Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Corina and Erika’s Unconditional Love and Friendship goes beyond Valentine’s Day

February is the month we most equate with love.

After all, Valentine’s Day is Feb. 14. There is no shortage of roses, candy, bears, balloons and hearts during this time of the year.
Love can show up in a lot of different forms. The kind of love I want to explore is not in the form of the traditional love between a man and a woman or two partners. It’s about a love and a friendship between two Latinas that has formed a bond that will last a lifetime.
I first met Corina and Erika more than a year ago and was able to spend a good amount of time getting to know these two strong Latinas. I always enjoy listening to women share their stories about resiliency and how they have overcome tremendous obstacles in their lives.
I really admired the kind of enduring, genuine, inter-dependent friendship these two friends had for one another. They met while working together and they were both married at the time and both pursuing their master’s degrees. A few years after meeting each other, they separately were contemplating divorce. Within a two-year period both of them found themselves divorced and single with children and that’s when they began to serve as each others’ support system.
Like many who have gone through a divorce they had to learn how to adjust to life as single parents. They shared some of their bad dating experiences and how they began to find themselves. What really caught my attention were the strategies that they employed and how those can help other women going through similar circumstances.
With only one income after their divorces, the two single mother’s would look for deals to do group activities with their children. Like many other divorced families, their children had visitation with their fathers every other weekend, so the two amigas made sure to make their schedules coincide with their paydays on the weekends they both had their children.
They became a family unit.
They even planned and spent holidays together, sometimes they had their children and other times they would find themselves learning how to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas without their spouses and children. They also began to meet and bond with other single divorced parents. One thing they said that helped them was to go out together in groups, instead of launching into the single scene all alone.
Times were tough for them, especially in the beginning. One of the two friends fell into a terrible deep depression. At one point, one had to literally feed the other in order for her to eat. They also would help each other with the kids schedules and even have each other listed as emergency contacts at the schools.
This type of love, friendship and support is what got each of them through this difficult time. While both of them are still single, they are doing well and have been promoted at their places of employment and are serving on various community boards and continue to be actively involved in each other’s lives.
While this may not be a traditional Valentine’s love story, this type of unconditional love between two friends is a powerful form of love that has helped them to become the resilient women they are today.