Wednesday, May 10, 2017

That's what friends are for

See these ladies?  I had lunch with them today to celebrate a few of us having May birthdays.  I posted the picture on Facebook because I love my friends.

We live in an area that has a lot of people that we share common purpose with.  We're kind of all in the same boat trying to get to the opposite shore without the winds and snares of life keeping us from getting there.  When I moved here 22 1/2 years ago, I knew almost no one.  Now many, many years later I consider some of my friends to be as close to me as cousins I never had.

Through the years I have heard or read about people having a best friend.  A best friend they would talk to nearly every day.  A best friend they could share anything with.  A best friend that knew everything about them.  Sometimes I would envy that.  Growing up I had friends.  Through my school and college years I had friends.  In the working world I had friends.  And now as a middle-aged stay-at-home-mom I have friends.  For that I am so grateful.  But I cannot really say for sure if I have a 'best friend'.  Well I take that back.  Yes, I do have a 'best friend'.  I married him 22 1/2 years ago and the statements of a best friend I just mentioned applies to him.

So back to my friends.  There were seven of us together today.  And there were again that many more that could not join us for one reason or another.  Today when I was thinking about all these ladies I realized I really value each of their friendships for different reasons.

There's the friend that is quiet.  She doesn't share all that much.  But when I think of her, I think of sensible dependability.  She's just so steady in every aspect of her life.

There's the friend that can tell stories better than almost anyone I know.  When she tells the story, I'm right there picturing it all.  And she does it with a tremendous sense of humor.

There's the friend that I don't see so often, but we share life through phone calls, text messages and some visits.  She is concerned about people and family dynamics and I find it so easy to share things with her that I might not with others.

There's the friend that has a way to make me feel special.  She often leaves little gifts and the sweetest notes as a token of appreciation.  She rarely wants to take credit for the trail of sunshine she leaves behind.  But it's true and I love how she makes me and others feel.

There's the friend that is no nonsense.  She seems to have life organized and mostly all figured out.  And if I hint that I am wavering about something she is quick to give me her opinion.  Does that bother me?  Not at all because I know her advice is usually spot-on.

There's the friend that knew just when to step in when I was at a very low point in life.  She's often been quick to pick up the phone to chat.  She's given some warning signals about situations that I needed signals for.  And she really cares.

There's the friend that despite having about 27 irons in the fire, will drop all 27 to come help at a moment's notice.  She shared her children and encouraged them to call me "Auntie" because she knew my arms were empty at the time.

There's the friend that is positive.  She looks at things with a smirk on her face and excitement in her eyes.  She also has a current and relevant story to tell and I find every aspect of her life just interesting.

There's the friend that is moved by the needs of others.  She's the first one to text if she hears about something.  She's the first one to cook up a delicious meal and drive it over even though she's busy herself.  She's so efficient that you almost don't realize there's a need and it's met before you feel it.

There's the friend that is sensitive and sweet.  She often calls and we can visit for an hour and a half on the phone (getting all my dusting and ironing done) and it seems just like minutes.  We've raised our babies - now soon fledging children together.  I don't know what I would have done without her by my side.

There's the friend that I can have a three-hour lunch with and we haven't even covered the ground we intended to cover.  We talk about people and situations and experiences of life and I feel like I can totally 'shoot from the hip' because she just gets me.

There's the friend that is a quiet-gentle soul.  She mentioned in her card that we are like soul-mates and I feel like that is a perfect description.  I feel that way because when I get rattled about something with life she's quick to encourage me to look up and see what's on my side.

So I listed a little something about the dozen local friends that are all within about ten years of my age.  Because of the diversity of personalities, I realize how thankful I am to not have a best friend.  My life is better for it as all of these ladies have such a sweet influence on me that they hardly know.

My goal is to be who I am - yet try to be the best friend possible to them.  That's the only way I could pay them back for all they've done to strengthen, cheer, and nurture me through this wonderful journey called life.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

An attitude of gratitude

I fully intended to be done blogging once again but today I feel very grateful for so many things.

I woke up today on my 52nd birthday.  That's reason enough to be thankful.  Life!  Then I checked my phone and saw several text messages.  These were from teens that are friends with our MYP.  They took time out of their day to text me a happy birthday and said some sweet things I won't share. Love them. 

Then a call came.  My dear 86-year old friend wanted to drop something off.  I came back from my walk and there were cupcakes and a card.  The sweetness of friendship bridging age groups is not lost with me.  

We had a lovely vacation to the Caribbean several weeks back.  High points were the serenity of the sea, good food, and sweet fellowship.  A low point was frantically racing one night looking for a doctor to stitch up our daughter's face.  Thankfully she's healed nicely and we haven't seen a bill.  

The graduation announcements have been sent.  I still am wanting to curl up on the fetal position and not believe we are here already.  However, experienced mothers tell me that the feelings of love does not change, just the needs do.  And to think we do it all over again next year.  Whose idea was it to space these MYP so close together?  Not ours but that's okay.  

Finally I want to extend the most gratitude to my dear parents.  Some of  you may be aware that they are in a valley experience.  However, my parents are the sort of people that see the grander view even in a valley.  They say and see only the good in others even with imperfections.  They see a silver lining despite dark clouds.  I love that example I've had through the years.  We have had some precious times the past weeks and will continue as long as life lets us.  

So this is enough today.  I have missed our chats and will maybe stop in occasionally for a visit when inspiration strikes.