As life's plan unfolds, I am gifted with the understanding that our lives have been brought together for a reason. It is a gift to share together our joys, and hopes, and dreams. Thank you for being my friend.

I received a beautiful vase recently from a dear friend. It is eggshell white; tied at the neck with a checkered blue bow. The top is shaped like a rose that is beginning to open. It contains the little inscription above.

Blue hearts dance around the inscription.

I have put it on top of my bedroom dresser. This vase is a profound reminder that someone loves me. Just for me. Not because I am nice all the time, not because I say and do what I think they want to hear. They love me for being me. The good, the bad and the ugly. Yes, especially the ugly me.

Many years ago, when my then 14-year-old daughter went to visit her father in Connecticut, I received a call from my ex-husband announcing that she didn't want to come back to Colorado.  Instead, she wanted to finish high school in Connecticut. I came unglued. I was floored; no amount of pleading could change her mind. She was set on living with her father for her remaining years before college. Thoughts raced through my head at sonic speed: I wasn't going to see my little girl in her prom dress, her first date; I wouldn't be there when she went off to college.  Oh, I would see her, but, just as a detached party for a visit on occasion.

I wept and sobbed uncontrollably.  As I wept, I heard the door creak open, and in walked "my friend." There for good and bad, happy and sad. I shall never forget the warmth of her hug, and reassuring smile. It dawned on me that it really wasn't the end of the world. I could take my next breath. Life would go, on, and all would be well again.

I honestly don't know where I would be without my dear friends, because, regretfully; my family hasn't always been there for me.  I am the odd duck out; friends have been closer to me than family throughout my life. It is the little cross I have carried from early on.

God provides, the sun comes up, and like it or not, we move on.  Maybe we don't forget, and the empty hole never really gets to be filled. Healing comes to us gradually, and we start anew.

The next time I become "unglued" I will look at this vase and read the words aloud, very softly, one more time.

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