielle. I realize that we’ve all got one.. that one friend that is there for you no matter what. Some of us have several of them… and, I am fortunate to have many good friends in my life. But, there’s just something about Danielle that is so wonderful to have in my life that I am so grateful for.
Well, she’s a neighbor… which means that she’s always up to let the dogs in or pick up the mail. She carpools with me and does much more of the driving than I do! She’s a girl scout leader and makes such a difference in girls’ lives throughout our service unit. Mostly, this is the case just because of the person she is. She’s that PTO, room parent, constantly volunteering (and, doing an above-excellent job at any position she takes), and always there for you kind of mom.
Danielle is not only that “great gal” on paper… you, know… she’s that real person that we all hope we connect with in our lives. I remember when she and I met at a Girl Scout function a couple of years back. I had gone there to meet her because my girls had been on the waiting list for Girl Scouts since the 1st grade. The existing troop at our school refused to take my girls in because they had too many girls and there weren’t quite another 5 girls to start that second troop. We tried year after year, and nothing! Danielle had been living down the street from me all of this time, and my kids played with her daughter and shared classes. We had the same neighbors and knew the same people, but never really met. When her daughter moved out of her troop, in a different service unit, and Danielle elected to run the second 4th grade troop in our school, my twins were right there atop of the waiting list. She called me to chat and I offered to do anything to help, just to ensure that my girls would get in on the troop and we could keep it going. I was a girl scout in my younger years and remember it so fondly! So, Danielle said I could help, be the cookie mom and assist with the troop.
Shortly thereafter, I met her, with the twins, at a Halloween event and we got to talking straight away. As I seem to have no “social graces” or “filter on the tongue,” I just started jibber jabbering away, directly and from the heart. Danielle took to it with seemingly no offense. Score! But, more than that, she just seemed to understand. She wasn’t the “clicky” mom that I certainly couldn’t measure up to. She wasn’t the “fake” mom nor the “stuck up” mom. She was just a totally cool chick, who happened to be a mom. She made me feel at home and her friendship made me feel at peace… you know, that kind of peace that comes from feeling accepted?
Since our girl scout venture, and me learning that cookie mom is NOT fun, we’ve been friends. Our girls are starting 6th grade together and this is the last year of our troop of juniors. She just turned 40 on Sunday (ha ha… and I am not!), and we celebrated in style (picture above). We gave champagne toasts at her party. I listened to all of the speaches given by her lifetime friends, as yes, she is that gal that you never want to lose the friendship of. They all talked about how they’d known her forever and what an instrumental part in their lives she’s played. When I ran up to give my toast, I started with: “Well, I haven’t known Danielle forever… but, what I do know is that she loves me unconditionally and that she is my gift from God.” And, folks, I meant it!
She is a gift from God… she’s the one who sat up with me all hours of the night when I lost a career that meant the world to me…. who laughed with me all night at the Rick Springfield (yes, Rick Springfield) Concert…. who pushed me over on a raftie in a pool in Las Vegas to that hot guy across in the deep end… who hits the dive bars with me to escape our kids… who taught me a lot about being a vegetarian and to think about what I eat…. who shared her awesome friends (especially Kayce) with me… who teaches my girls to be better young women… who shows me that as much as I know about music, there’s a ton more to experience…. who tells me that I’m beautiful and totally worthy (especially when I don’t feel as such)… who I share all my secrets with and she never judges me (EVER!)… and somebody who honestly wants the best for me and my girls and will help in any way that she can. She even stayed my friend after my puppy bit her and she needed stiches in the middle of the night!
Recently, I’ve had a harder time of it than most. I had the opportunity to talk to her for a few minutes while her littlest was practicing gymnastics. As I shared my truth, tears streamed out of my eyes. When I saw her later that afternoon to exchange kids, she brought me a wreath of plumerias grown from her garden that she strung herself… just to cheer me up. I mean, who does that? She does.
I can think of all the ways that I’ve screwed up in my life… and all of the friendships that I’ve lost or blown up into an oblivion. And, it makes me wonder, what did I do right to get this person in my life? I don’t think that I’ll be to her what she is to all of us and I just hope that my friendship is enough. I want to be friends with her when we’re grannies and hitting Las Vegas in the summer with her and Kayce. I want to be there to call her “grandma” when she becomes one… and see how many girl scout cookies she buys from her granddaughter(s).
Today, what is wonderful about today, is my friend… Danielle.