Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Family of Friends by Milou Koenings

You choose your friends.  Choose wisely, keep them around long enough, and they become your family.  

family heart graffitiThis is especially so for those of us whose extended biological families are scattered throughout the globe.   

To give you an idea, my father lives in New Mexico, my sister is in Massachusetts, my aunt has a farm in Belgium, while my favorite cousin is a doctor in Australia.  

And us, well... nowhere close to any of them.

Thanks to Skype and email, we can all keep up with each other.  It's wonderful.   

But when it's time to roll up your sleeves and pitch in with life, best intentions and Skype just don't cut it.

Who was there when I needed someone to hold my hand through a miscarriage in the middle of the night? My BFF.  She's my soul sister, so when she was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery, there was no question about who would sleep on the floor next to her hospital bed for three nights.   

When another dear friend's daughter needed to be rescued from an abusive relationship, who rushed over to toss the daughter and all her belongings in a rented van in the half-hour the abuser left her alone at home?  Our whole A-Team of friends.  Who painted said young woman's house after she successfully turned her life around, got a great job and bought her first home? You got it - the A-Team again.

We may not be related by blood, but we are a family.

They came through for me once more this week. My oldest daughter has decided to marry a wonderful young man. Yesterday, we threw an engagement party.  The party was at eight. 

Yesterday, an emergency at my day job kept me away from home the entire day, until six-thirty. Take a guess at my adrenaline levels.

Need I have worried?  Of course not. The A-Team took over.  They set up tables and chairs, blew up over 100 balloons, decorated the hall of our small community center so that it looked like something out of a fairytale.   

And my daughter, I was so happy to discover, has her own A-Team as well.  A crew of young women - girls I've known since they were six or seven years old! - baked and cooked and delivered and set up trays upon trays of exquisite pastries and cookies and brownies and quiches and salads, each one worthy of Martha Stewart. 

Unlike my relatives around the world - whom I do love dearly - my friends and my daughter's friends are the ones who actually know her, who saw her grow up and mature into the woman she is today.  They are the ones we call in emergencies, the ones who pull through in a pinch and, yes, the ones who truly rejoice with us.  

When the party got going and the dancing started, it was like an explosion of joy and light.  Yes, I wish my father, my sister, my cousins had been there, but as I watched my daughter and her fiancé surrounded by all the love and support of so many, I could only be overwhelmed with gratitude for the blessing of this family of friends.

To all the friends who are our family in every sense of the world: 

Thank you.

Reclaiming Home
Milou Koenings writes romance because, like chocolate, stories with a happy ending bring more joy into the world and so make it a better place.  

Her new release, Reclaiming Home, A Green Pines Romance, is available at Amazon

You can find her on her website,, on Facebook, or Twitter.

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  1. Oh, Milou, this is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your A-team stories with us!

  2. I like how you pick out the truths about relationships. It's important to have an A-team

  3. What a wonderful post, Milou! Your A-Team sounds great!

  4. I love the A-Team of friends. I feel some of my close friends are more family than anything.

  5. What a wonderful tribute to your friends!

  6. How blessed you are to have such wonderful friends, and they to have you! Thanks for sharing your story!