In April of 2007, a friend of mine was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. This was devastating news to me. I mean, this girl was younger than me and had 3 young children-under the age of 3 years old. She had been sick for awhile and the doctors had just discovered what was wrong. I think all of us were in a bit of shock. It just didn't seem real. We heard that this was the "good" kind of cancer to get, but we were still scared for our friend.
Holly, the friend, decided to do something special for our group of friends-to make something good come out of her scary experience. In Aiken, our church was somewhat small-around 150-but we had a large group of girlfriends who were somewhat the same age with children who were also somewhat the same age. This was-and still is-special. Sometimes we didn't-and still don't-always get along for one reason or another, but the bond between young mothers with common faith & values is one that should be treasured. These relationships are blessings sent from God. Holly wanted to do something that would make each of us pause for a moment and cherish each other despite the differences we may sometimes have. After all, Holly was being faced with an uncertain future which tends to make people realize what's really important in life.
What Holly decided to do was get a charm bracelet and put a charm on it and to also get a journal that would always stay with the bracelet. She placed a charm on the bracelet that signified what she was going through at the time-a cross-and also wrote in the journal about her current circumstances and her hopes for the bracelet and what it will mean to all of us. Since then, the bracelet has been passed on to 7 other girls-the 7th being me. Each girl who has had the bracelet has added a charm to signify what they're going through and has written in the journal.
The bracelet has received a crown to represent the prince a mother's baby boy is to her, a heart charm for the mother of a baby girl who had open heart surgery, an elephant for our "Alabama" fan who moved away from Aiken, a dove to represent the peace a mother felt on the birth of her 3rd child, a key for the mother who says her sons hold the key to her heart, and a '4 seasons' charm to represent the mom who recognizes that our lives are full of different seasons. I can't express how honored & thrilled I was to receive a chance to wear the bracelet and to write in the journal-especially since I've moved away. I received the bracelet for the events of moving & also for the birth of our precious Ellie. I have had such fun looking at charms and trying to decide on the best one to add.
My girlfriends in Aiken are special parts of my life and I miss each of them for different reasons. I recognize how special it was to have those ladies & their children in my life and I think it makes me appreciate the relationships I'm forming with new girlfriends here in Houston even more. These new friendships don't make me not miss my Aiken friends, but rather to appreciate them & the memories I created while there even more. I so appreciate the ones who have taken the time to keep in touch with me and am thankful for all the avenues we have these days that allow us to keep in touch so easily.
I am happy to say that Holly is now free of her cancer and I pray it stays that way!
Please bless my girlfriends in Aiken for they are special to me in so many ways. Bless all of us with the ability to love as You would have us do. Bless all of our children and please keep us close despite the miles that may sometimes separate us-with some of us being in South Carolina, some being in Colorado, and some being in Texas there are many miles between us. Bless us all with the wisdom to appreciate each & every day we have with our true friends and help us all to bless each other as often as we can. Thank you for the blessing of Christian girlfriends and bless us as we welcome new girlfriends into our lives as we experience the different seasons you have planned for us.
In Jesus' Name,
Here are some pictures of some of us at a 'girls' night out' right before Holly's surgery.