Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thankful Thursday - Friends



Tell them. 

Enjoy the cotton candy.

I was laying in the bed on Friday night. The television was on. I heard what sounded like a familiar voice from many years ago. I sat up and looked at the television. Not the person I knew.  

I was so shaken by that voice and the memories, that I tried to see if I could find the friend the voice sounded like. He had been a good friend to me after I survived an abusive relationship. At 6’7” He was there to run off the abuser as many times as it took. He probably saved my life. 

I found his obituary. Certainly not what I expected to find! He died 22 years ago! I felt as though I had been a bad person to not have stayed in touch. I knew he was not well. He was shot in the leg in Vietnam. He was in the VA hospital more and more. I visited him there many times.  I knew he had to have his leg amputated. I moved away. I thought of him but never called. I have shed many tears since Friday. Robert, I am sorry. RIP

As the night wore on I thought of another special person who held a place in my heart. I knew I needed to tell him. 

We never know when it will be too late. 

We all have special people. Even though we have lost touch, they are still there... in our hearts. Sometimes a song, movie or food (cotton candy), reminds us of them. 

I thought of all the places I have lived. Short periods of time. Moving often. Never keeping in touch with people. 

I kept thinking about this one person. 

NOTE: It’s important to remember that we may not have a place in their heart, even though they do in ours.

I reached out to say hello. It’s been years since I saw this person. I did call him a few times many years ago. 

I didn’t want anything from the him, just to say I remember you. That I was glad he was doing well. That he was thought of. I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to say he was an important person in my life. I learned a valuable lesson in life from my time with him. 

As I thought about the time he was in my life (just months), my mind filled with all the silly teenage things that bothered me then. We would talk. He was a great listener, which was a good thing because I talked a lot! I think I cried on his shoulder more than once.

I told him it was comforting hearing him talk to me. A soft and gentle voice. A calmness that I have never experienced since. Him listening and being an honest person. I told him “it lasted in my heart”. Of all the people I knew in my year there, he was the only one that mattered. I know he won't remember all these things, and that's fine. Girls always remember more than guys. Plus he never knew how I felt. Today I will rectify that. 

He has a sweet spirit. I trusted him then and still do to this day even though I don't know him as an adult. 

He loves God and that is a virtue. God is in my daily life. 

He is a man who honors my privacy and I his, so only his high school football jersey is shared below. He’s wearing it. You don't get to see his beautiful smile or handsome face, but hopefully you can feel his beautiful heart in these words. 

We meet so few genuinely honest people in our lifetime. It’s important for us to tell them how much we appreciate them. 

I know, you’re thinking “she’s still in love with him”. Maybe you’re right. It’s something I wasn’t aware of until I started writing this. But it’s a deep love from a place in my heart that was hurt so many years ago. Not a romantic love. Not a desire. Just the need to tell him what he means to me. 

Today I challenge you to reach out to someone who impacted your life. It will make you feel good and hopefully them too! It takes courage. Trust me. 


Thank someone for touching your life. After all it is Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you and thank you for being in my life. 

*This is way outside my comfort zone. I do not share personal things. But this feels important. It’s a bucket list item. 

So here it is, me pouring out my heart to Mike, #33 whose lips were as soft as cotton candy. Just so you know, all these years later when I see cotton candy I smile and think of Mike. 

Dear Mike:

I am thankful for knowing you. 

You impacted my life. 

You matter to me. 

You have a place in my heart.

YOU were my first #

(For those of you who know me in person, Yes I have a 33 tattooed on my arm. And Yes it’s in a heart. And No you cannot tease me about it.)

 I remember cheering for you as you played football. I remember riding the fan bus to away games just to watch you play. I remember hugs after the home games. (In that jersey).  I remember watching you at the practice field. I remember the first time I saw you close enough to speak. I remember how my heart raced as we said “hi”. I remember exactly where we were. I waited for you outside the locker room, just like you asked. We left together that night. I remember...

I remember listening to you talk one cloudy Thursday afternoon in 1974, as we stood in front of your house, I thought ... “he’s in my heart ”.  I would have rode off into the sunset with you that day and never looked back.  (Of course I never told you that. It was the last time I was ever with you. I stayed away and watched you from afar. That was the day I knew I loved you. You were my first love. It scared me.)
Now you understand why I remember...


Thank you for being there for me. 

Thank you for being my safe place. 

Thank you for your friendship.

Thanks for your shoulder to cry on.

Thanks for the cotton candy kisses. 

Thanks for the time we spent together. 

I wish you a happy life filled with love and God’s blessings. 

I hope to check on you from time to time. Just know that it will be little thank you’s for our brief friendship so many years ago. 

You will always be in my heart and the reason I still smile when I see “cotton candy”. 



I thank God every day when I wake up. I thank God for my family and for the strength to get through another day. 

I thank God for the opportunities to tell people what they have meant in my life. 

