21 days to happiness: My story and 3 things I am thankful for:
When I was a freshman in high school I met Annette. She was new to the school district and came along at a time when I was lonely the shy, (yes me, shy), often teased, overweight girl who was usually chosen last for teams in Phy-Ed classes. Her personality was magnetic. She was funny and adventurous and always first to say, “Come sit by me.” We quickly became besties.
Because of her, it didn’t take long before we had a group of friends and it was a good to feel part of a community. The summer between 9th and 10th grade I rode my bike 2 miles each way to and from her house nearly every day because she baby-sat her little brother. Without realizing it, I lost 40 pounds in just three months.
When we started high school, she said; “Lets join things and be great leaders.”‘ We became active in Junior Achievement (my first role was VP of Marketing. 😀 AND eventually, I ranked in the top 1% nationally of kids in the program ). We signed up to be leaders of the school “Pep Club” (We were the mascot at many school games.) There were other sports/organizations, etc.
She brought me out of my shell and influenced my life more than she would ever know. The kind of friend she was to me is the kind of friend I strive to be for others.
Tragically, she was unjustly taken from us shortly after high school and it wasn’t fair. One of the people responsible for her death only served 5 years in prison. The others were never found or convicted. To this day I wonder, where is the justice in that?
As a result of losing someone so close to me, I learned a few important, powerful lessons at a young age.
Life is short and can be taken in the blink of an eye. Friendship is a priceless TREASURE. Love the people in your life, NOW. Be present for them, while they are here. Give them the GIFT of your time. Words are powerful, be authentic, kind and inclusive. Tell people you see them by saying; “You matter.” Bring out the very best in others and they will never forget you.
Three things I am grateful for today:
- Annette, DJW and Cheryl
- The people who have stepped forward, supporting me in challenging times. Their generosity means so much.
- The community of people who surround me and the GIFT of friendship