I've spent the last day and a half addressing graduation announcements. There are over one hundred names and addresses that I have looked up, written down, and put in the mail with a nice announcement. Today while I was addressing endless envelopes and writing my way up to a nice hand cramp, the significance of what I was doing hit me.
The fact that I have over one hundred people and families to send cards to hit me. Not just people who I am acquainted with currently, but the ones who are truly close to me. Whether they live nearby or not, whether I talk to them on a daily basis or not ... there are probably 150 families who will receive a card from me, and they will care about this milestone in my life.
The very thought of the culmination of people met and relationships formed throughout the course of my life is overwhelming.
Every name that I have written on a card this week holds very dear memories and feelings. Whether it's a childhood friend who I haven't seen in a year or a teacher who has worked to ensure my academic growth, they all mean so much. These people and memories do not only mean the world to me, but they have formed my life as I know it. The music that I listen to would not be the same without the influence of my next-door neighbor who is practically my sister, the movies I love (can anyone say "High School Musical" and "Harry Potter?") would not be the same without the influence of my closest friends. The very memories that shape the stories I tell and think about daily, memories of Fourth of Julys spent grilling out and swimming at friends houses and watching fireworks in the big church parking lot, being taught Bible stories in kid's church, after-school bible studies with friends and our leader who are now my favorite people in the world, or that one family who brings cookies to our door at Christmastime each year. These are the people who have given me the simple memories and stories that have and will continue to shape my life.
It is so comforting to know, especially in a time of such huge change, that these names and faces will remain steadfast. I feel confident that if the need arose and I desperately needed help in any area, I could call any one of these people, and they would extend help and comfort to me immediately.
Maybe this all sounds overdramatic and silly. It probably does. But I am just really thankful. I am thankful for the work of hundreds of people, whether they were conscious of it or not, to make my life the beautiful story that it has been.
Whether your memories are of Fourth of Julys and Bible studies or of something different, you can understand the principle of this article in some way. Our lives are not remarkable because of the great things we have created, but because of the people who have shown us friendship and given our lives substance far beyond what we could have done on our own. Hold on to those people, even the ones you barely talk to anymore. Call them, love them, and don't take them for granted.