Brent's best friend, and my brother-by-association, came to visit us a couple of weekends ago. Eric has been a part of Brent's life for near 25 years, and a part of mine for 12. I don't really remember the details of the first time I met Eric, but I remember the first time I heard his voice: on the other end of Brent's cell phone, as Brent called to tell him he had met the woman of his dreams. (Those weren't his exact words, but the meaning was strongly implied.) Brent's words (and his strongly implied meaning) garnered a, "Wow. Really?" from Eric. And here we are...12 years later...Brent swears he wouldn't trade me, and Eric has the little sister he never wanted but ended up with anyway.
When Eric came to see us recently, and be there for Brent as only Eric can, I was reminded of the fact that we can never control who ends up in our lives - but every single one of them has a reason for being there. I won't tell Brent and Eric's story - they probably don't realize they have one - but I will say this: my husband has a close circle of life-long friends, and I'm honored to know and love them too. They are a great group of guys, and if Brent can't find the words to tell them, I will: you guys have a special place in our hearts, and Brent wouldn't be the man he is today were it not for your friendship. I personally thank you for the influence you've had on my husband.
All of you.
As I was saying, Eric came to see us a couple of weeks ago. He was talking to me about my blog. This very thing I'm typing right now, he will probably end up reading. His words were encouraging, and humbling as well. Brent was agreeing with him on nearly every point and I was trying to process the fact that my "brother" had found my diary and was then talking to me about it. That's what this is like for me. My diary. I sometimes forget people read this. I forget I'm not just talking to myself. Yet I write because one day I want someone to remember Harlynn because of something I've said. I want someone to have hope because they've read what we've survived. I want someone to get a chuckle from Haley's antics. And I write so that I can look back and remember this journey called life, and how I've grown through each part of it. "I survived even that."
Eric made a point about my writing style. I almost laughed. I don't have style in anything. I can't piece an outfit together to save my life, I have no idea how to pronounce "Louboutin" (nor would I have any idea how to walk in one of his shoes), I don't fix my hair, I resonate with everyone and no one, and I just kind of .... exist.
To me, the word "style" represents a personal, individual expression. I emit a visible cry for help when it comes to "expressing" myself in style. I have to take friends shopping with me, and not just for the social aspect of spending time together. It is because I need someone to do the shopping for me while I cower in the fitting room and wait for things to be handed to me because the racks of clothing overwhelm me. When Eric talked about my writing style, I had a mental picture of a fashionista in a cute little outfit, maybe even some skinny jeans, with coordinating accessories and a handbag matching her shoes. My style is more like someone who gets dressed in the dark. Nothing goes together, few things fit, I'm missing essential pieces, but I manage to somehow get something on to cover me appropriately and I call it good. That is how I dress, and that is how I write. That is my style. Unkempt, thrown together, and somehow passing as acceptable.
Since Eric's depiction of my writing, however, I've received other comments, other compliments. Maybe there's something to this style of expression. Maybe there's something to this avenue of how I process my thoughts and now especially, my grief. Maybe this is more than me talking to myself.
If you read this (all four of you....and hi, Mom...) I thank you for being in my audience. I thank you for walking this road with me. I thank you for wanting to know what goes on in my head, my heart, and my home.
And who knows...maybe one day I'll come out after getting dressed in the dark, and I will have inexplicably hit the mark. My paragraphs might become chapters, and my story might become imprinted on a publisher's pages - or better yet - imprinted on the heart of someone who needed to hear it. If you are that one person who ends up benefiting from something I've written about - I praise God for it. I share my story so you can understand yours.