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Finding Family

by H. H. Lynn

By Heather HublerPublished about a year ago 4 min read
Dedicated to two of my most favorite people

I'm at that age where most of my older memories of the past have that fuzzy quality to them. The finer details remain unfocused, stolen over time. Scenes and images flash by in a blur, the memories fluid. Some I wish I could just grasp in my hands and hold tight, allowing the chance to reminisce a bit, but they slip through like sand. Others I would love to banish from my mind forever, no amount of "lesson-learned" a lure enough to keep them.

As each year slides by, these fleeting memories, these grains of sand begin to compound and compress, building on one another. The weight of the recent pushing down on the past, like layers of bedrock. Erosion stealing some moments away for good.

However, tucked away here and there are a few rare gems that no amount of time can truly unravel. Those memories beat vibrantly inside my heart, echoing the feelings that created them, remaining untouched.

And my coming-of-age story is one of those gems, or at least a small cluster of them as it was a series of events and pieces falling into place that led to finding one of the things I needed the most back then. Something that inherently shaped me into the woman I am today.

I was an only child in all the ways that counted for the first ten years of my life. After that, divorce and remarriage gave me siblings and extended family but only as a technicality. It didn't matter that my family practically doubled in size, I never really felt like a priority to any of them. No real sense of belonging. Instead, I felt endlessly alone.

Unfortunately, the apartment building I lived in during my elementary school years lacked any peers my age, so most days I had to go looking for one. This was a time when the only way to get in touch with friends was by calling them on the phone, knocking on doors or just wandering around the neighborhood until someone turned up.

If you've never had the experience, it's quite a daunting thing to stand on someone's doorstep waiting for an invitation or rejection. It's a crushing thing when the answer is "not today." When you're not the first pick of a friend to have over. When you end up all by yourself again.

It didn't help that every few years I ended up moving and changing schools, having to start all over. It made it impossible to have a friend that I knew from Kindergarten or a home I'd grown up in, a place I had roots.

And undoubtably wherever I moved, the friend groups were already set. Sure I got along with everyone on the whole, but I had a hard time finding more than a handful that cared to get to know me. And I desperately wanted someone to know me. To know all my quirks and all my crazy and still choose me.

The final move during my adolescence happened just before my sophomore year in high school. I left behind a handful of friends that I tried to stay in touch with, but time and distance made that almost impossible. So I started off at another school on my own again.

I don't remember my first day there or what I was wearing. I don't remember what I had for lunch. I don't even remember the first time I met two of the people that would become some of the most important to me. What I do remember is recognizing almost right away that they were special.

In no time, they quickly became my best friends, my tribe, my family, my home. We were silly together, crazy and wild. We laughed until we cried. We cried until we laughed. We were sad and heartbroken over boys. We learned to drive, went to school dances and youth group, played sports and even worked together. We kept each other in check (or at least tried), and we encouraged one another. We messed up. We argued. And we learned about forgiveness.

Their friendship became my saving grace. They patched up that gaping hole of loneliness I carried with me, one kindness at a time. I honestly don't know where I would have ended up if I hadn't met them. If I never would have moved that year.

What I felt then and still feel today are so many memories of acceptance, love, kindness and joy. My heart feels full when I think of those last three years of school. And the beauty of our friendship is that it's endured.

After high school, our paths took us in different directions for awhile, but we stayed in touch. I ended up being in both of their weddings, and they were in mine. We've raised kids together. We've lived and worked together. We've shared life.

Thirty years have passed since we first met. Some memories of our time together are now fuzzy or lost, but my heart recalls in perfect clarity that those two people gave me exactly what I needed then and now–the beautiful gift of true friendship.


About the Creator

Heather Hubler

Coffee/reading/writing/family/science–my favorite things in life.

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Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

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    Creative use of language & vocab

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    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

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Comments (19)

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  • Subhi Najar3 months ago

    This is so beautiful. A heartwarming story. Thanks Heather for sharing it

  • Daniella Cressman4 months ago

    This is beautiful.

  • Just Daniel4 months ago

    Absolutely wonderful, thank you so much for sharing! I'm glad that you finding found your people who will be with you through thick and thin. It's always just a few that can make all the difference in the world. ^^

  • Hitchinson Metz4 months ago

    I like your article I want to give you credit

  • Being an only child as well, I've also experienced that loneliness, void and gaping hole. I'm so glad you found those 2 wonderful souls whose friendship is still so strong despite the years and distance

  • Maher Ziya4 months ago

    Lovely & heartwarming story. Congratulations on Top Story too!!!

  • This comment has been deleted

  • Doyscher Kerley4 months ago

    I like your article I want to give you credit

  • Babs Iverson4 months ago

    Lovely & heartwarming story. Congratulations on Top Story too!!!

  • Linda Rivenbark4 months ago

    I truly enjoyed reading this story about your childhood and how you kept going out there looking for your friends, your tribe, your people, and finally found them. To be able to keep up with them throughout the years, which took effort on all your parts, is a real blessing. I hearted this story and will read it again.

  • MonaMam4 months ago

    Absolutely beautiful. What is more beautiful that childhood rejections or lack of close bonds with anyone did not hamper your spirits. May be that's the reason you cherished, valued and nourished the friendship you found in college and still holding. This relationship was very good because you had experienced very bad. Friends are actually your first family. Your real family is that you build and you did it. Stay blessed !

  • Dana Stewart4 months ago

    Refreshingly honest and heartfelt, great reminder that we all want / need to make new friends in life! Congrats on a well-deserved top story.

  • Absolutely wonderful , thank you for sharing , and congratulations on your top story

  • Scott Wade4 months ago

    Sweet memoir! ❤️

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  • The Dani Writer4 months ago

    I could not 'heart' this enough!!! So beautifully expressed, holding my entire being enrapt and each sentence ran its fingers over my soul. Truly humbled and privileged that you chose to share this with us...with the world. Tender memories to make us all remember...

  • Rick Henry4 months ago

    Beautiful and wonderful. This is just what I needed at this moment. Well written.

  • Denise E Lindquist4 months ago

    Nice! Thank you💕

  • Luke Foster4 months ago

    Lovely tale of friendship. Good job

  • Cathy holmes4 months ago

    This is a beautiful, heartwarming story. I moved around a lot as a child as well, so I know where you're coming from.

  • Keila Aartila4 months ago

    Friendships from that time of life are so important, especially when they become long-lasting. 😀

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