Tuesday, October 15

The Best Kind Of Human

I have the greatest group of girlfriends. They are a diverse collection of women. Some I have known for almost all of my life, others I have found along the way. They have taught me so many different things and have walked with me through some of the best and worst times of my life.

Some have taken me to different parts of the world and have shown me things I never thought I would ever get to see in my life. One was in the military and now works in corrections and has some of the best stories. I know without a doubt she can make me laugh within seconds when I need it the most. One started running marathons and triathlons and is a huge inspiration to me. I work with one who never fails to make me laugh and feel great about myself and is a constant with sound advice.  One has helped me raise my children and supported me through some of the hardest times I have ever gone through. I have amazing friends.

Melanie is one of those women. I have known Melanie for 30 years. We grew up together and we have been part of each others lives through it all. We have seen each other through marriages and divorces, children and moves, religion and self discovery. Melanie is the best kind of human.



A few years ago Melanie had this crazy idea that she wanted to start fostering children. For years I watched as children would come and go, some making longer stops with Mel while others were only there for brief stints as they transitioned to forever homes. I have watched as Mel lovingly cared for all of them and their needs while somehow maintaining her own sanity and her families. I have watched as she has cried when they move on to different homes because no matter how long they stay, Mel willingly gets attached and then subsequently has her heart broken when they leave. I have watched as she has protested "this one is my last, I can't do this again.." then 3 days later she welcomes another child into her home with the same giddy excitement as the first, doing it all over again.

5 years ago Mel got a call about a little boy. She phoned me and invited me to come with her as she had to pick him up from the hospital. This little boy was 3 days old when I first met him and to say he melted her heart the second she touched him would be a gross understatement. R was her whole world from day one.
It has been an uphill battle from the start. I have watched Mel deal with the government and aspects of it that would have broken lesser women.

This summer the fighting ended. Melanie and Dave, along with R's biological family have now made this little boys future more solid and certain. I was allowed to join them in court to watch when it was all done legally, for the last time.

As the judge rendered his final decision I watched as Mel and her husband Dave nervously hold hands. When it was all done, I fought back tears of pure relief and joy. It was like I was watching her deliver him like I have watched so many other women bring babies into this world. The feeling was the same. Elation and relief minus the amniotic fluid all over my shoes.

I could not be happier for this beautiful family, it has been a long 5 years but I am sure Mel would be the first to say, it has been worth every sleepless night, bottle of beer, tear and worry this journey as caused.

Congrats my friend.




We are NOT driving here. we stopped to feed him. 








I am such a lucky woman to know such amazing women. To share in their joys and accomplishments and to have their support and wisdom through hard times.

My new bucket list addition (after crossing off the motorcycle lessons) is to start a yearly women's weekend. I have, in the works, a weekend planned where all the women I am lucky enough to call friends can go away together and visit. To share stories and just be. Where we can laugh, eat, just catch up and be reminded that we are still girls that can have fun.



Today:

I am grateful for the wisdom and perspective that my friends give me on a very regular basis.

I am grateful for knowing that even when I feel the most alone, a laugh and a hug is only ever a phone call away.

I am grateful for knowing a group of women who know the absolute worst in me, and still stick around anyway. Maybe I won't actually die alone.

J


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