As Thanksgiving approaches, I give thanks for one of my greatest blessings: my friends – particularly that “inner circle” of friends – the truest kind. I have heard it said many times that friends are the family you get to choose, and that is certainly true for me. I come from a small family, biologically speaking. I am an only child, my father was only child, and my mother had 2 siblings. My parents and all grandparents are deceased and I have no relationship with part of my mother’s family. As the years go on, due to deaths in the family, divorces and other life events, we can no longer get together the group of family members that once gathered for holiday celebrations. I love my biological family very much and will continue to make every effort to spend time with them, but the dwindling numbers of family members that get together each year – especially during the holidays – makes me even more grateful for my chosen family of friends.
These friendships define me. Each friend adds something special and unique to my life. Some have been with me since the age of two, some since grade school, college, or law school and quite a few have come along during the past 20 years of adulthood. They’ve seen me at my best and my worst. They boost me up when I need it, but they also keep me grounded and real. They love me and overlook, or at least forgive, my flaws (and I would do the same if any of my friends had any real flaws)!
My friends have been there for me, adopted me, supported me, cheered for me, cried with me, laughed with me, and occasionally kicked my butt, during the most important events in my adult life: the fun and rigors of college and law school, the death of both parents, a marriage, a divorce, failed fertility attempts, a serious automobile accident and surgeries, as well as lots and lots of the fun stuff.
We do a lot for each other: make sure that birthdays are always a special event, cook for each other, drink together (on occasion), babysit, housesit, go to doctor appointments and hospitals, find special little gifts for each other, talk, listen, advise, know when to shut up, lend each other cars, clothes, guest rooms, or whatever is needed, and try to fill in any holes in each other’s lives. We all have very busy lives, but we always make time for each other – whether sitting around someone’s kitchen, running errands together, enjoying happy hour or an evening out, scheduling a girls’ weekend in the mountains or at the beach, or just some phone or text time that we cram in. We feel the sadness of each other’s losses, and celebrate the joy of each other’s successes, as if they are our own.
Once a person becomes one of those “inner circle” friends, I am ferociously loyal and protective, and rarely ever let them go, because then they are truly a part of me. I would not be who I am without my friends, my chosen family. They enrich my life, fill in my gaps and make me whole, and for that, I am incredibly thankful
– Heather L. Robbins
Heather is the proprietor of Siena Gold Farm, specializing in Horse Boarding, Boer Goat Breeding & Sales. Heather is an active Fun-draiser on Team Dash for the Cure; helping to raise over 100,000 for breast cancer awareness and research. Heather is also a good friend to the NDH Team!