(This is a letter to you in my gratitude for you this week. Its rather sentimental and sappy so if you prefer to read my more humors items check back later today for after I complete my run.)
You don't get to chose your family. Who you were assigned to in your family unit is pretty much who you will be related to your entire life. Whether or not you like them or love them is a person's choice but you share genetic matter and suffered the same wonderful and terrible experiences.
However friendships are something different. Here are people that you choose to interact with. They are people who teach you things or expose your perspective to another thought or idea. Or they are the people you call up in the middle of the night and say I just have to tell you something...and instead of hanging up on you they will talk to you till 3 am and tell you that the world is lucky to have you. You never know when you will find a new friend.
I may not have a lot of friends but I am very grateful for the ones that I have. (BTW if you are reading this I consider you a friend even if I haven't met you yet.) I made some new friends a little while ago. Years ago I made the best decision of my life when I chose to be friends with the married people. They have helped me rise above and be who I was meant to be because they are well to put it plainly my friends. How lucky was I when they introduced me to the Whipples. Yes that's their name. Raymond and Nicole are truly wonderful people. They are slightly irreverent, humorous and joyous people. They truly love each other. They give themselves to others. What I mean is that they give their time, their resources, their love to others. Its a trait I value in others above all. If you can put yourself second and give yourself you are truly a gift to others.
Sadly the Whips (yes that's my nickname for them) who are wonderful people are not above loss and pain. They would love nothing more to be parents. However they suffered a great loss this week. For years they have tried to get pregnant. A few weeks ago they found out they were above all pregnant! Sadly this pregnancy wasn't meant to be. I wanted to share this story with you because I don't bake, I'm terrible at birthdays but I can write a few sentences to say that they have impacted me for the better made me grateful for their friendship.
I pray for them in this odd spring that life will start for them. For above all they deserve to share that love that they have shared with me to others and pass it on to the next generation. So today as I prepare on this cold and snowy day to run 20 miles I will send a prayer with every step in gratitude to them and to you dear friends. For it is you who keep me going.
May you keep warm today.