A friend loves at all times
and a brother is born for adversity.
Perhaps it is because Thanksgiving is a few days away. It could be because I just spent some time with my friend of longest standing. (We do not use that nasty word, o_ _!) Or it could be because of some communications I have had with another long term friend. Whatever the reason, I have been a bit nostalgic lately. I've spent quite a lot of time thinking and praying for various people who have crossed my path of life. Those thoughts and prayers have brought me to a place of realization, I am who I am in part because of those relationships. Surely I have changed and grown over the years but some things remain, some ideas, opinions, desires are still a part of me because when I was much younger certain people influenced my life. This is a tribute to them.
As I said, the catalyst to this whole train of thought, most likely, was being with my dear friend Mary and talking about so many of our other friends, remembering our crazy childhood and being so incredibly grateful that there were no smart phones, video recorders or social media during that time. We both agreed that one of our precious friends, Carmen would have felt the need to record and publish things all of us would much rather forget. Fun to think about together, not so much fun to explain to the children.
Talking about Carmen, who has gone home to live with the Lord, really made us both think about how precious those memories are and how dear the other people in them still are to us, though we never see them and have limited communication with most of them.
Even Mary and I aren't able to see each other nearly as often as we would like. Time and distance make it hard, but we talk all the time. We are alike in so many ways and totally different in others. We challenge each other to this day. Mary is always in my prayers.
I was raised with four sisters so the idea of having a brother has always been intriguing to me. In looking back, I can see where my Father provided brother-like relationships for me. My thoughts and prayers have included John, Pete, Geno, Kevin and Carmen's family.
Memory lane is a long winding road. As I walked it I remembered, Loretta, Debbie, Doreen, Kim, Moon (Donna really but no one calls her that), Niki, Liz, Ellen and Lynn, girls, now women, who in various ways have touched my life.
Most of these people were a part of my life in my childhood and early adulthood. Some are still with me in varying degrees of closeness and some sadly, are gone.
Our Father has provided friends for us to fill the spaces in our lives that are empty, like my lack of brothers, and to provide guidance, inspiration and most importantly, love.
I would encourage anyone reading this to celebrate your friends. Reach out to someone who meant the world to you who maybe you haven't seen or spoken to in years. Hug the ones who are still close. Allow the sadness of the loss of the ones who have gone home to teach you the importance of the ones who are still with you. Pray for all of your friends and thank God for them.