Wow! It’s September and “my” schedule said I’d be posting Issue #9 of The Admiration Project this month. Well, better late than never, and NEVER let late keep you from doing what you said you’d do.
I’m taking a different approach to this post… I think I learned the Five W’s and one H questions sometime between 4th and 6th grade. The answers are considered basic in information gathering. According to Wikipedia, they constitute “a formula for getting the complete story on a subject.” My subject this month is a friend I’ve known for 25 (really!!) years. I’m changing up the official order of the Five W’s, and will save the “Who” for last. All that being said…
What: This issue is dedicated to a fantastic female I have known since 1989. I had just decided to train and try out to become a Jazzercise Instructor. I met her at one of the initial meetings for all of the “wanna be’s.” Little did I know I was pregnant and would soon be fighting morning sickness before this journey got off to much of a start, but she was right there, encouraging every single newbie, even the sick, pregnant one. She immediately got my attention as the one to watch closely if I wanted to succeed. I had no idea that in a few short years, we would become close friends and she would be the one I could turn to during what was one of the hardest times in my life.
Why: This lady has been a sister I never had, a mentor, a mother when mine was 200 miles away, a peer, a teacher, an employer, a confidante, a defender, a cheerleader, an example, but most of all… a friend. While the cartoon I posted up top makes me chuckle, I liked it because it said we’d be new friends. I think that is true of any long-term friendship. Over time, as you remain friends, (if you do remain friends), it is because you have “new” levels to your friendship and as you each become “new” people, your friendship either deepens, or becomes distant.
And she did teach me the proper preparation and enjoyment of a good martini…
When: 1989 – current. After the training, tryouts and birth of my daughter, I was at a meeting with all of the Nashville area Jazzercise instructors. I again saw her as someone that had “it.” It, being the keys to success as an instructor, little did I know that her “it” went far deeper than being a mentor. I sent her a letter, actual snail mail – I don’t think we even had “email” back then, and asked if I could meet her for lunch. Fast forward a few decades, and let’s just say, she is one of the few people I call “best friend.”
Where: Right here in Nash-vegas, TN.
How: Gosh – how do any of us become who we are? How do any of us become best friends? We endure; we put on our big girl panties; we laugh; we commit to helping each another; we forgive; we learn from mistakes; we trust; we lean on others when we have to; we cry; we hug; we love; we become what our innate being meant us to be… we hang on!
And we both do love our Vols!
Who: For the sake of her private story, I will not disclose her life’s personal details. However, she has survived more than her fair share of the worst life has to offer: the untimely death of loved ones, the low’s of being a mother, a business owner, a wife, and fighting health/weight/life issues… She has also had life’s best offerings: being a mother, a business owner, a wife, and winning health/weight/life issues… I’m sure I do not know all of either of those low’s and high’s for my friend, but I’ve seen her at her best – she’s seen me at my worst – and she has always been a class act in both situations.
So for this 5th issue of The Admiration Project, I’d like to honor my friend that I admire so much, Mary Helen Yarbrough, by making a donation to the Middle Tennessee YWCA.
And by the way, if you want a killer Jazzercise class and you’re in the area,
check out her class schedule here.
To my friend – Thank you for being a friend.