This past weekend I went back home to visit with friends and family and recharge my soul. While I love living in Nashville and have amazing friendships here, nothing compares to going back to your roots and the people who have known you the longest. My trips home are always too short and always packed with too many things I’d like to do! It is not possible to see everyone and stroll down memory lane so I have to pick and choose what I do each trip and hope to cover more the next time.
This weekend was just what I needed… Quality time with a couple of my girlfriends. There is something so therapeutic about reconnecting with the friends who have known you through many of life’s ups and downs. One of my girlfriends I have known for over 20 years! We have supported each other through moves, relationships, kids, job changes, bad hairstyles and more! The last night we sat outside on the deck with a bottle of wine, taking turns picking songs to play and talking about life. It was relaxing, fun, funny and emotional at times. Moments like these are to be treasured!
The next morning when I woke I saw several updates on my phone about the mass shooting in Orlando. As I drove home, the radio was interrupted with updates and a statement from the President. I was struck with sadness as I imagined these individuals had gone out that night to enjoy time with friends, dance, let off steam, celebrate, make new friends and so on. No one could have anticipated this is how their night would end. I thought about how none of us can know the instant our lives may change or our happiness could be shattered by violence. For a moment I felt guilty for my wonderful night with friends. I realized, however, what we should take away from this tragedy is gratitude. What we need to learn from this is to savor the special moments in our lives. What we can do differently is to say the unsaid, “I’m so impressed with how you are raising your daughters”, “You look pretty”, “I love having you as a friend” or “Thank you for being there for me.” I believe we often think these things and don’t always express them.
After I made it back to Nashville, I sent my friends a text to say thank you. While I hoped they already knew I am grateful for them – it is nice to read it, hear it and be reminded. We can’t undo what has been done but we can use this violence to remind us to appreciate the special people in our lives and to say it!