Who’s Got Your Back

Name three people. THREE. Influential or not, name three people in your life that will always, and I mean always have your back. Not three people you can count on for a beer, a cup of sugar, not those types, but THREE strong, permanent people in your life that you can rely on at all times.

Hard to do?

If you can name THREE people without hesitation and one of those is not your “lord and savior” then chances are you have found the three strongest people in your life and will have your back at all times. These individuals will not always bail you out of jail, lend you sugar, enjoy a pint at your local pub, these (at the very least) three people will have your back in some of the best and the worst low down times in your life.

The time and place of our world now is a setting of instant gratification, our worst times can be relieved at the quick stroke of  a keyboard or the click of the mouse, a pill, or a bottle, even our best of times are celebrated in such a way where the intimacy of person to person relations is completely removed.

Long gone are the days of having to thumb your way through the black laden and dyed yellow paper of an actual physical yellow pages, the warm printed scent of inked, dusty paper. Long gone are the days of nights for coffee, long chats on the phone often resulting in exorbitant phone charges and fees. Long gone are the days of an actual face-to-face interview, conversation, or meeting.

We have webinars, Twitter, conference call interviews with panelists, email, blogs, texts, and IM (Instant Messenger).

Truth be told I attended a function held by a local fellow blogger here in Phoenix, Kelly Loubet, you know her on Twitter as @Childhood and I was nervous. I. was. nervous. Why? Because I was actually going to meet face-to-face with someone who I had only acquainted myself with online. I was nervous and ecstatic all at once. The experience could probably compare to the first day of school or a mom date (moms night out). We held good conversation for being so late and only really talking online. I thoroughly enjoyed actually meeting someone who I had only met online. A thrill. A completely new realm for me.

My instance of meeting Kelly is out of the ordinary to some, even for myself. I have always had fresh meetings with people I had never met before through mutual acquantainces or friends, a meeting with someone that I had met online was very foreign, scary, new, exciting and wonderful all at the same time. Some people spend their entire existences talking only online, never engaging in face-to-face moments or settings, but rather a proverbial sea of type-written text.  However, others do meet in a standard fashion, some positive, others not as positive. But one would have to wonder, have we really lost the personable touch, the guarantee of the people we meet that certain individuals may be subliminally and quite possibly divinely chosen to be our guardians, the ones who always have our backs or maybe just friends, casual acquantainces, best friends, future colleagues, networking associates.

I recently experienced a tragic loss. A loss I have never felt, experienced, and I know more are coming in my life, I am bracing for these losses. I did not know who to turn to first in my grief, in my loss, who did I pour my heart and soul to, WHO had MY BACK?

1. My husband. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt I married my best friend. I turned in my shock, my awe, my silenced sadness and grief. Burning eyes and breaking heart. The empty filling my chest. The inability to take a full breath as if the weight of the world was placed on my chest. The slow taste of bile rising in my throat with every swallow I took in my grief.

2. My step-dad. I drove to my mothers the night of my loss. A loss truly that I did not share alone, shared truly with some many others, but all I felt was my pain, and I needed to be with my family. On my way to my mother’s house I picked her up from a gathering she was at with my step-dad. I needed my mother, her aura of comfort and the consciousness of “everything will be okay” even though every cell in my body felt otherwise. She was at a gathering with my step-dad. We waved our hellos as I chauffeured my mother to her house, but I knew I had to stop. I honked the horn got out of the car and ran into the arms of my step-dad. I needed a hug. I knew I didn’t have to say a word. I never have had to say much to him, he knew. He knew my pain, he knew my loss, he knew I needed his strength and that he always had my back. Despite all of our differences, pains, and angst’s we have shared together, he has always had my back.

