Moments after we became engaged in Paris. Love Is A Gift No Matter How Far Apart It Seems #LoveIsAGift adWhen MassMutual asked me to write about their Love Is A Gift social initiative, I immediately agreed.  While they compensated me for my time, I was thankful for the chance because something has been on my mind since I returned from a recent trip to Europe where I visited my best friend from high school, Mehgan, and I’ve watched to share.

First let me tell you a bit about our history. When we were teens, we were inseparable.  We had the same friends so we did just nearly everything together where we created memorable moments.  As college approached we traveled our separate ways, attended rival schools, and started creating dreams of our own in very different places.

As I finished up my last few years in college where I got my teaching degree, my friend decided to study abroad in Denmark.  We quickly drifted apart, each finding new friends, creating new memories, and carving out our own paths to success.

We saw each other every year or two as she traveled home to visit her family.  Although we stayed in touch through the years, it just always seemed as though things had changed when we met back together.  We both knew time had passed and we were different people, but we were determined to stay in contact.

She remained in Europe, fell in love, and began making a life there. I was dating, teaching in an Elementary school, and building my life here. In 2011, the four of us took a trip to Paris where they helped my boyfriend surprise me with a proposal in front of the Eiffel Tower. With that beautiful new ring on my left hand, I knew our next chapter was beginning.  Less than two months later she was also engaged and wedding planning began for us both a world apart.

On my wedding day. Love Is A Gift No Matter How Far Apart It Seems #LoveIsAGift ad

Fast forward two years and my husband and were I just getting accustomed to being new parents to our daughter, just one month old at the time, when we threw caution to the wind and booked our second trip to visit them in Holland. My friend was 8 months pregnant at the time so we planned our trip for September when my daughter would be 6 months old and her daughter would be 4 months.

Mehgan and I spoke almost daily via text messaging and email and even had a Skype date, something we rarely did.  It seemed as though communicating about our girls and their latest milestones was natural for us and it felt as though we were back in high school and really connecting again.  I was really looking forward to our trip.

With heightened anticipation we boarded the plane to start our journey. The two week trip was fun and exciting, but much different than we had planned in our minds.  It turns out traveling all over Europe with two infants can be extremely unpredictable at times, but as those two weeks came to an end and we were celebrating the last few days together, it was clear both Mehgan and I were ready for a break.  We knew our friendship thrived on distance and we were both open about that fact.  I was getting homesick and wanted to get back to my own bed and our routine, as did she, so you can imagine we were all a little irritable.

Rival colleges Love Is A Gift No Matter How Far Apart It Seems #LoveIsAGift ad

Our girls in dresses made by my grandmother with our college mascots on them.

During our last morning at their home before taking off for the airport we finished packing our bags and spent our last bit of time letting the girls roll around on the floor together.  As the last moment arrived and the car was packed with our belongings, Mehgan and I came together to hug and say goodbye.  I cannot quite explain what happened during this moment other than to say pure love came out of our arms as we wrapped them around each other.   Both of us instantaneously began to cry and neither could let go.  It was as though we both knew we were ready for our separation again and yet we couldn’t say goodbye.

Call it hormones, emotions, new moms needing support from someone else who gets it, or just women being women, that hug will never be forgotten.  I know that Mehgan and I have an unspoken love for each other that no other person in my life will ever feel and that love has only gotten stronger as we have both entered motherhood.  She is my best friend, sidekick, and go-to when I need anything.  She speaks honesty to me, councils me when I need it most, and always has my back.

Girls Day out in Europe - we found common ground and made new memories together. Love Is A Gift No Matter How Far Apart It Seems #LoveIsAGift ad

Girls Day out in Europe – we found common ground and made new memories together.

A best friend can be hard to find and even harder to hold onto, especially when time and life seems to take you in different places.  But when life passes you by and that person is still by your side no matter how many miles separate you, it is a true gift that I hope each person gets a chance to feel at some point during their life.

Love is a Gift Social Initiative

Love is truly a gift and one that should be shared with others as a source of encouragement, hope, and inspiration.  This is why MassMutual is sponsoring the Love Is A Gift social initiative to allow people to share the transformative power of love by asking people to post a picture of themselves with someone they love along with a short description of your relationship.

Love Is A Gift No Matter How Far Apart It Seems #LoveIsAGift ad

For every story uploaded to http://bit.ly/1vRvg4C or posted on public Instagram accounts using the #LoveIsAGift,  MassMutual will donate $1 to Easter Seals, a charity that provides children and adults living with disabilities, their caregivers, and veterans with access to more information, specialists, and financial strategies that can help improve their quality of life.  MassMutual understands love can be represented in a variety of ways and they want to see your love.

How to Get Involved

Getting involved is quick and easy.  First, upload a picture to your personal Instagram account with #LoveIsAGift or to LoveIsAGift.com, adding a few words about your loved ones and why they matter most.  Note your Instagram account must be public for your #LoveIsAGift entry to be recognized and trigger a donation.

Once the photo is uploaded, you can share your photo and details of the initiative with your friends on Facebook or Twitter.  Each upload will trigger a $1 donation from MassMutual to Easter Seals, up to $50,000.  (Only Instagram or uploads directly to LoveIsAGift.com will count towards the Easter Seals donation.)

Twitter Party

Then join us for our #LoveIsAGift Twitter Party taking place Wednesday, November 5 between 8:00 am – 9:00 am PST/ 11:00 am – Noon EST. Just log into Twitter and follow the hashtag to find out more. I’ll be there so I hope you’ll stop by and say hello!

 

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the MassMutual.