Thursday, November 3, 2016

     Yesterday, I was reminded that there are moments in life that aren’t really anything earth-shattering, but they are the ones we will miss when, one day, that person may not be around.
I had lunch with a new friend. She is the kind of person you feel like you’ve known forever. She is easy to talk to, a wonderful listener, a generous and caring soul mate who is my gift for moving to Florida and leaving all my North Carolina friends. I didn’t know she would become a friend, but I feel so blessed to have found her. We had lunch at a local restaurant where we shared, laughed, philosophized, laughed again, vented, mused and hugged good-bye. I have really only known her for four months, but I hope she will be a lifelong friend. Nothing special about that lunch, but moments that I cherish just for our connection.

    Last night, Mr. Wonderful and I drove to Tampa (an hour away) where we met some of our closest friends from our former home. That dinner was like many we’ve had with them. We shared, we laughed, we vented, we philosophized, we laughed some more. This time, however, we were there to support and comfort my friend who just received a frightening diagnosis from he Moffitt Cancer Center. Although we didn’t dwell on the traumatic news, we listened as she told us what the doctors said, not knowing how to comfort her other than to just listen. We hugged good-bye, and my heart ached, my throat tightened as we got back into our car. It was the kind of evening we’ve spent with them numerous times, but this time was different. I know that she got back into her car and the shock of her hospital consultation consumed her. 

     Two completely different friendship experiences in one day remind me of how important our friendships are, and how much I treasure the ones that bring joy but that also deal with fear, sadness and the fragility of life. I have not always been there for my friends in the past, and some were not there for me. We are all so consumed with the minutiae of daily living that we don’t have time, we forget, or we just don’t realize what a difference being a friend can mean to someone, particularly in a time of crisis. I don’t live close enough to hold my friend’s hand as she faces an uncertain future, but I will do everything I can long distance. 

     Who needs your ear today? Who won’t ask for help but wishes you sensed the need? To whom do you need to reach out and ask for help yourself. Seems so simple, but it isn’t.