It struck me today, how often we take our friends for granted and I don't mean that in a strictly negative way either. Think about it for a moment, how often to you tell your best friend that you love and appreciate them? I learned the hard way how important it is to tell them every chance you get.
A few years ago, I met someone who completely changed my life. She and I worked together, unfortunately for only a short time, and we instantly hit it off. We were like long lost friends. Our bond grew so strong and grew so quickly that we were inseparable. My children absolutely loved her, our other friends became friends, and we became friends with each other's friends. She was the type of friend everyone dreams of having. We made our workplace bearable for each other, our offices became safe spaces and "hiding spots" when we needed to break away, I loved and still love her dearly. Then, the unthinkable happened, barely a year after we first met and only a few months after she laid her brother to rest. She was feeling down and just not herself after losing her brother, she leaned on me, and I did my best to help anyway that I could. The day before my birthday, and only 2 weeks after her birthday, she was killed by a drunk driver. The night before she was pulled over on the side of the road, taking a phone call, doing what she was supposed to do, and was hit from behind. I didn't find out until the next morning. I didn't receive my normal morning call from her and thought it was strange, but never gave it another thought. It wasn't until a good friend of mine called me to tell me about a report that went up about her and an accident. I immediately panicked and called everyone I knew to get information on her. As soon as I found out where she was, I took off with a college and we drove as fast as we could to the hospital, but by the time we got there, it was too late. I remember dropping to my knees beside her bed, my hand brushing the hair off her face, and sobbing. Her family and our friends gave me that time, and then helped me to my feet. I stayed there, standing watch, until she was taken away. That moment changed my life forever.
You see, we never took a single picture together. We shared so many memories together, good and bad, but; that is all they are, memories. We also never said the words "I love you", we had our own way of saying it and it ranged from "love ya girl" to "love ya b*tch, usually anything along those lines lol. But I never got to tell her how much I appreciated her for just being her. I never got to thank her for always be there, for being my rock when I needed, for being so wonderful to my kids. I regret not taking pictures with her and not telling her those things. Her death and friendship taught me the importance of cherishing those you love, her death and friendship taught me to never take anyone or anything for granted. Because of her, I always make it a point to tell so many how appreciative I am for them, not for what they do, but for them as a person. I make it a point to always tell my best friends and good friends "I love you" or "love you" every time we talk.
Do me a favor tonight, cherish the ones in your life, your friends, your family. Tell them you love and appreciate them, take a selfie with them, takes so many pictures until they become uncontrollably giggly. Hold them close and don't ever regret not saying the words or taking the picture.