3. Jen. Our friendship began as a “friend of a friend” but as time has passed a bond has developed. One I had not ever truly taken notice. I have found in my growing age that I do a lot more watching, listening, I am more aware. I became more aware of the bond I had formed with my friend. That her pain that she felt, is feeling, is still reeling to control as waves splash over her from time to time, are now my pain. The burning emptiness, the drive in life that we both share, our unyielding love and loyalty to our friends and family, she and I are one in the same. Unlimited amounts of time can pass and we would never know any different. I knew at this point in my life that Jen had my back. I KNEW I could confide in her at all levels. No matter what. Day or night, even if I never did confess my deepest confidences, I knew I always could.

I am also lucky enough to share a growing bond with a few groups of women on different spectrums of my life. More and more as time passes and with each encounter, I know, I can count on these women. But sadness will wave over me that the people I thought I could confess to are not who they appear to be. Blood is not always thicker than water and those bonds, quite frankly are saddening. With the loss of my dear love, my grandfather, I too lost dream. That one day a family would be united. At the services I watched. I watched generations of family bonded by blood and divided otherwise. Knowing that the other did not have their back, generations of siblings and parents, children and grandchildren, bonded and divided. I wasn’t sure what really was more wrenching, the pain in the loss of my family patriarch or the loss of ties, bonds, love because you knew no other because of the genial ties that bind. Saddened too because of the lack of connections. Our family had now become a network, “just Facebook me,” “send me a text,” “tweet me,” “email me” the time felt as if we no longer had that connection. We now were just rolled into the sea of social networking, no longer a famillial unit, but networkers within our own genial lines.

So when you think you know who has your back you might possibly be mistaken. In times of loss and greatest successes do you know who has your back, who shares in your joy, knows your pain. The sixth sense is always the gut instinct, your gut will tell you of friends and foes, confirm your fears and doubts, and will enforce that the human touch, the human interaction, the ability to sympathize and empathize are beyond more than an email, a text, a Tweet. Something very few can exhibit personally and virtually.

With that I am blessed to know that “durdles” will mean more. A laugh is the cure for the soul. Not only do we have friendships but we have been chosen as the ones to watch each others back. These fabulous individuals just know. They know your fears and doubts, give you a hand up when you are down, respect you.
And we know who’s got your back.

15 Replies to “Who’s Got Your Back”

  1. Oh Karie, as always I am enthralled with your writing abilities. I have never really thought about this…and am left wondering about my own life, my own experiences and my own connections.
    I too see those that are closest to me, being here by choice and not by blood. I also am surrounded by 'family' that is tied by only a name and no more.
    You have given me a lot to think about…
    I also hope that others know that I have got their back. Do they?

    Thanks for your thoughts


  2. Karie what a great post, honestly your writing is so true. I read through some of your older things a while back and never told you. You're smart, and funny, and honestly I mean all this. I don't trust many people, but I know I can You my friend are fabulous! We already have a bond.. Now only the hands of time will create an even larger bond.

    You are in many ways my sista. My brother from another mother. I hope you always give it to me straight even when I don't want to hear it. I think we just know. Like you said, none of this really needs to be said. We're just here for one another.

    I want you to know that while I wasn't there in your past. I will be in your future. Now give me a hug dammit!

  3. Tammi great point. Friendships are difficult I saw Tyra say sometimes friendships are like boyfriends. The relationship is meant to be broken. And its true sometimes you just know. Then you go through the "really bad breakup" yeah same thing. Tyra was right, girls got some booty and brains!

    We just know, and I am so happy to have met both of yo ladies.

  4. Hmm. You know, a few things you mentioned in this post hit incredibly close to home for me. Your description of how the loss of your grandfather turned your family into a networking circle more than anything, is what happened to my mom's side of family when my grandmother passed 10 years ago. She was the matriarch of our family, the hub, the place where we all met, where we sought refuge…and now that is no longer a reality. We keep in contact through Facebook or email. Not by phone or visits in person. It's disheartening on many levels.

    Then when I stop and think who really truly has my back…I had to think long and hard. Had I been asked this 5 years ago, I'd list off more than 3 people, easy! Those people have since fallen out of my life, after I realized I was a better friend to them than they were to me, considerably. I was the one making the effort daily, where they never seemed to make any effort at all. So now. My list of people that I know have my back no matter what? It's been boiled down to my husband and my mom. And … considering who I have in my corner, I'd say I'm pretty damn lucky.

