Right after Robert died, I lost a lot of our common friends. I know this isn't something that I only went through, but seems to be a common thing with people who have gone through loss. I mourned Robert and then I mourned the loss of people who were staples in our lives for years. Some of these people who disappeared, I know that the did it for their own self preservation...I am a reminder that bad things happen. At the time, I didn't get that. I do now, although for me it was hard fought understanding.
Don't get me wrong, not everyone left. Some came from the shadows and took bigger roles and my Best Friend and her entire family filled along with my entire family filled out our needs. I have written many times on how grateful I am for my family. This is something different. Something more subtle, that I didn't quite notice at first.
Time has given me perspective that I did not see right away. In my effort to get up everyday and function and rebuild a life for myself and preserve and defend childhood for Munchkin, people have come in droves. Many were curious--how did he die? how did you live? I learned to deal with those people with a silent grace. I politely answered questions and moved on. At first it seemed like I did a lot of that. Answer and move forward. After time, I realized I didn't have to answer.
There are new people. People that I didn't know, many who never knew Robert.
They have carefully planted themselves in our lives and are sticking around. The ones who call or text just to say hi. The ones who are really getting to know us. Some of them have kids around Munchkin's age, other's don't.
Some began as Robert's friends and have found their way into my inner circle. They help me keep his memory alive and talk about him often. Some of them even share stores with Munchkin. Those that knew me before and after---they are special. But this isn't really about them.
This is about the unexpected friends---the ones that have made themselves more like family, and when they say you can count on them--they mean it.
Our Taekwondo family is amazing....so many of the parents and instructors---I cannot even begin to describe my gratitude for everything that they have given us. From providing fantastic non-family male role models, to teaching Munchkin qualities of character. They are there---they are there when he or I am sick and if we need anything, there are many of them that are a text away.
One of these Taekwondo instructors has become one of my closest friends. She is there to laugh, cry, hang out or whatever. With or without kids. She steps up and listens and she is just an amazing woman. She loves my Munchkin as one of her own and we get along very well...it is hard to imagine that I have only known her a few years--our friendship is natural and easy and I am grateful.
There is another woman---one who over time has shown that we have very similar values and attitudes toward a lot of things. She is sweet, kind and funny and I could not love her three boys more. Our son's get along well and she is just such a positive calming influence. I treasure her friendship.
There are so many more...but the common theme here is that I would not have connected with these people if my life hadn't taken such a drastic turn. Time has given me the ability to find *my friends* instead of our friends.
So for those friends both old and new--thank you for being a part of our life.