Is there anything that carries more weight with the human heart than knowing someone exists that has their back no matter what? If there is, I don’t know or acknowledge it. I have lived this long with love and friendships that have been, with a few important exceptions, tepid and surface deep. Those who are the foundation of me know who they are, and I value them above all others.
There is something primal and all encompassing about finding those few rare gems that sparkle in the depths of my heart like a darkly burning sun. They have my back. They will stay no matter what. Nothing of who I am scares them, or deters them from the living and active love they have for me. I can share my weaknesses and pain with them and they are unimpressed with my drivel.
These phenomenal characters feed my soul, and light my way as I struggle to stand and move forward on an as yet undiscovered pathway into my future. They are junk yard dogs willing to break the leash of civilization if need be to ensure my safe passage into unchartered waters. I adore them, and they command my unwavering devotion. They are a powerful few, an irresistible force of loyalty and strength that I will always honor and appreciate.
Those who are still standing when the weeping is over and the inner screaming finally quiets are the ones I will go to the wall to protect and defend from anyone foolish enough to cause them harm. I will burn the building, knock the walls down and help them hide the bodies. I hold no shame for that statement of fact. When I am afraid, and I reach my hand back blindly hoping that I’m not alone, they grip my hand with a resolution that steadies my soul and eases the barbed wire cutting into my heart.
There is nothing I wouldn’t do for these few who save my soul and hold a place of sanity for me when I have no hope of holding onto my own. My heart is a strong and overwhelming thing that I find hard to contain, and I don’t blame those not strong or vested enough in what I can do for them in return to stay the course. I don’t blame them at all, they are numerous and common enough.
But those who stand? Those whose razor sharp minds and diamond cut hearts refuse to budge from the storm I carry with me? Those are the ones who will never stand alone under any circumstance. I will rise as I need to to protect them. Behind, beside or in front of them. What matters to me is that they know they don’t even have to look to know I’m there. It’s a given.
There are many who talk the talk of loyalty and friendship and love. Too many to name. They are as numerous and as distant as the stars in the sky. The only things they illuminate are the shadows of those racing closely behind me as I stumble forward in a fury of change that most would avoid even acknowledging. I embrace these shadows cast by my personal defenders. They are the real deal, more than talk, no smoke and mirrors when I look to them for truth.
I smile to myself when I hear people talk about loyalty as they’re stepping quietly out the door to prevent actually showing their true colors. I don’t mark them or call them out because they know who they are. They think about me at night when they try to quiet their thoughts before sleep. I smile not because they didn’t stay the course, many don’t. They say they will and are just not made of that substance which will hold up under stress. They show their colors and it bleeds into their silence right before sleep. It bothers them just a little before they slumber.
So yes, I smile.