As I reflect on the events of the past three days, the devastating plane crash involving four of my dearest friends, I've sadly realized that the last words I said to one of them were pretty nasty snark. College football related snark, but unGodly snark nonetheless. My friend is still alive, but the thought that those may have been the last words he ever heard from me have hit me pretty hard.
And then I think of the other three surviving friends.
In the 13+ years since I married into this "family of friends", I'm painfully reminded of my own self-absorbed difficult entry into their fold. I couldn't understand the dynamics of their MONSTROUS "posse". But God being Awesome God, he lit the path for them to crash down my miles high walls, and break through my choking chains of self protection. But once they saw me stripped naked and fighting for my life in a hospital bed, for the very first of many times, well they had me. They had me at, "Hello". They had me at HELLO!
Soon, Rebecca would become my matron of honor at my upcoming wedding. And soon, Scott would be my husband's groomsman. Their 3 year old, my ring bearer. Several years later, Rob and Jodi joined in Holy Matrimony. Our three families veered from here to there and back to here as we busied ourselves with investing in our marriages and raising our children. Some of us stopped working to stay home with their kids while others went back to work as their kids got older.
Things weren't always peachy perfect. And most, if not all of the time, I was at the root and the heart of those issues, disputes, knockdown drag outs. I didn't know how to be a part of their Posse. My childhood was closed off to outsiders. i didn't know how to be a friend or have a friend. i didn't know how to fight, make-up, or share. My husband did his very best to encourage me that the Posse had no rules, that I just had to "be".
I know that there whispers about Buddy Bill's Crazy Wife, and those whispers were 100% on point. Oh, I know I'm a whole barrel o'crazy monkeys, for sure.
But after disaster started to strike in our lives, I learned that I needed to break my own chains and slowly I began to engage. You name the catastrophe, and we lived it: heart attack, deaths of friends and family, surgery upon surgery upon surgery, failed business, scary, high risk pregnancies, rampant unemployment, freak near-fatal accidents, bankruptcy....and through it all, the Posse was there. ALWAYS.
And the more that I reflect, the more that I realize how ridiculously obtuse I had been for far too long. Because this week, as I help to coordinate meal deliveries to the two families upon their return home, send a recliner to those with broken backs, loan my large and comfortable SUV for the purpose of bringing the wounded home, plan to be a daily home healthcare aide for Rebecca whilst she convalesces.....I now know that these aren't just Billy's friends who came with the marriage, like it or not. I can now affirm, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Rob, Scott, Rebecca, and Jodi Boyatt are now just as much my friends as they are my husband's.
I deeply regret that it took an accident of this magnitude, a near fatal tragedy of gargantuan proportions, for me to see the light, the truth, and the way. These are GOOD people. There is nothing that any of them wouldn't do for ANYONE, let alone me, that stubborn, obstinate wife of Buddy Bill. I love you Rob, Jodi, Scott, Rebecca, and all of your children. Any and all of you are welcome at my home anytime. I am deeply sorry that it took 13 years and a calamity for me to say those words to you. Oh, and one more thing.....thanks for letting me into your Posse. I can't imagine Team Fallon without Boyatts in our lives.