I thank God for hearing my prayers, both spoken and unspoken. 

I thank God for my Dad who taught the love of Jesus and that we have a God who can get us through anything. 

I thank y’all for the lessons I have learned through each experience in my life. Good and bad. 

I thank God for the blessing I received this week when I ran into one of the homeless in town. Thankful to have been placed in the right place at the right time. God’s timing. Thankful to see this mans face change from sadness to joy when I called him by his name. Thankful that he remembered me with a happy heart. Thankful that God put it in my heart to help. Thankful that this man stood taller as I talked with him as the people stared. Thankful God touched the onlookers hearts as their scowling turned to smiles. 

God changed their hearts when they saw Christian love effect the man. That was a blessing I needed yesterday. 

I’m thankful for my “old man” who is younger than me. I’m thankful he saw me at the store and snuck up behind me. I’m thankful for the hug as we left     

I’m thankful for those who prayed for me as I went through this past couple of months of procedures and surgery.  Thankful for the new cardiologist and surgeon. Thankful for those who continue to pray as I return to the surgeon next month. Thankful I’m tough or I wouldn’t have been able to get through the surgery and the pain. Thankful for pain meds too!

Thank you God

Thank you family 

Thank you friends

May the Lord bless your thanksgiving with love, peace, kindness and good health. 


Julie l. Cleveland said...

I am thankful for you, Jacki. You have no idea how much you've helped me along the way knowing that you were praying for me and my family. You're in my prayers, and this beautiful post is something to cherish. Happy Thanksgiving to you and may you continue to heal.

Christie Cottage said...

I thank you for all you have done for me. I still pray for your family, each member by name. I thank God that your Dad is still with you.

watercolorsNmore said...

Thank you, DEAR Friend. We share so many close things. Although, I've never met you, YOU have a special place in my heart. I pray for you daily for your recovery and healing.

Appreciate this deep post.........You probably needed to get that off your inner being.


Christie Cottage said...

I count you as a dear friend too. You have a special place in my heart. We have the widow bond.

I appreciate your prayers and I pray for you too.

I know holidays are hard for you. I know.

Christie Cottage said...

This is from my friend Susan

That was so beautiful and I felt your heart. I really did. You are a sweet and special friend in my life. I wish there weren’t so many miles between us but know I love you so much and you will forever be in my heart.

ShadowDogDesigns said...

What a beautiful, from the heart post, Jacki. It brought tears to my eyes reading it thinking of people that I've lost track of. Some I've found, some my efforts to find them was too late, and for that I'll always be sorry. Am so glad that you were able to reconnect to #33 and let him know what he meant / means to you. I also greatly value our friendship. Prayers and healing energy to you.

Christie Cottage said...

Thanks Catherine. You know it was hard for me to share this. It’s from deep within my heart. A place I guard.

I’m thankful for having you my friend.

Christie Cottage said...

Here’s the message from Mike #33. I asked permission to share it here.

You are incredibly brave to open up. Thank you for sharing this.I am at a loss for words, but I may not need to. You have made me smile, I never knew😌😁God has been in you your entire life. You are the blessing, the one that God has blessed our lives in knowing and loving you!

Christie Cottage said...

This is from Jennifer Dollarhide. I asked for permission to share.

You wrote this Jacki? This is incredibly REAL, beautiful, vulnerable, wonderful and all of the other adjectives I didn’t mention. Thank you for sharing. πŸ™πŸ½πŸ™πŸ½
And happy thanksgiving to one of my very favorite virtual friends. ❤️πŸ¦ƒ☮️πŸ™πŸ½πŸ½

Cotton candy 🍬 πŸ’žπŸ’™

Christie Cottage said...

A friend just called to tell me she understood that “fear” in her high school love. I guess it’s good that I shared this.

Christie Cottage said...

From Ramona with permission

I didn’t realize you had a blog! What sweet sentiments! And wonderful memories! I get very nostalgic this time of year. My musings too often take down a trail of “things I should have done differently.” Thanks for reminding me to look for the sweet in the bitter.

Unknown said...

What a touching "story", but I know it's not a story, it's the truth. I don't think a renowned author could have begun to tell this very special memory as well as you,my friend Jackie.
I have one of those memories also and my mind/heart needed this jumpstart. My prayers for you will continue.

Christie Cottage said...

Thanks! It has done me good to share it.

Thanks for the prayers. So text me and tell me who thus is from.

Christie Cottage said...

Text from Keeley

The blog was beautiful! Love you!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Christie Cottage said...

From my friend Deb Proctor

Thank you I’m so touched that you shared‼️
I may or may not have shed a tear, or two or a few πŸ₯Ί

Hugs and Loves my friend πŸ’ž

ButterflyInTheAttic said...

Beautiful Jacki thank you for sharing such a deep and thoughtful post

Christie Cottage said...

Thank you Colleen

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