A few weeks ago, a dear friend of mine passed away. Although it's been very difficult and sad for our family, I have to focus on feeling very fortunate to have had her in my life.
Have you ever met someone who truly inspires you? For me, this was Joan Davin. My husband, oldest son and I moved across the street from the Davins 13 years ago. We became fast friends. She was the type of person who checked in to see how I was holding up, invited us to her family gatherings (our first Thanksgiving in our new town was with her extended family), accepted me as her friend unconditionally, brought us on vacation, gave me advice, and welcomed my family into all parts of her life. I remember finding out I was pregnant with my second son in her guest bathroom (she was the first person I told!). Two-year old Adam (the result of that positive pregnancy test), would yell "Mrs. Davin!" in excitement when he'd see her out the window. Now, 12, he sang to her tearfully in her last days and at her funeral. And our oldest, Ryan, compiled pictures of our joint family vacations to make her smile when we visited her (shown below). My children adored her like an aunt and she treated me as a sister -- and I loved her in the same way.
As you know, the "Mom-friend' can be one of the deepest, strongest bonds. A colleague here compares mom friends to soldiers in the military, going through boot-camp together and living in the trenches of motherhood -- leaning on each other for support and strength. And my friend, Joan, was very strong. Despite her many hardships and serious health conditions, she always focused on loving and helping others. She truly treated each day and relationship like gifts.
Today, Joan's life and how she handled her last few days inspire me. She was the gift. I will always cherish the love and advice she gave me.
As Valentine's Day approaches, I want to honor the mom-friends in our life. The women who make us stronger, who inspire us and check in on us. The women who welcome us into their lives -- with no judgments -- and treat us like family. I encourage you to celebrate these women in your life, to send them a card of appreciation, to take them to dinner, to welcome them as your "beacons," making your work and your life mean even more.
I'd love to hear from you as well. Please tell me, who inspires you? Who is your Joan?
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