Yes, you, there. The one that is standing in my front yard with my 2 year old infant strewn across your arms. I'm watching you from my window as I do yesterday and today's dishes. I see the way you smile at her and look around as if to see the whole world differently when she's in your arms. I hear your voice and how it changes when you speak to her. You are the child that I devoted my life to when I was just a child and now you are a really good mom who is devoting so much of your life to me.
And you....you there...
Mom to many. Worker of a full-time job. Yes, you. The one who offers to bring me dinner and then fulfills that promise with gourmet delight. The smell lingers as does my appreciation for your generous heart and kindness. I know that you're hurting for me and I notice it. I am beyond grateful.
Yes, I see you too. Strong, capable friend of my husband's. I see the way that you notice my children and how you take the time to answer them when they obnoxiously interrupt you. I never let it go unnoticed in my heart when I see you lean down and touch her, gently. I know you would caress her because I have seen you do so and I know you'll caress him too, when the time comes.
I notice and I will never be able to thank you fully.
You. The mom of boys. I notice you. I see the strength that it has taken to get through this year and I know the diagnosis that has secretly rocked your world too. It's far different than mine but it's equally as difficult. Don't ever think that I don't know that. I do. I know it, feel it and understand it for you. And I am thankful that you decided to go forward in the leading of God's plan for your life and future. You have inspired me this week to live fearless every day. I love you for that.
Hello there, you.
The one with the steady hand and steady heart. The one who shared my home and shared your daughter. The one who has pushed me on and moved me forward. I know this is difficult for you. I know that you feel true anxiety about the days to come. I also know that you will see me through it because God gifted you to be a warrior. You didn't ask for it but it's always been who you are. I want you to know that although I don't say it like I used to, I still see you. I watch you and I notice the work that it takes every day to do what you do. I see how you have opened yourself up to life and to love once again and I have never been more proud. I never want you to leave. You are my anchor. But I need you to know that I still see you. I still notice.
Hello there faithful one.
Faithfully happy. Faithfully present. Faithfully, unexpectedly everything that I needed to complete my circle of strength. I need you to know that there are many nights that I pray for you. I pray that my life is giving you courage to live yours rather than holding you back. I see you stare into her eyes and I pray that it isn't with burden or worry but with boldness and execution of a life well lived and planned for. You are divine to me. I need you to know that I see the hard work that you are putting in to loving us and I will forever and eternally be grateful for it.
You there. The one who shares my blood. The one who I see every time I look at her. I need you to know that it's always, only you. You are the one that I think about, depend on, worry and grieve for, the one I protect, the one I believe in. I see the help that you are trying to be. I know the effort that you are making. NO ONE gives you enough credit but I need you to know that I KNOW. I know how strong you are. I know how brave you are. I know that in the middle of the night when our lifeline was dying, you pulled it together and pulled us through. It isn't me. Sometimes it's you for me. Sometimes it's you in me-pushing me. It's always been you and I need you to know it.
I notice you. I notice the way you hold her. I know the tears you cry for me. I know how painful it is to see me living this life that is oh so hard. Just know that I know. And as long as you are with me, we will both be ok. We'll be ok.
Yes, you. The one that calls many times a week. I hear your voice and I choose not to call you back. Some days it's just too hard. Even the mundane feels too difficult to talk about, like I can't muster the strength. Please know that I know. I know you're making the effort. You haven't left me and you aren't going to because you are my longest, longest, longest friend. You'll never know how much comfort that brings me. You'll never know how grateful I am that you just know me and you know my heart and you expect so little. You are my little bit of freedom and I hate it but am so thankful for it.
You there? Friend who hasn't called or came. It's ok. I know that it's difficult. I know that it is time consuming and stressful. I know that the words are lacking and that it all feels heavy. When I say "it's ok," I need you to know that I mean it. I understand, and it really is ok.
But when you're ready, I'll still be here, so do come.
