Here, for my enjoyment (and perhaps yours), is a picture of my grandfather at his 85th birthday party in the floor -- yes, I said in the floor, with all of his great-grandchildren so far. How many 85-year-olds do you know who can get down in the floor AND get back up off of it easily? He's probably more agile than I am, I didn't think to compare. This is Abbie, Julianne, PaPaw, my 2nd cousin Laney, Chloe, and Joey.
My friends are valuable to me. I count only a handful of people among my closest friends, though according to Facebook I have 293 friends (and counting.) While I am glad to know all of those people, and would help any of them in a pinch, I have a close-to-the-belt inner circle. [Well, I'm not a big belt-wearer, but you know what I mean.]
Some people are fortunate enough to have an inner circle where each member of the circle knows the others, and they're an intimate group. In my case, however, my nearest and dearest are spread from city to city, state to state. I long for times to gather them all up together and have a Clarissa session (you know, where they all analyze and fix me and love on me a bit.) But I get by on phone calls and the occasional lunches ... emails and text messages (got that bill the other day -- have to cut back on those puppies!)
The storms of life have decided to rage around me lately, and I have felt tossed and turned as a ship at sea -- but every time I've reached out to find solid footing, I've found strong support. My husband is my rock of support, though I don't deserve him ... thank you for the music, Rob. That is carrying me through my days. (My sweet husband made me a "mix tape" as one of my friends said ... some songs to bring back memories and some songs to encourage me. A blessing.)
My friends have also stood as my stalwart supporters when I was feeling too weak to stand. Life throws curve balls even at nicely settled thirty-something mothers sometimes, causing them to lose their focus on what is truly important ... and to me, what I want to be central to my life (barring my relationship with God, certainly) is my family.
It is so easy to forget about the little eyes watching me ... so easy to forget the little ears listening. So easy to forget my husband's need for time with me; so easy to retreat into my own world where I am consumed with selfishness. But my friends have stood up to me and stood up for my family and talked straight with me. Not many friends are the kind who will risk losing a friend in order to attempt to point her in the right direction.
I am a woman singularly blessed.