Wednesday, April 25, 2012

bloom


I just finished reading Bloom: A Memoir by Kelle Hampton. Her blog, Enjoying the Small Things, is what led me to her book. It was truly one of the most beautifully well-written memoirs I have ever read. Some passages made me laugh, and several made me cry. While I have never met Kelle Hampton, I have been following her blog for about two years now, and it is one of the blogs I most look forward to reading. She writes with honesty and passion. What you see is what you get. And yet she challenges you with her words to not settle for the ordinary by living each day with such purpose and intention- by making a memory out of the simplest thing or by making the simplest thing extravagant.



Bloom is all about Kelle’s journey through the first year of her daughter Nella’s life. Nella’s birth was anything but ordinary, and when she arrived, Kelle knew. Her second daughter is lovely and unique; God gave her an extra chromosome, which means she has Downs Syndrome. Reading through Kelle’s journey was like sitting with a good friend at a coffee shop for hours. There are no walls, but rather transparency and the comfort of well-worn-in acceptance. One of my favorite parts of the book (I mean I loved it all, so it is hard to choose) was the fact that Kelle so candidly writes about the beautiful depth of the friendships she has in what she calls “The Net” of people surrounding her. She says:

Because we are women, and with that comes spunk and vigor and the need to be heard and validated. With that comes the beautiful storm of strong opinions and the force with which we express them. There is pain. But underneath, there is so much love. There is the need to answer a call when it comes, and that need and desire to hold each other up- it’s truly a beautiful thing.

To which I say, I couldn’t agree more. When women stop bickering and comparing themselves against one another, they can sure love each other. And they can love each other well. I can’t speak from experience here, but I know that there are many women who become so consumed with marriage, motherhood, or whatever fill in the blank, that they look around one day and have no friends. They realize their support system has dwindled, because the time it takes to cultivate those relationships was spent on whatever seemed next or urgent. Let me tell you right now that I never want to be that woman. I don’t think I ever could.



Relationships are what keep me going. I have been blessed to have so many wonderful women in my life. Older, younger, peers, what have you, God has surrounded me with some amazing women, and I’m so grateful. I do not want to lose them. I can’t stand the thought. The friends I have right now are the ones I want to raise my kids with, eat junk food and have movie marathons with, and go on vacation with- right now and in ten years. Because that’s what good friends are for- they are with you through thick and thin. Thanks for the reminder of the importance of friendship, Kelle. Here's to friends, old and new.

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