Posted by: susanideus | October 15, 2006

To friends…

I was reminded the other day by a friend that I had been neglecting my blog.  She was absolutely correct, but I truly didn’t realize how long it had been since I’d made an entry until she pointed it out.  Time has just gotten away from me of late, and I’ll admit to not having the best self-discipline in the world.  Because of that, I’m glad to have a friend who will take me to task when I need it.  Friends should do that.  Friends should be honest with one another.  A friend knows when her friend needs a nudge in the right direction or a healthy shove to get her friend out of harm’s way.

That being said, my mind has wandered on to the subject of friendship in general, and those in my life specifically.  I’ve lived long enough to have made many acquaintances and friends.  I’ve also been around long enough to have lost some of both.  I have lost some to death, several being taken after far too short a life — and those losses hurt and they certainly remind me of my own mortality.  However, the greatest pain of all comes from those who just seemed to drift away, especially if I have been the one guilty of neglecting the relationship.  I know we all make friends and lose friends — we move away or find a new job or just begin a new phase of life.  That’s natural.  But I know I’ve lost track of some people I once considered precious to me, through neglect, indifference, faulty priorities.  I make no excuses for my behavior.  Of course, I know that relationships are never one-sided and likely some of the neglect and indifference were mutual. 

Then I think how sad that is.  A friend is a gift.  A friend is an asset.  A friend is an investment of love and time and care.  A friend is a blessing.   With relationship comes responsibility.  A friendship should be nurtured and cared for.  Otherwise, like a neglected garden, it can wither and die. 

I thought I had lost a treasured friend once, through petty instances of hurt feelings and misunderstandings and miscommunication.  It was so hurtful because we had been so close.  The loss was so deep that I grieved it as a death.  Indeed, I felt like a part of me had died.  She was a soulmate, a sister of the spirit.  One night, we happened to be at the same event.  I saw her from afar but I wasn’t sure she’d seen me.  All through the ceremony we were attending, I was acutely aware of her presence.  I searched heart and soul trying to remember what was so awful that we were so cruelly separated.  I came up with nothing of any consequence.  As the crowd wandered outside at the event’s end, I saw her again, at the oppsite end of the sidewalk.  To this day, I do not know how I closed that distance between us, but I found myself before her, looking into her eyes, telling her how much I had missed having her in my life.  We hugged and both shed some tears, and promised we would work out whatever was wrong between us.  We did just that.  Today, in this woman, I have a friend for life.  We don’t see each other often since we no longer live close to each other and sometimes we’ll go awhile without emails.  No matter, we just pick up where we left off.    She blesses my life by being a part of it.

I am fortunate in that I have several friends like this.  Neither time nor distance will ever separate us for long.  Our souls and hearts are intertwined for eternity.   Still, I think of those whom I’ve lost track of — would they have been friends for life if I had taken the time and given the effort to be a good friend to them?  I’ll never know.  The past is gone, I can’t foretell the future, but I have resolved that, here and now, I will be a better friend.

Of late, my concept of friend has expanded in a marvelous way.  As a member of several e-circles in a wonderful organization, Story Circle Network, I have friends whose faces I have never seen, and whose voices I have never heard.  I’ve never been to their homes, though I am sure I would be welcomed should such an occasion arise.  There is a level of trust and honesty and openness and support and love.  I am amazed and honored and humbled to be a part of this.  We are women from all walks of life, in all parts of the U.S. and Canada and Australia.  We are young and middle-aged and older.  We are finding our voices and writing true words.  We are there to grieve with one another in loss and to celebrate victories.  We encourage one another, we support one another, we dream dreams with one another, we travel vicariously with one another.   We exchange recipes and news and opinions.  As a member of my reading e-circle has said, we are “encircled” by love and caring in our circles.  This may be the very best application of cyber-communication in the world.  I love it!!

So here’s to friends…life’s greatest treasure.  I hope you all know who you are.  I love you, one and all.

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:12 NIV)

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Responses

  1. I can appreciate your grieving the loss of your friend as a death, and your rejoicing in the happy reunion, as I’ve had a relatively recent one myself (you’ll know to whom I refer). 🙂 How is it that we let those soul-sisters slip away? But I suppose we can comfort ourselves in the small detail that we were at least smart enough to get them back. 😉

    But your post reminds me of another wonderful thing about these virtual communities we’ve formed in SCN. Imagine my delight when I receive a postcard, direct from Ireland (the ONE place I must go before I die), from one of your circle members. You make friends in these circles, but it’s amazing to me how readily these circles expand to those around you. That is a true testament to the power of unconditional love that we find in friends.

  2. And sometimes a friend just misses reading the words of a gifted blogger!


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