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Last night as we were sitting around talking Kelly made a phone call and added me to their standing reservation for Wednesday night steak night. A few blocks from where they live is a bar where “everyone knows your name” that Kelly and Krista frequent. In the summer the owner offers a steak meal for his “regulars” by reservation only. When we walked in the door several people said hello, gave hugs and expressed condolences. Kelly introduced me to each person as we made our way to the back patio. It soon became evident these people were a part of Kelly and Krista’s village; in fact, it is because of this bar they became such good friends with Stacey. It was an interesting mix of people of all ages and lifestyles. It felt comfortable and welcoming. We spent a couple of hours eating, talking and laughing.

It occurs to me that our villages aren’t just our blood relatives, it is also those friends with which we have a special bond and share life experiences both good and bad. I have always known this and I have experienced it as well, but, tonight, I observed it from a different point of view. I was the outsider who was welcomed into the village. I hope I am as welcoming to others as these people were to me.

As I am getting ready for bed tonight, I am thinking again of my sister and the time I will not be able to spend with her. It brings an overwhelming sadness over me and the tears are on the verge of flowing. As hard as I try the memories of the good times are not coming to me tonight. Maybe tomorrow.