An Open Letter to my Best Friend(s)

The resounding theme over the past 7-8 months has been “It’s been forever since I’ve written.”  I think about it often and unfortunately finding the quiet time to sit down and write is non-existent.  Life is very challenging now and 24/7 caregiving + essentially being a single mom is exhausting.  We have tremendous support, and for that I am eternally grateful.

A friend recently encouraged me to write more frequently (“people want to hear from you!”) but write short blog posts that are manageable.  So, I’M BACK!  I’ll write more frequently:  specifically I’ll give an update soon on:

  • Jeff (medically and emotionally).  How does Jeff handle the emotional side of this?  If you’ve been in his presence at all, it doesn’t take long to recognize what a remarkable man he is.
  • What we’ve been up to the past 6 months, since returning from our 6 week trip out west.
  • How Evan and Cole are doing (school, rock climbing, and handling a terminal illness)
  • Caregiving
  • Support from near and far.  Support from friends, family and strangers.  Support so overwhelming (that we desperately need) that we carry tremendous guilt over wondering if you know…do you know how life changing your support is for us?  Do you know how grateful we are?  Do you know we couldn’t do this without you?  Do you know that prayers are being answered?  Do you know we value EVERYTHING that is done for us but we don’t have the time, energy or capacity to reach out and tell you?  Do you know we cry over it?  Do you know?  The thought of you not knowing or feeling appreciated, recognized or valued, pierces my heart.  Thank you.

AN OPEN LETTER TO MY BEST FRIEND(S)

best friend

Dear friend(s),

Thank you for being one of the deepest and most meaningful connections in my life (both long lasting deep friendships + new friendships).  “Friendship is not about who you’ve known the longest. It’s about who walked into your life, said “I’m here” for you and prove it.”

Thank you for listening with empathy, kindness, and love when I’m having down days.  Thank you for just sitting with me in it and saying “Tara, I’m so sorry.  That sucks.  Instead of singing ‘The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow.’”

Thank you for knowing so much about ALS and caregiving, and for making it our problem…not just mine.

Friendships have been difficult during this stage of life.  Sustaining friendships takes work and time that I don’t have, but ours has never felt difficult, even on the darkest days.  You forgive the unanswered text and text again anyway.  You forgive the unanswered call and call again.  I do care.  I care a lot.  I just don’t have the capacity to show it fully right now.  Do you remember the old Tara?  She’s still there, she’s just forever changed by grief and trauma.

Thank you for reminding me I’m strong and beautiful in all of my mess.  I need to hear it.  I need to know it’s not meaningless.  Your texts of encouragement?  They are often saved and read over and over and over again so that I can sing with confidence that I am loved and cared for.  I value you too.

Thank you for being with me for the one-two punch in my life.  A one-two punch is a combination of two blows delivered in rapid succession in boxing, especially a left jab (BOOM, you’re going to lose your father unexpectedly) followed by a right cross (BOOM, shortly thereafter you’re going to lose your husband too).

Thank you for giving me permission to feel various emotions, thoughts, and feelings.  We think that people will only value our existence or welcome our presence if we’re always positive.  Suffering and sadness are just as much a part of existing as joy, compassion, and love.

So thank you for simply saying “I’m so sorry.”

And not, “I’m so sorry, BUT, look on the bright side.”  There is no bright side.  Those words minimize my pain and heavy emotions.

And most of all, thank you for doing stupid stuff and making me laugh.  You’re hilarious and I love laughing with you!

All my love,
Tara

12 thoughts on “An Open Letter to my Best Friend(s)

  1. You are courageous in the storm and God continues to be present at every turn. You inspire us all. This is over the top tough stuff and while the pain hurts to the very core of your being, it hurts to the core of everyone who loves you as well. Your army is strong, led by our Almighty God.
    Mom

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tara, You are beautiful. Tara, you are strong. Tara, you are a gifted writer and teacher. You are teaching your readers how to survive in the face of tragedy, and do ing it gracefully . Your courage and strength are incredible. I am so sorry your family is faced with this horrible disease. I continue to pray for you and Jeff and the boys daily. Don’t even think of replying- you have so many more important things to do. Just hold in your heart the love I am sending.

    Elaine Anthony Your favorite fourth grade teacher ( You had no choice😆) Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear sweet Tara,

    You owe no one anything! No guilt strong, young, loving wife and mother. Your energy…what’s left….should be directed to only this beautiful boys and husband.

    I think of you and your situation often, and marvel at you! God bless you and give you strength. If there is any way I can help from afar, I’m a quick phone call away. 508-667-0150.

    You are an inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pattie, you are a jewel! Thank you for such a beautiful note! We all feel the love and compassion both near and far! Thank you!
      Kathy

      Like

  4. Tara,

    You are such a special person. Sharing all of this with us and written so beautifully. Your Momma is so proud of you! I pray constantly for Jeff and you and the boys. God is by your side. I can’t imagine all of your suffering and pain. I wish I could take all of this pain away. You are all so loved.

    God bless you,

    Chris McComb

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, Tara! You continue to amaze me with your human yet faithful following of Our Lord. You express yourself with honesty , integrity and love, continuing to move forward with the trials you and your family have been given.
    You are such a Christian witness to the love a woman is to have for her family. By sharing your true feelings, it allows one to see both the human and the spiritual side of your life.
    Thank you for continuing to teach us the gospel.
    Love and prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tara, you just don’t know how much your faith and grace touch all who love you. Your whole family is in crisis and you are allowed to grieve in any way you can. We love you and your sweet family to the moon and back!! You are awesome and beautiful and so loved.
    Give that good looking man of yours a hug and kiss from me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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