I believe in Friends. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary a friend is “one attached to another by affection and/or esteem; a favored companion.” By definition many family members are also included in the category of friend. All of the cute clichés and pithy sentences are true. I embrace them. Friends do indeed hold you up when you are down and are there in good times and bad times. They have celebrated with me my greatest joys – the births of my children & grandchildren, graduations & marriages. My friends have walked with me, both figuratively and literally, many miles as we have looked together both for the meaning of life and just marveled at life.
Very creative friends have shown me how to find that bit of creativity that I never believed I had. They have pushed, pulled and prodded to get me into classes that initially I had no interest in. As a result I have learned about cooking, quilting, calligraphy, doll making, and many other things from my friends. And I have loved every bit of it.
I have learned from my friends what it means to be a friend by their very actions. The encouragement I received when I went back to school and then when I got a job taught me the value of encouraging others. I have learned what it is to make a mistake and then to be forgiven. I have received love, respect, sympathy and learned to give all of those things back to others from the examples I have been blessed to receive. From a very special friend, my husband, I have learned what it is to be accepted and loved no matter how cranky, out of sorts and unreasonable I may be.
I have witnessed courage when a friend was confronted with death. I have been inspired by the courage exhibited by those facing a diagnosis of cancer or other major illnesses in themselves or loved ones. Friends have stepped up to help with meals, transportation, running a business, just calling to say hello. I have learned that these are things that friends do without asking.
My friends have cried with me over the important tragedies, like my brother’s death from AIDS, the insignificant and all of the tragedies in between. But more than that, they were there to help with a dying dog, to help search for a child, to share a cup of tea and just listen.
My views of life and death, the way that I react to many things have been affected by my friends. Friends have been and are an important part of my life. My growing and changing and my good times and bad have all been influenced by friends. Friends have made my life much richer and fuller than it would have been otherwise. My life has been blessed by friends.
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