I got the email as I headed out to the gym. It was from a friend who moved far away just as I realized  how much we had in common. I’ve since had episodes of lamenting in day dreams the friendship we could have had, knowing all the while that I probably wouldn’t have followed through with the things I imagine we could have done together. She wrote:

I went on a hunt tonight.. for your really early posts about Briar, Avery, and Fin.. and what it was like in the early days. I craved it like chocolate.

Your words wrapped around me like a blanket, friend. So many things you’ve said in the past that echo my current thoughts and feelings. Hope it’s not weird for you, but I admire your candor and how you embraced all the difficult moments, always with a smirk.

The message kept my feet from touching the ground. When I began writing on my first blog six years ago, I did it because I didn’t have the patience, organizational skills or follow-through to keep a journal or scrapbook. I wanted to preserve the magic of the time and in my blog I found a way that didn’t feel like a “have to.” I still write to capture things the girls say or do, so that years from now when I’ve forgotten, we can find our way back to the magic. I also write to become better at writing and because it centers me. There’s another thing though, an unexpected twist, the connectons. I’ve forged incredible friendships with people through this portal.

A book arrived after Finley’s birth from one friend, a bundle of organic baby clothes and chocolate came from another. After my accident, people I’d never met rallied around me via email. Then there are the comments from people I’ve never read, a word, a coupole of sentences or paragraph upon paragraph from people who’ve been touched. Every single comment I’ve ever received has lifted me. My friend’s email was another lift.

I find myself thinking about what prompted her to take the extra step to write to me. It is in that act of communicating an emotion that we genuinely change the world. I am moving through today thinking about how I can say the things I haven’t been saying, offer the hugs I know will be welcomed. Having someone across the pond and realizing that you never did say, “Hey, you want to get together?” or having someone right in town and not ever managing to catch a lunch hour together, it’s just really kind of tragic.

It’s so very simple—say it. Offer it. Don’t be afraid to gush or reach out to someone. What are they going to do? Not be flattered? Not say yes?

Try it.