I went out to celebrate a friend's birthday with a group of my very close friends. You know those friends that after years of going through it together, and by it, I mean real life situations: college escapades, dating dilemmas, engagements, wedding celebrations, child birth, purchasing first homes, celebrating first birthdays, losing loved ones, losing jobs, getting new careers and so on, become something more than friends. They become part of their own definition, a definition that heavily lingers between friend and family. I'm going to call them "Framily".
Let's see if "Framily" sticks.
The ones with whom days seem like hours and hours together seem way too short. Well, me and my "Framily" got together in celebration of a friend's birthday and even though his actual age remains a mystery (although I'm sure he's at least seven years my senior), his presence on this earth is undeniable. We talked loudly about our children, grumbled about our frustrating work weeks, shouted excitedly about our summer plans to be in the same place at the same time and we laughed. Sometimes hearing only fragments of one another's words, but that didn't matter. What mattered most was that we were sharing this experience together.
We made light of one another's idiosyncrasies. Those qualities that make for hilarious conversation, and those interesting things that make each of us unique from the other and the very reason why we love being together. We reminisced about the last time we did all of this, which fortunately was a mere three weeks ago, and set a date to quickly make this happen all over again. And then we danced.
We danced and let go of our frustrations of the week, we let go of the natural anticipation of what tomorrow might bring, if only for a little while, and embraced a DJ that was mediocre at best. And we truly enjoyed the moment. Together we clapped to samba beats, learned new and provocative dances, laughed at our dancing mistakes and some of us finally accepted that although we've been given bodies that can move, after watching the truly skilled dancers demonstrate some amazing and well controlled dance moves, we realized that our bodies just don't move like that. But the beauty and the comedy there, is that we will always keep trying.
When it came time to leave, we gathered outside of the venue and danced some more on the sidewalk. We made up a few songs, for no reason, and rejected all of them because they were just awful. We laughed some more at our own silly comments and jumped around like teenagers ready for the next thing to do. When we finally said goodnight, each of us ready to return to our safe homes where are sleeping children laid in their comfortable beds all while being looked after by doting relatives, we huddled up and acknowledged the beauty of our lives and the amazing friendship that we share.
And with our thoughts all on the same thing, at the same time, we said a prayer for Haiti. And in that moment, we stood still...All of us knowing that we are The Lucky Ones.
Barefoot in Brooklyn
Please take a moment to appreciate all the people in your life who make you feel this way and make an effort to help the people of Haiti whose lives will never be the same. Please make a donation to an organization you trust. Below are a couple of organizations doing really great things in the effort to help Haiti.
I hope you will also consider supporting an organization that I co-founded in 2008, BE FREE GLOBAL http://www.befreeglobal.org/
BE FREE GLOBAL will provide micro grants to not for profit organizations around the world dedicated to improving the lives of children. Please take the time to support BE FREE GLOBAL's initiatives and other like minded organizations.