Today, I lost a friend.
Precious children lost their mother.
A mourning mother lost her child.
Old friends lost someone who was like a sister.
A husband lost his wife.
I have known this friend since we were in elementary school. When we were in the fifth grade a group of us would all wear wind breaker suits to school on Fridays, so we would match. In middle school she would defend me when people would tease me about my mom. In high school we would have sleep overs and stay up, literally, all night talking about the existence of God. I named my first dog that I had on my own Oakley after her family dog.
After graduation we grew apart, as so often happens. But then came FaceBook.
As cliche as it sounds, we reconnected and became close once again. At this point we were both mothers. We went through pregnancies together. Her youngest two children are the same age as my children. We would lament about parenting over emails. We would joke about the tantrums, the mess, the sleepless nights. She was and IS one of my biggest 'mommy role models'.
There were times with Noah that I just did not know what to do. I knew that I could email my friend and she would have a suggestion. She was supportive, understanding and encouraging.
But she was struggling and I didn't see it.
My heart is broken for her family and her children. Those children... it makes me sick to think of the sadness this will leave in their lives.
But something amazing has happened, through all this sadness. Friends are rallying around one another, saying prayers and offering genuine support and words of love. I am blown away at the outpour that has taken place for my friend.
And this makes me want to be certain that all my friends, the old and the new, know that I am here. Did my friend know that all she had to do was ask and I, without hesitation, would have been there? For any of my friends, I would be.
I love you, friend. You are dearly missed.