Friday, July 7, 2017

I Wasn't There

I move. And I move. And I move. I've moved my whole life. My. Whole. Life.

And every time, I pack up my clothes and my belongings and my memories, and I take them with me. But I can't take my friends with me. You stay.

You. Stay.

And I'm Not There.

I wasn't there when you had your baby. I wasn't there when your baby died. I wasn't there when you tried year after year to get pregnant with no success. I wasn't there when you decided that adoption is how you would build your family.

I wasn't there.

I wasn't there when you decided to leave the closet. I wasn't there when you married your best friend. I wasn't there when you decided your marriage was worth fighting for. I wasn't there when you realized that fighting alone doesn't work and divorce was your answer.

I wasn't there.

I wasn't there when your baby was blessed. I wasn't there when your child had trouble in school. I wasn't there when you had to decide whether your child needed professional help or you could do enough as a parent. I wasn't there when your child was baptized. I wasn't there when your child tried to commit suicide. I wasn't there when your child was diagnosed with an incurable disease.

I wasn't there.

I wasn't there when you were hospitalized. I wasn't there when you took your parent to court for child abuse. I wasn't there when you almost died. I wasn't there when you lost your faith. I wasn't there when you gained yours. I wasn't there when you survived radiation and fought cancer.

I wasn't there.

I wasn't there when you quit your job to stay at home with your children. I wasn't there when you fell in love with a new hobby or learned a new skill. I wasn't there when you finally got your degree. I wasn't there when you found a job that fulfilled you. I wasn't there when you got that promotion. I wasn't there when you changed and grew.

I wasn't there.

For any of it.

At all.

I was over here.

I was thinking of you. Praying for you. Crying for you. My heart breaking for you. Wishing more than anything that I could hold you and strengthen you and love you—not from afar but right in the same room. That I could cry with you and celebrate with you.

And every now and then, I get to go back there. I get to try and see you. And so many of you—so, so many of you—respond to my emails, my texts, my phone calls, my Facebook messages. You take time out of the lives you've built without me, with the friends I don't know and the places I haven't been. And you come to me. You hug me. You love me. You listen to my stories, and you share yours with me. And we're different. But we're also the same.

And some of you don't. Or just won't? Or can't. Some of you don't respond. I open a message to tell you I'm coming and I see that the last four messages over the past eight years have all been me telling you I'm coming and you never responding.

Or you respond, but life is too full. The kids are too needy, or the job is too demanding, or the spouse is too busy, and it never seems to quite work out. I wasn't there, and when I am there, you can't drop everything to see me.

But I still love you so much. The ones who can and the ones who don't.

A piece of my heart is yours. And a spot in my memories is filled with you.

So know that when you read of my adventures and hear tales of my happy, exotic life with the kids and spouse I love more than life, just know, that even though I'm not there, I wish I could be here and there.

Thank you so much, dear friends, for making room in your lives when I can be there.

I hope you know who you are. I love you.


Me, exploring ancient ruins, without you. 
It would have been so much more fun with you!


31 comments:

  1. Mimi this made me cry! I love you and your sweet family so much! Thanks for being here now...

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  2. As always, your words are so beautiful. Love you girl.

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  3. So many people love you and trust you because when you are there, you are fully there. And that is what keeps people coming back, to share their lives with a friend they know loved and loves them even from afar.

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  4. Tears come so easily when I read your blog, and when I think of you and miss you so much. I'm thankful to have crossed paths and to now have your friendship always. I was especially touched by the post about the people who don't keep in touch... one of my dear friends in Dallas just doesn't respond when I'm in town and I'm not sure why but I love her and miss her all the same. Wishing you the best and looking forward to seeing you an ocean away... Kristin

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  5. I loved this Mimi and I could relate to much of it, thank you for saying what I could not! Love you still!

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  6. Mimi, you have a gift for expressing what often feels inexpressible...but you also have a gift of connecting with people on so many levels that you leave them feeling full of love for you and better about themselves. Thanks for sharing YOU with all of US!!

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  7. You sing, even when you're not exactly singing. I'm so glad we got to see each other again, even briefly, before the wind blew and the lightning crashed and the rain fell in sheets and life went on as always.

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  8. This brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye. I too have loved ones that live far away, and though they have never expressed it quite this eloquently, I know that these same feelings are shared by myself and those that I am referring to! Thank You so much for this excellent post!!!

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  9. thank you for writing what people like us feel. thank you

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  10. SO WELL SAID. THANK YOU.

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  11. You are the sweetest person. I remember when you came here as a new mommy with your little smile. It has been such a joy to see, not only you, but your family grow. You have way more of an adventurous spirit than me. Stay safe and know you are never far from the thoughts of those who know and love you. —Dede A.

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  12. I ❤ this so much and I ❤ you! XO —M. Boswell

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  13. �� Thanks for sharing yourself with us - love you wherever you are! —Vicki R.

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  14. Mimi I love you so much!! You have said what's in my heart. I feel the same way about all my dear friends I can't be with all the time. —Nicky

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  15. That was a beautiful post! —Rinna

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  16. Thanks for the fast hot tears, mama. It is as if you were writing to each person I feel just this way about. Thank you so very much. —J. Copeland

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  17. This made me cry!! Thank you for being YOU, and I will take you with me in my heart wherever I go. You are so special to me.... Thank you for your love and for being there, physically or not. I will forever love you my friend!! ❤️❤️❤️ —Maribel

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  18. That was beautifully said! You have also captured my heart on the subject of being a nomad. Thanks for sharing that with us! Hugs & love to you and the family. —Christy

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  19. Yes, Michelle I know the feeling that happened to us my husband served in the Military for 23 years and we got to move so many times all over I met so many wonderful people and I made so many friends they are amazing people and you are a good exempl of one of them. —M. Bringhurst

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  20. :'( You and your sweet fam are so missed when you're gone. A part of us is always with you. —Sara H.

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  21. The choir is preparing "Oh, What Songs of the Heart" which talks about the joyful reunion we have with friends and loved ones one day. It made me think of you when we were rehearsing this past Sunday. I so look forward to your visits. You are such a dear friend to me. —Sara R.

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  22. You're such a sweet kind soul! Beautifully said! —Julie Smith

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  23. Your heart in so many places. Beautifully expressed. Sorry we missed you! —Jill F.

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  24. I wanna text you everyday but I just try to hold back!! —Latavia

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  25. Ustedes son una familia que dejan huella por donde van. Que tengan mucho éxito en cualquier lugar a donde vayan. Cariños ❤️��❤️�� —Leticia O.

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  26. Meems, I love you.

    The awesome part about you moving all the time is that more people get to meet your awesome self.

    I count myself lucky to be one of them. —Melissa O.

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  27. I Love You! —Elizabeth Meenach

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  28. Man, I related to this SO much. We didn't expect to find stability in Columbus, but I'm SO glad we did. I vividly remember sitting in my bishops office 6 months after moving here and crying because he asked if I had been able to make friends, and my response was "I'm exhausted from learning to love people, just to turn around and leave them behind!" It isn't easy, but it can be beautiful sometimes. —Victoria F. C.

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  29. You are awesome!! —C. Leydsman

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  30. Beautiful and spot on, thank you for sharing this Michelle...
    So, so spot on...
    "I wasn't there, and when I am there, you can't drop everything to see me."

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