Favorite Things Friday

What’s up, Friday people? It’s time for favorites again, and today is a little bit different than the usual favorites I have shared. Today my favorite thing is a person, and one you already know a little bit about.

This week is the second anniversary of when we lost Cheryl, the inspiration behind the blog. She’s been on my heart a lot. So today, instead of a favorite thing, I want to talk about one of my favorite people.

Cheryl hated pictures of herself, so I have respected her wishes to not use any of her on here, or I would show you her smiling face all the time! She was goofy in a lot of them and would look away to make a funny pose so you wouldn’t get a photo of her face a lot of times. On our Hawaii trip together I did get a few of her smiling, but more of her being goofy. I cherish every one of them, especially since back before cell phone cameras were so popular the only time we took photos together was on trips!

We also took what was my first of many trips to the Florida Keys together, and while Hawaii had our favorite sunrise, Key West definitely had our favorite sunset.

I often think about how Cheryl would like the blog, and how she would feel about what I am trying to share with it. I think about her letter, and how hard it was for me to write and how it opened up a part of me that was always closed off.

I often debate sharing that letter here because it was so personal, but I feel like it also shows how honest you can be with people and how that will change your relationship forever. There is one part I do want to share, summarized as opposed to word for word quotations.

In short, I told Cheryl that I felt like she was the first person who saw me for who I really was and completely supported me, while at the same time being brutally honest with me about my issues and hang-ups. We talked about everything- love, marriage, jobs, self-acceptance, our fears. She was the first person to smack me upside the head and tell me to get out of my own way, with equal parts love and frustration. It was one of the things I loved most about her.

In my letter to her, I told her I have very deliberately surrounded myself with Cheryls in my life as a whole. People who will support and love me unconditionally and still call me on my own crap, and who will hold me accountable to who they know I want to be. Unfortunately, they are all spread across the country where I have lived and they have moved at this point in life, but they are all a phone call away and it’s always like we just talked yesterday.

She replied to me that when things were hard for her, she always thought to herself, “What would Pam do?”. She admired my attitude of gratitude in life, and my pushing myself to always do what I can because I never let myself forget the times when I physically couldn’t.

I am not sure what pulls my heartstrings more, thinking of the profound impact of a life full of Cheryls, or knowing that she thought highly enough of me that I was a meter for choices in her life as well. It is humbling and overwhelming to know your life has made such a difference in someone else’s, in a way that seems simple but is so impactful that it is part of their everyday mentality.

Isn’t that what we all want from our relationships, and our interactions on our path in this world? To feel that we make a difference, and are appreciated for exactly who we are? To know that our life matters in the lives of others, in whatever way it does?

Isn’t it an empowering thought that we can give that to someone else, simply by writing a letter and telling them about how much they mean in our lives? Because you can, and we all can! Especially in this day of physical distancing and social isolation, reaching out to let people know you see them and appreciate who they are can make such a huge difference in their life.

Be the good. Spread the love. Tell people how important they are to you, in whatever way you can. You won’t regret doing it, but you may regret the opposite.

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