Witness … Our Friends, Our Families and Our Partners
By Bernadette A Moyer
“We need a witness to our lives. There are a billion people on the planet … I mean, what does anyone life really means? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things … all of it, all the time, every day. You’re saying “Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness.” (From the movie, Shall We Dance 2004)
My husband Brian and his mother Marie would go full circle, she would be there to greet him upon his arrival on his birth. He would hold her hand as she took her last breath here on earth. She witnessed his birth and he witnessed her death.
So many of us have re-connected with people from our past and managed to forge new relationships because of social networks like Facebook and professional ones like LinkedIn.
There is something so healthy and healing in having a history with someone. Someone special, who knows our past, is with us in the present and committed to us for the future. Having a 20 year history with my husband is a gift. We have shared the highest joys and the lowest sorrows together.
As a couple we really grew up in our 30’s, managed and maintained our family throughout our 30’s and 40’s and anticipate a renewal of couple hood now in our early 50’s. We have felt accomplished together and we have endured failures together as life partners, husband and wife. We have been blessed for the most part and managed to come out of most things hand in hand and stronger for the experiences both during the good times and the not so good ones. We are a witness to each other and give affirmation and confirmation on the life that we share together.
My friend Nick has come back into my life we first met in 1982 when I moved to Baltimore. We were young and it was the big fat 80’s of abundance. We worked hard in the restaurant business and we played hard together too. We had some of the best times together and this New Year 2012 we celebrated it together.
Nick is more than just a friend to me he is a witness, Nick was brave enough to vacation with me, my daughter, my mother and my sisters many years ago in Ocean City Maryland. His mother was my babysitter for my oldest daughter. Nick remembers her when she was just a tiny toddler and said, “Your daughter was the most beautiful little girl and you idealized her.” He was present in and out of our home, my mother’s home and his parents’ home. We share a significant past. We have memories. Our relationship is natural and easy and when we reconnected it was as if we never skipped a beat.
Through Facebook I have managed to establish and re-establish relationships with my classmates some from as far back as Marian Catholic high school class of 1977. This weekend I will happily travel to Delaware and “witness” JoAnn one of my classmates enter into a marriage. JoAnn and Chrissy are in love and committed to a life together, they will formalize their commitment in front of all their “witnesses.” I couldn’t be more honored to be included in their joy-filled celebration.
Yesterday I enjoyed a three hour lunch with my friend, mentor and “other mother” Priscilla. She has been there for me and my family at many life altering intervals. She was present when our twins began school and when our oldest graduated. She witnessed many family celebrations and listened with a loving heart when I shared many of my greatest accomplishments, heartaches and some of my disappointments. She has been my friend and another “witness” in my life.
Alicia was my neighbor and I met her when she was just a kid in elementary school about 20 years ago. We used to drive her to school; later she became my mother’s helper with our twins. I watched her evolve all through school until she graduated from high school and later college. She is an accomplished Montessori school teacher. I guess you could say I was just one “witness” in her life. I knew her as a little kid and today I am proud to call her my friend.
We all have many people in our life who have been a “witness” at one time or another and they bring to our life a sense of validation that without them we wouldn’t have.
Not so long ago I shared some childhood memories with my Uncle John and he said, “I knew about that” and other memories with my mother’s cousin Marianne who said, “that is how I remembered it too.” There is something so valuable and validating about sharing stories of the past with friends and family that were present just like you. We all want that witness to our life. To validate our time here on earth and we want to know that we mattered.
I flew down to Florida and spent a few days with a family member who recently said to me, “I knew you as a little girl and as a teenager; I’d like to get to know you as an adult.” I couldn’t wait to share time, memories and “witness” our current life together.
Most all of us are seeking some validation in life, a desire to know that we mattered and that our life had importance. It is through our friends, family members and spouses that we have a “witness.”
And like Susan Sarandon’s’ character Beverly Clark states in the movie, Shall We Dance, “Your life will not go unnoticed, because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness.”
Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
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