Sunday, September 4, 2011

Celebrating Friendship

In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.
Khalil Gibran
The picture above was a birthday card I received last year.  I liked it so much that I hung onto it, knowing there would be a time to use it.  It epitomizes the joy among female friends, which is why I liked it so much.....and this seems just the time to share it.  Suddenly September has become a time for celebrating friendships, which began with my recent trip to visit Jan in August.  Last week I received a call from Ann (Wassanar, Holland) saying that she could visit beginning this Wednesday.......and I'm so looking forward to seeing her.  She had hoped to come sometime this summer, but plans were postponed when Martin's father passed away and his mother came to live with them.  I could certainly understand the circumstances, but we did say that if a window of opportunity opened, we would make it work.  The opportunity appeared when Katie had a month at home before starting her new job.  So, she will be looking after the household while her mum visits me.  The story is a funny one (which I hope they won't mind my sharing)......I heard through the Fox grapevine that Martin had asked Ann what she wanted for their 25th wedding anniversary, and Ann said she wanted to visit me.  Martin said his feelings were a bit hurt but, when he thought about it, it could have been worse!  He's also getting lots of mileage out of it by telling his friends that he's giving Ann a week away from the family for their anniversary!!  Anyway, I consider it my good fortune that it all worked out and I'm really looking forward to her visit.

Even before that, when I was in Seattle, I received an email from Eileen (Loughborough, England) saying that she and Tom would like to visit around the end of September or beginning of October.  Needless to say, I was delighted by the news.  It's been almost 5 years since I've seen Eileen and even longer since I've seen Tom, so there will be lots of catching up to do.  They've been involved with family christenings, grandchildren, etc. so I haven't heard details of their watch this space.

Ann called on Monday or Tueday before I went to NC to see my mother on Wednesday.  She had become very depressed, I think because she was having great difficulty getting around and possibly being confronted with the possibility of no longer being able to be on her own.   I took her to a bone and joint specialist who gave her a shot in her right knee (which is bone on bone at this point) and sent us to another place to get a support of her left ankle (ganglion).  By the end of the day she was walking better and more comfortably.  That helped her mood, but each time I see her I'm more aware of her frailty.  I'm hoping she will be able to remain on her own as long as she wants to before coming down with me for the winter.  I'm doubtful that she will be able to be on her own after that......although after her fall in "09  I never thought she would be doing as well as she was around her birthday in June.  So, you never know and I'm hoping for the best.

I came home late yesterday (Saturday) and tidied up today.  Tomorrow is cleaning day and Tuesday is cooking.  Wednesday morning is "rest up" before going to PAL in the afternoon and picking up Ann later that night.  While I haven't had much time to make things as "perfect" as I'd like, among friends those things don't really matter.  We'll enjoy our time together and catch up as best we can in the time we have.

Friendships have also been renewed in other ways.  Both today and over the last few months I've heard from friends I hadn't heard from in some time, and it's great to be in touch again.  While it's nice to be in touch regularly, I think time is irrelevant between real and true friends.......whenever the opportunity presents itself, you pick up where you left off.  Maybe it's because I have no siblings, or that I've lived away from my family most of my life, or whatever, I've always appreciated the friends I've made along the way.  As I get older, I'm even more aware of the joy and blessings they bring to my life.

Friendship... is not something you learn in school. 
But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven't learned anything.
Muhammad Ali

Please check the PAL (Palmetto Animal League) tab as I've posted a short update.