Three of us girls and my daughter went out for breakfast the morning after the Kentucky Derby. One of us had said that in the past, she felt like she was viewed as “Bryon’s friend” but after this weekend, she felt like she became part of our friends group in her own right. We all felt warm and fuzzy when we realized that.
My friends observation hit me close to home because for years I felt the same way. I moved to Albany in 2009 after Bryon and I had been dating for a year and he already has his social network. Everyone was Bryon’s friend and I felt like I was his shadow. Over the years, my friendships did start to evolve but I didn’t realize how strong those friendships were until my friends were there for me when I needed them the most. They continue to be there for me, helping me heal.
Yesterday I wrote about all the love and friendship shared on Derby Day. Today I feel like celebrating that love and friendship.
In the past, I have written a lot about my girls. But most of these girls are attached to guys. Really great guys. These guys would drop whatever they were doing to help me with anything and I don’t give them enough credit in this blog. Most of these guys were Bryon’s friends and many of us girls became friends through our significant others. Now I think it’s safe to say that it is us girls who are the driving force behind the groups social calendar.
I have realized that I have been looking at these friendships only through my own eyes and not the eyes of my friends. My grieving process has made me self-absorbed at times. I know my friends have been there for me and my daughter but I haven’t been able to fully appreciate that my friends have been there for each other too. I am not the only one who has needed support during this time. Each one of my friends has been grieving too and they have been there for each other as well as be there for my daughter and me.
So many other friendships have formed before my very eyes. Older friendships have been strengthened. We have all been friends to varying degrees but Bryon’s death has brought many of us closer. But we aren’t just friends, we are a family. And we have been all along. We just never realized it until after Bryon died. Bryon may not be able to be here for us but he gave us each other.
We are one big, crazy extended family complete with adults, kids and pets as well as the biological families of our family and friends of friends. I have noticed that since Bryon has passed, we make more time for each other. Birthdays get celebrated as well as personal milestones. We check in with each other more, even if it is just because it’s been a couple of days and we wanted to make sure everything was okay. The ladies have a monthly brunch. Everyone seems fully committed to be positive role models and trusted adults for the younger generation to look up to.
I love my family and I am so thankful I have them in my life.