Wednesday, December 9, 2015

     This is the time of the year that many of us count our blessings. First of all, we should be counting them every day of the year, but sometimes we get caught up in the tedium of daily life and we forget. Unfortunately, it often takes a tragedy or a scare to stop us in our tracks and make us take note of the special people in our lives.

       My best friends are my husband and my two daughters. My step-mom is the best mom substitute ever, and at 95, she still nurtures me and laughs at my silly. But beyond my family,
there are many friends whose presence in my life has enriched me and given me perspective.

     Most recently, I had a friend say that she was going to throw a party for me because we hadn’t sold our house, and she wanted all who care about me to celebrate. She didn’t do that, but the very fact that this idea would enter her mind touched my heart. She is a dear, caring friend who makes me feel like a million dollars and who offers me a chance to recognize selfless friendship.

     I have a friend who I met ten years ago when we moved south. She was also a Michigan ex-pat, and we have had much fun through the years. She is very talented in arenas totally foreign to me like the kitchen, the sewing room, the garden. We spent significant time on the tennis courts enjoying the wonderful sport, but her life has been plagued by two rounds of devastating cancer. I have watched her fight like a super star and shock all who love her by her resilience and her will to survive. She is a devoted mom and grandma, and her family has been by her side the entire time. What a role model of strength she is.

     I have another friend who always knows just the right thing to say when I am troubled or hurting. She is in my corner when I shine and at my side when I’m tarnished. A former colleague and Stephen minister with me, the many miles that separate us never diminish our cherished bond. 

     Another colleague who has the knack of making me feel like a movie star is a very strong woman and one whom I admire for so many reasons. After losing her husband, she has moved on with grace and purpose devoting herself to her family and always demonstrating humility and class. 

     One of my newest friends is the one who beat me at our advanced speech contest last year. I was angry at her (jealous, actually), as I thought I had earned the trophy. As time wore on, our paths crossed, and now we laugh about how my disdain has turned to admiration and respect. We share exciting new career plans (both of us in our 70s), and I am there cheering her on as she launches her new business. She is in my audience at every one of my one-woman show performances. 

     I have another Michigan friend who has introduced me and Mr. Wonderful to three other couples who have become good friends. She reads my blog every morning and always has a comment, usually complimentary or thought-provoking, on my topic. She underestimates her own inner and outer beauty, but she helps jump-start my day with her kind words.

     Finally, I have a friend of ten years who is so busy taking care of others, she rarely thinks about herself or talks about herself. When she travels, she always brings me a souvenir, and on her most recent trip she took this photo laughing about how I always wear my stilettos. She is pure joy, and everyone loves her.
Lucky me. There are so many more. I will celebrate them in the days ahead. Stay tuned.