Monday, January 08, 2007
SELF-TRANSFORMATION LESSON.... ON FRIENDSHIPS
Thoughts on Friendships-
As a young girl I remember singing the rhyme-
"Make new friends
But keep the old
One is silver
And the other..gold"
As I approach my 60th birthday, I have been paging through old photo albums, looking at worn snapshots of friends in grade school, high school, college and beyond. I am struck by how many of those dear people, who mattered so much, have faded into the past, their whereabouts unknown.
My oldest fried is Linda Wise, otherwise known as "Linny". We have been friends since we were 14 months old. She turns sixty in a few weeks, and my birthday follows shortly after. We have been friends for almost sixty years, have traveled together, shared the loss of all of our parents (who were dear friends), and know each other's history and "story".
I have friends like Sharon Hartnett, who lives in Seattle, that I talk to almost weekly and travel to Cannon Beach with each year for a spiritual retreat! We laugh ourselves silly, the kind of laughing that makes you pee in your pants and saves your soul. She is someone I can always count on. She prays for me, and I pray for her.
Other friends like Eileen Thompson and Nancy Gossett are also spiritual soul sisters. We have been through so much..major illnesses, children's ups and downs, our aging process. We have laughed and cried. I can call and ask them to pray, and I know they will lovingly follow through. Our friendship times are cherished as we squeeze them in between work and busy schedules.
I am blessed to say that my daughter Amy and my daughter Jessi are my friends. I am their Mom, but as adult women we share our lives and our hearts.
I can count on Amy to love me just as I am, but challenge me to be more than I thought I could be. She is one of the "truth tellers" in my life, and the day she became a Christian was one of the best days of my life. We share our love of the Lord, our love for our families, and can talk for hours about personal growth and family. She is the most unselfish person I know and someone who is one of my role models for courage and change!
Jessi is my friend, and we share a love of teaching, family, traditions, and each other. She challenges me to get healthy and stretch what I think I can do athletically. She'll get me just the right book to read, a pedometer to measure my steps, or a sentimental card that brings me to tears. Her abilities, self-determination and self-discipline blow me away. She and I have a friendship that has grown in leaps and bounds in the past several years.
Jessi and Amy know, in their deepest hearts, that I will love them forever, like them for always, and for as long as I'm living and beyond, my babies they'll be!
Bert, the love of my life, is my best friend. I love him to the moon and back. He loves me as I am and even thinks I'm cute. He believes in me, prays for me, and knows my heart through and through.
I have friends at school and friends at church. Female friends and male friends. Old friends and new friends. But somehow..there is never enough time to catch up with all of them. Some are silver, and they all are gold!
As I get older, I have the strong desire to hold on to the important friendships in my life... to give more time to them, more love to them, more patience to them, and more forgiveness to them. I want to remember their birthdays, their anniversaries, the days that mark the loss of a loved one. I want to connect and reconnect. I want to share the stories that make us laugh, make us cry, and make us who we are!
My Mom was a great role model for deeply caring about friends. She remembered their anniversaries, even after their beloved spouses had died. She called them just to say hello or check in on an illness. She sent cards, letters, and love.
I want part of my self-transformation to include more lunches with friends, more "spa dates", more spoiling my friends so they will never doubt how much I love and adore them. I want more real moments where we let down our guard and bare our true souls. I want more honest moments where we give each other the tough and loving feedback that challenges each of us to be our best selves....I want more moments, period!
When they are gone...and I am gone...I want no regrets!
God Bless! Love, Linda
"We are all just walking each other home." ...