Last year when I began this writing project, I wrote about the lessons I learned from the 13-year-old girls I coached on my soccer team. They taught me winning wasn’t everything and to look for the joy in working hard and powering through adversity. A year has passed and obviously I still have a lot to learn. 14-year-olds are continuing to teach me things; like sometimes a close-knit group of friends are indeed family.
My sweet 14-year-old daughter has been blessed with great friends. They are the type of friends books are written about, accepting, loyal, kind, genuine. I imagine these girls will be life-long friends, experiencing many journeys together.
I was moved the past two weeks, watching these young ladies respond to a hurting friend in a manner fitting of people many years their senior. But when it comes to support, true friendships are not limited by less life experience. Genuine love shines. True friendship doesn’t stop to analyze what is the best way to help, you just be there – even while that hurting friend flies thousands of miles in an ice storm.
Six special friends, all different yet together they create a wonderful, unique friendship circle. Different interests do not disconnect them. They are cheerleaders, a soccer player, a volleyball player, a dancer, a lazy one. They are shy, funny, no-fear, silly, crazy – and all scholars. The strength of their bond was not dented by a big, new high school and thousands of miles. And the true test, answered by surrounding a friend like a protective family; a friend who suffered a loss many of us cannot imagine. Within days a meal-train was organized and parental help rallied. All motivated by the beautiful spirit that the world now lives without. A beautiful, shining child that deeply touched our community in the few years she called it home.
These “special six” beautiful girls amaze me. Their bond inspires me to be a better friend. The acceptance and loyalty they show each other is something the rest of the world should emanate. But most of all, the love and compassion they’ve shown a hurting friend and family is beyond worldly experience. What these girls have… I hope they never let it go.
** Dedicated to Paige, Liz, Dani, Hannah, Nicki, Nancy and a beautiful angel **