Cherish Your Relationships

I had a wonderful friend that I met in college. Her name was Laura. We met in our Communications 101 class at CSUSB. She was a sweet and kind girl and we soon became the best of friends. A few years into our friendship, I got married, had my first daughter, and divorced. Laura was right by my side through it all, just as I was there through her marriage and divorce. Her name soon became Rhodato many, as my baby daughter could not pronounce Laura. My Friend Rhoda is how I referred to her, and still do. She watched my baby daughter on weekends while I worked at the grocery store. She was Family to me. Years later, I remarried, and so did she. I had three more daughters, and she had a hard time getting pregnant. After several years, and through the help of doctors, she had triplets! She was full of love and happiness, as she always wanted to be a mom!

Right before her triplets turned two, as she was driving down the road, her heart failed and she left us all behind in an instant. The image of My Friend Rhoda in that open casket and her three confused children come to mind often. This memory is sad, but it also gives me a perspective on life that helps me be a better Mom, sister, daughter, friend, and person in general. I look at my children, and I know that I am so very lucky to see them and touch them and hear them and be their Mommy. I know my children are so very lucky to have their Mommy in their lives. My Friend Rhodas situation fills my mind and heart when I am frustrated or angry with my kids. I think about how I am so grateful that I get to deal with the great and not-so-great things about my kids. I am so lucky that I have not left them behind. Her memory helps me to be grateful in all things!

The older I get, the more I realize that Life is so Fragile. I know people kind of say this as a cliche, but I really feel that life and our relationships are to be savored. Within three months of the triplets losing My Friend Rhoda, I lost my Dadlife is so unexpected and delicate. I try to keep this in the forefront of my mind always, so that when I interact with people, I act as if I may never see them again. I know that sounds morbid, but I would be really sad if my last interaction with someone was not loving and heartfelt. If I did not look them in the eye and hug them and be present with them, I would feel regret and cheated if they were to be gone. My Friend Rhoda’s passing hits me very hard, because she left her young babies behind. Those babies will grow up without their Mama, and that breaks my heart!

I know that life is busy and that we rush and bark at our kidswe are human. But I also know that it is so right to slow down, take the extra few seconds, look people in the eye, and cherish them. When you see your kids, do you get down on their level and soak in their being? Do you smell them, look into their souls, and really LOVE them? Do you get carried away with them on their imaginary cloud? Do you hug them just a little tighter before they head to school? When you talk on the phone or meet with a friend or parentdo you really listen, or are you busy doing or thinking about five other things at the same time? Do you cherish your spouse? Do you take every opportunity to tell him/her how much you love and respect them? Do you do special things for them?

Do you cherish your relationships?

I miss my Dad and I miss My Friend Rhodadaily. I have a feeling that they look in on me sometimes, as I sense them. But I miss them. I will always miss them in my life. If you have ever lost someone dear to you then you know how I feel. That missing feeling never goes away. You can never hug that person or talk with that person or laugh with that person again. Soin light of thatI try really hard to cherish all my relationships as if they could be gone tomorrow. We dont know when our day or their day will come, so we need to Love and Cherish those relationships every chance we get!

Take Action: This week and beyond, lets really be present in our relationships. Lets slow down and take personal steps to cherish those precious relationships we are so blessed to have. Lets be grateful that we have not left our friends and family behind yet, and realize that each day is such a wonderful gift. Lets treat people as if it is our last day with themshowing Love, Respect, Gratitude, and being Fully Present!




  1. Gina Manzeck says:

    This was so wonderful to hear, and boy did I ever need to hear it!!!!!
    Thank you for sharing your story D-
    🙂 G

  2. I ignored your warning and do not have tissues and this is probably not very sanitary for my computer. So sad, I didn’t know about Your Friend Rhonda. Breaks my heart. Trusting in the greater purpose for our life and cherishing the days I am here with my beautiful babies, husband and great friends like you :).

  3. Noelle Stanley says:

    Wonderful and motivating post, thanks for making us stop and think and take action in our lives!

  4. Thank you Deanna! This especially hits home with me and my family right now too. Death unfortunately makes you cherish every last second with someone and hold them so close even more than you dis before. Life is short and losing a loved one unexpectedly is so hard.
    Love you Friend!

  5. Christopher Hopkins says:

    One of the many reasons I love Monday mornings…….You remind us all of the good things we have in our life to enjoy, share and appreciate!!

  6. Powerful stuff, Sweet D! Thanks to YOU, I have learned to cherish my family and friends – thanks for today’s reminder.

  7. Gigi Peterson says:

    Along with that is taking care of ourselves and being kind to our bodies. I want to be there for my baby for a long time. A great reminder of how precious life is. Thanks Deanna!!

  8. So have I told you lately that I love you? Well I do. Aunt Judy

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