Sunday, May 22, 2016

    

















Friends Forever

     I have recently asked myself how I would feel if one of my dearest friends moved away, not me. It is hard to put myself in that position in my head, but I would certainly feel major loss, and I would be extremely sad. Loss hits us sometimes weeks, months, even years after the fact, and saying good-bye to friends is always extremely difficult.

     In the past few weeks, here are examples of what our friends have done:

  1. A close friend not only bought my lunch, but every time I see her, she hands me articles in the paper that she has been clipping to help me increase my business. She gives me creative ideas for my writing and my performing. How many friends do this? She is amazing.

2.  Last night, dear friends treated us to a lovely dinner after giving Mr. Wonderful a beautiful bottle of wine for his birthday. They listened as we described our new home in Florida, and they celebrated our adventure with us. They also promised to take us for a final ride on the Intracoastal in their lovely boat. Fortunately, we will see them in Florida and Blowing Rock each year. Love them!

3.  Another dear friend had offered to host a going-away dinner party for us, but she just lost her father, a very painful time for her. One of the first things she did was to send an apology for not being able to host the party. omg. She is so thoughtful and kind. This friend reads my blog every day, and she always makes reference to it in a positive way. This tells me that she cares, and she is interested in my life, as, of course I am in hers. I treasure her friendship and ache for her in the days ahead. 

4.  I met another close friend for coffee yesterday morning. We spent almost 2 hours chatting. This friend is not only supportive and interested, but she is a friend with whom I am so comfortable. If I had a sister, I would wish it could be her. We have two daughters in common, and we both love good books, so those two topics alone consume much of our conversation. We are there for each other always, and she tells me she is “in denial” of our moving. I was thrilled to hear that she and her husband will travel to Florida in January, so we will see each other. She introduced me to a friend of hers who will winter in Florida, so we will have a nice little group to socialize with when the weather turns in the north. This friend is at every concert and book signing, and I am there cheering her on as she learns to play the harp so she can play for sick patients to soothe their pain. I am so blessed.

5.  Several days ago, our dear friends and neighbors hosted a beautiful dinner party (the first of two on what they call the "Moulin Farewell Tour"). It was a beautiful evening of fun conversation, stories, memories and laughter. The meal was delicious, the ambiance warm and inviting, and the memory will linger for years to come. Thank you, dear friends, for your generosity and kindness. They even saved napkins from the country club where we will belong in Florida, and they placed them next to our plates. 

     I have not allowed myself to open up to the pain of saying good-bye to these and many other cherished friends. I have forced myself to stay focused on the mechanics of the move (packing boxes, signing papers, hiring movers, etc) in order to avoid the inevitable. Long ago, I learned to compartmentalize, and that skill has served me well for years since. Once I open the gates of loss, the flood will be overwhelming, so I put it in the box in my head and push it away.

     Friend #3 above brought me a story she read in a local magazine about the definition of “home.” The author says, “So is home a place? Yes, it is, but not just the place where we plant our garden. Home is also the time and effort it takes for that garden to grow; and home is the people with whom we plant the seeds. Home is where the seeds of love blossom and pollinate.” 

   This morning, I am so grateful for all the seeds we’ve planted, the friendships that have blossomed, the memories we cherish. I love you all, dear friends.