This is the tombstone of my great-grandparents on my mother's side, which I visited with my cousin, Carri last week. My great grandfather died before we were born, my great grandmother was a force to be reckoned with.
There are so many types of relationships. Some last a lifetime, some are for a season, some romantic, some familial, some platonic, but all relationships have a beginning, a commonality that connects us. Ultimately, they end, either through death, divorce, growing apart, things sometimes beyond our control.
Enter social media. This has changed our relationships, sometimes for the better. Can it be negative? Of course, everything has 2 sides. But, and this is a big BUT, some relationships have been continued, started, strengthened by Facebook, SnapChat, Instagram, etc.
I will use my personal life as an example. My sister Melissa and I were not raised together, have not lived near one another until recently (still 5 hrs apart), through SnapChat we communicate daily, sometimes conversations, sometimes snaps from games, dinners, bars...but we have connected on a different day-to-day level.
Church friends. John and I met at Pembroke Road Baptist Church, we were in choir together. On my road trip last week, after being broken down (alternator) on the side of the road in Eastern Pennsylvania, John wrote that if he had known, he would have picked Alex and I up. I have never met John's wife, have not seen John in decades, but I would've gladly accepted that gesture from an old friend because we have stayed connected through Facebook.
Becky and I also met at that same church in 10th grade. We have stayed in touch and shared all our ups and downs in life. I have visited her with Meghan, both kids and I have gone to lunch with her, she is Aunt Becky - she lives in PA, too. Cellphones, texting, and social media have allowed us to stay in touch since we are both (especially me) not great at letter writing or phone calls. But yesterday, when her dad passed away, she called me. I stopped at work and cried. When I was a teenager he treated me like another daughter. I have not seen him in years, he lives in Buffalo, but we had a relationship.
Then there is my bestest, Terista. We met in 7th grade when I was 12. We have drifted in and out like the tides, sometimes closer than others, currently physically apart (she and her husband live in KY), but I love her, she is my bestest, and she has always had my back. We sometimes go months without speaking, and she is the WORST with social media, insert gratefulness for Greg who is active on social media and keeps her abreast of things 😅, but if I killed someone and called at 3am for help, she'd be here (and vice versa)!!!
Now, high school friends. Yikes. Wouldn't go back to high school if you paid me, BUT, I do have a few cherished friends that have carried into my adult life. Nika and I met in 9th grade Home Ec. She was the 1st person I skipped school with (along with her now sister-in-law Angie), her wedding was the 1st one Steve and I attended together. We kept in touch, but time and distance and life meant we didn't see each other for many years. Facebook connected us on a different day-to-day way, gosh, I don't even remember her not being around. We would privately message, pray for each other, encourage each other, share successes (David and kids on sets of various movies), and she always supported my crazy adventures. Angie reached out January 15th to tell me Nika had suddenly passed away. My world shifted. My heart cracked. Yes, it's been years since we saw each other, but yet, it felt like yesterday. It wasn't like those people I used to know. This was Nika who I was going to see on my road trip 2 weeks ago. This was Nika who I didn't get to see before she died, but yet I felt so close to because of our staying connected through social media. Today I will pay my respects to her family, as we gather in WPB. Today I will tell them what I never told her. Today I will be thankful. For, although she lived in GA, we did stay connected.
Relationships come in all shapes and sizes. The one thing we are guaranteed, good or bad, we take something from each one. We are affected by each one. We leave a piece of us with each one - and hopefully, we are thought of as fondly.
Look around you. Are you nurturing your relationships? Are you holding on, where you should lovingly let go? Are you out of touch when you should get in touch? My sister, Cherrise, said to me that I don't OWE anyone my time. It is mine to spend where I want to spend it, and likewise, NO ONE owes me their time. So, to those of you who have shared their time with me - THANK YOU. I am grateful for those moments.
In memory of Nika, I will make sure to keep myself in check and spend less time feeling obligated and more time where my heart and soul are fed!
Stay in touch - however that works for you. You matter! Love, your CrazyLady! ❤️🩹