    Way to bring out the deep thinking girl. Great post.

  5. @Erin, but you know, at least you know of two strong, stable people in your corner. That is more than what most people would say. I think a lot of people automatically go for friends, but what I have found is that you don't always keep friends. But I am lucky to say that you and a handful of other people are my friends and am blessed to say so!

  6. Great post, Karie. Amazingly what you say about your best friends may not always have your back can be so true. What I've found in my life is that it isn't my best friends who have my back, it's acquintances that always seem to rise up to the challenge. It was especially true for my mom when she was dying – many of her closest friends were no where to be found, but several other friends stepped up to the plate to visit with her and provide comfort.

    Not to knock best friends, but I think I can explain what happens. Because they care so deeply for us they are also going through their own grief for the situation and may not provide comfort to us because they are going through it in their own way. At least, that's what I like to think in a forgiving way.

    Anyway, I know that no matter what I can depend on my husband and my sister. One day I'm pretty sure that I'll be able to add my twins to the list too when they get older.

  7. I feel blessed to know the 3 people who have my back no matter what…they were in my head as soon as I read the first paragraph!

  8. @Shubes I am right there with you! I am completely forgiving because to each his/her own with life. We cannot expect everyone to drop everything for us. I guess I had that life fantasy that family would always be the tie that binds. I want my kids to know that I will always have their back. Probably because of my loyal Leo nature, but I will. No matter what. Without judgement. Pure, unadulterated, unconditional love and support. I think that is what people need all the time. Seems as though we have become more of the "every man/woman for themselves" society and we have nothing to speak of for personal, lasting relationships. Just a sea of tangled wires, networking, but never really getting together, if that makes sense. Thanks so much for you feed back! I truly appreciate it!

    @Shortmama…that is FREAKING Awesome!! Really and truly!! So rare these days!

  9. wonderfully written and completely true…not only i find sad the way our family from my dad side collapsed but even sadder knowing that up to an extent it will also from my mom's when the grandparents pass on. I can only name 2 people off hand without much thought …but am glad to have them in my life….truth be told started blogging in the hope of making more friends….

  10. I read your post last night – and was so moved I couldn't even comment. I couldn't think of three right off the bat – 2 but not three who would absolutely have my back. I have a few that come close but they are not quite there. I am so glad you had people who were able to help you through all of this!

  11. You took my breath away with this post. I have no idea what your loss was and don't feel it my business to know but from your words I know the hurt you felt and I am so glad that you had people behind you to comfort you. I can say that I have two people I could turn to but only because of my guarded nature of blocking people out rather than letting them in. As I age I try to let more people in because of the understanding that there will be more hard times ahead but I tell you what, it's hard as hell. I admire you for having your three people and for sharing your pain with them – it takes a big woman to let people in on those moments of our lives.

  12. Girl, I have had the privilege of hanging with Kelly more than once and she is the real deal! Such a sweetie!

    I so hope to get to meet you in person one day too, you are a great source of friendship and support to me online. I appreciate you!

  13. You know, it has been my experience that when trouble hits that is when you find out who really has your back. It's extremely distressful, and depressing, to find out those you thought would be there for you, simply aren't. On the other hand, it's always a pleasant surprise when you find a gem in the rough and friendship with someone you'd least expect.

    Great post! Smooches and hugs to you, beautiful mama!

  14. Wonderful post, Karie. I am truly sorry for the loss of your grandfather.

    Unfortunately, I have only two people that have my back. My husband and my best friend. I hope that my girls will be added to that list when then grow older. As of now though, I have to be content with my two very special guys.

    In one of your responses, you mentioned unconditional love. And I think that's one of the keys. Would a husband or mother or friend be there, care, and comfort no matter what? If yes, then it is a real blessing.

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