Yes, you! Best friend to the one who shares my blood. I know you're scared. I know you are terrified and that you are unsure of that life growing inside of you. Please don't be. Please lay down tonight and thank God for every beat of that heart and every finger print etched into that precious skin. Please don't be sad for me or feel guilty or worried. You chose life and you are allowing it to be created and grown inside of you! It's the only thing that is worth anything and you are doing it. God has rewarded you. I know that it's hard. I know that you are scared but that life; that most wonderful life is valuable and so were the rest. Each one of them. They are yours and some day you will see the purpose in it all.
I want you to know that I think about you and that I am so, so proud of you.
Well hello old friend.
There's not much to say. We don't see eye to eye anymore and we aren't going to ever again. I feel so sorry for you. You are stuck inside of something that is really hard to get out of. It's a way of thinking that is wicked and consuming. When I think about you, I am reminded how very empty your life must be but then I pray that you would never have to experience something like this because truly, I think it would break you. You are safe and you are happy and that is what I wish for your life. I hope that you someday experience something radical to shift your thinking so that you can experience true joy and true freedom.
Hi, new friend.
Thank you for sharing your girls with me. Thank you for pointing out qualities in my redheads that are note-worthy. Thank you for late night texts and random pop-ins. Thank you for having strong beliefs and standing by them. I hope that you know that I see you working really hard to be the mom that you want to be; a gentle, loving, yet true-to-yourself kind of mom. There's a balance there and you're doing it. They are very lucky to have you. I see how much you love me and I feel it too. I know that when you said you would do anything to help this family and expect nothing in return, you meant it, but I hope you now feel how much we want to give back into your lives as well.
I know you read. I have gotten your emails and I have gotten your messages. I hear all of your words and read your thoughts with such gratitude. I will find time to write you back but until then, just know that when you write I am reading and you carry me.
I am yours. I know that you are hurting for me too. You made me, after all. I was your little girl once and I suppose it must still feel like I am. I see that you are hurting for me. I see that when you hold her you are confused but when you are with her, you are content. I need you to know that it's going to be alright and I need you to please let go of the things that don't matter so much after all. It's just life. We have one and only one. It isn't worth the time in each day to worry. Let's just live it and see what happens. I know you are working hard, but just breathe. You have us and we love you. So you'll be ok.
Well hello again.
The man with the red hair and log cabin on the hill. The man that my kids and I both call grandpa. Thank you for choosing to come here every day and read my words. Thank you for believing in me and trusting in this story that God is writing. Knowing that you are reading keeps me writing, even on my darkest day. I hope you know that I know that you are changed because of her life. I do not doubt your heart and I feel great thankfulness that you are here for my children. They love you and so do I.
I am getting your texts and I love your laugh. I miss you so come around more often. And bring that friend of my husband's (the one that's your husband) with you.
Religion will bind you. Life will free you.
Be free, friend. Step out and be free.
The one with the new babe. I need you to know that when I look at you, I see delicate strength. I see hope because I see a life that was shattered and rebuilt again. You deliver me from many fears of my future just by being at my side. I hope that I can do the same for you. You are one of my greatest and I know that you are here for the long haul. I see the love that you have for your boys and for my kids and I know that this life is meant to be lived together. I am so thankful that we get to do that.
Wherever you are and whatever you're doing, please know that I always know who you are to me and what you bring to my life. I don't always say it. I am told that I can easily make you feel expendable to me but let me assure you that is the furthest from the truth. I need each one of you to make up my lifeline. You have given me things, individually, that I cannot compile myself. God has built up around me a fortress of people who carry me, and yet in it all I see you too.
I see you being shaped, formed, molded, used and equipped for whatever this life hands us; together. You have allowed yourself to step in, or step back but either way you have given of yourself in the ways that you can to be used for something so much greater than yourself. You are all so crucial in making me who I am. I know that I appear strong and sometimes distracted. But I am not. I see and feel deeply the amount of love that you bring each time you visit. I read your words and am touched beyond compare.
I need you to know that I know. You are seen. You are heard.
I feel you, friend.
...whoever you may be...