It has been just that, a very blessed birthday. GOD has shown me exactly how much people care about me here in Berea, and I have loved every minute of it. I had four different cakes that were baked/bought for me, multiple presents, and good fellowship with the people that love me here in Berea. I’ve learned to expect that nothing good will come out of a birthday, not for me at least. Usually, it was just a bunch of broken promises that would cut deeper into my already wounded heart. But not this year. No, not this year. This year I was showered with love. It wasn’t truly about the cakes or the presents, it was about the extensive thought that was put in behind it. It was about the love that was put behind everything that was done for me. I can’t believe this actually happened. It was love. Pure love. GOD has shown me so much while I’ve been attending school in Berea. Something different…..it’s something different.
Love is an interesting feeling, and one I’ve never truly experienced until I came to Berea. I mean I’ve experienced the love of GOD, but never the love from other people outside of my adoptive family. It’s something different not to have to depend on yourself, to know that if you need help, someone will help you. It is truly different to be able to know that you are loved. That no matter what kind of day you are having, your friends are still there for you. It’s different, but it is a good different. A different which allows you to be filled, to be satisfied. I am so blessed.
GOD is really doing something with my life here in Berea. HE is teaching me so much through the people I have met. There is not a doubt in my mind that I am where I belong. Otherwise, how else would I be learning so much. HE has put people in my life to show me that the way I grew up is not the way of the world…and to me, that is just what I needed from this world. All this started with a causal conversion. If anyone knows me, they know that I tend to dwell on conversions long after they have ended. I suppose I should actually voice my dwellings, but I usually don’t, unless I have come to some realization. Then, I blog about it.
My birthday is Thursday. I haven’t celebrated my birthday since I was eleven years old. There is a reason for that…but it isn’t one that I am willing to make public. At least not yet. I’ll just say, my mother was a hard woman. Tonight at Refit, a woman who has really become a true friend, I’ll call her Jane (yes, the same Jane from a previous post), approached me and asked what I was doing for my birthday. Unaware of my actual ability to run my own life, I hadn’t made plans. I’ve honestly almost become agnostic when it comes to my birthday. I say almost because I have always had this longing that my mom would actually recognize my birthday, but she never did. The good LORD really offered healing tonight from that aspect of my life. HE sent a friend to casually ask what I was doing and when I hadn’t made plans, she stated that she will try to work out me coming over for soup beans. Let me tell you, Jane’s soup beans are better than my momma’s. Even if something random happens and this doesn’t happen, she at least acknowledged it. She showed she cared. That right there, means more to me than anyone will ever know. She cared. She cared enough to ask, and to make plans when I had none. Berea, you’ve done it again. You’ve shown me that the world truly is not like the environment in which I grew up
Since my best friend passed, many people have approached me, asked me how I was doing, then proceeded to tell me exactly how grief worked……or how it worked for them. I suppose that people think that, since I am so young, I do not know anything about grief. This is false…..I know quite a bit about grief. Losing my friend isn’t my first round on the grief rodeo. I’ve lost my father when I was two. Three of my grandparents were dead before I was born. I lost my last grandparent when I was six. I also lost my oldest brother to a similar car accident that I lost my friend the same year I lost my brother. No, this isn’t my first ride on the grief rodeo, and I am certain it won’t be my last.
Here is what I came to post, never, I say NEVER tell someone you know how they are feeling because you don’t. You can’t. Yes, maybe you have lost someone as well, but two people are never the same. The way one person experiences grief is not the same as another. For all you people, you don’t know. Please stop saying you do. I understand that you are just trying to help in the only way you know how…but it really isn’t helping. Not me anyway. It doesn’t help me anyway. What does help is having people listen to me. Listen to when I am pouring out my heart. Listen to my many memories with Cole, or just let me vocalize how much I really miss her. That helps. Just having someone listen helps. No, they can’t make the pain go away, but they can at least hold me while I cry. That just means so much.
I miss her. I miss my best friend. That age old saying “You never know what you have til it’s gone” is so true. More true than I wish it to be. In a post entitled, “Friendship” I stated I never had a best friend…..well, after I received the news of Mary Cole’s death, I realized that I did have a best friend. It was one of those friendships where we could go months without speaking to one another, but just pick up exactly where we left off when we could get together. Yeah, there were times we couldn’t stand one another, but I suppose everyone has those days. Looking back, I see how much we had. She was my best friend. The girl who taught me so much about life….the girl who taught me it was ok to be myself, that I didn’t have to be whoever everyone wanted me to be. That’s what best friends do. They support each other…and love one another even if they are miles apart….
That is exactly what Cole did, but through the glories of social media. Whenever I would post something, I could almost guarantee she would comment, and I could almost guess what she would say……that was how she showed she still loved me. I miss my Cole. She was a little firecracker, and she is being missed by so many…..but that doesn’t make it easier for me. I wish so much that she was still here……I want my best friend back…but I can’t have her, least not in this life.
This is where I am learning to move on, to continue living even without my best friend. She is not really gone. The memories we shared still live inside my heart. I see her in everything I do. I see her dancing when I am listening to music. I hear her laughing when I stumble walking to class (I am a clutz and she never let me forget it). I see her with everything I do. I cry at night because I miss her. People tell me I am being so strong……but I feel so weak inside….only GOD knows how much pain is there. HE is the only one I completely confide in. I don’t want to be a bother to others, so I cry my tears in his arms. HE loves me and will never die. HE is the strength that I draw from when I cannot stand any longer. I am bound set and determined that Cole’s memory will not die. If no one else does, I will remember.