I want you to label your friends. No, not in a bad way. Take some time and think deeply about your core group of friends and pose this test to yourself: Identify the aspects that each good friend possesses that prompts you to hold them close to your heart.
Ponder this for a while. Don’t let yourself settle for a quick non-specific response such as, “He’s just so nice,” or “She’s a great person.”
And then tell each friend why you’re so happy they are a part of your life.
Yes, even if you’re NOT a mushy-gooey person who enjoys sharing deep feelings, you need to do this. And here’s why.
Linda, a very close friend of 50+ years, is in the midst of an extremely serious health crisis: ovarian cancer. Besides having a dedicated husband and loving family, she is blessed with a wide circle of friends from her librarian/teaching days, neighbors from both their Florida and Pennsylvania homes, people who know or work with their grown children, and many other outlets including a group of high school friends of which I’m a part.
Linda recently shared that the one bright spot in this scary situation is that so many people in the circle of her life have reached out to her with cards, calls, texts, emails, and visits. She said she was completely unaware of how much she means to all of these people, and how wonderful it is to actually know it NOW.
Another friend made the same type of comment after a healing service for her was held at church. How amazing it is to be told what you mean to many “someones”! One person commented that too often we wait for someone to die and then we tell those appreciative words to their surviving family. Yes, at a loved one’s funeral it’s comforting to hear, “Your mother stepped in to help me when I really needed it.” Or “Your father once gave me advice that changed my life.”
But it’s sad when the words have gone unspoken to the persons themselves.
Linda is one of my most faithful blog fans. So publically, here’s what I’m telling Linda:
Linda, no one has ever made me laugh like you do. You make every story funnier. Even though it takes a long time for you to finish telling a story (because we’re both laughing so hard), you are my favorite storyteller ever.
You remember what’s important to other people. Even now, at a time when it’s not easy for you to even take a breath, you remember how much my dog Riley meant to me and you ask how I am doing without him.
You are a source of encouragement and inspiration. The night before you left for college and I was staying behind, you convinced me that I could learn to cook by walking me verbally step-by-step in the dark how to make mashed potatoes. You are a big part of why I blog. On a Christmas card some years ago, you encouraged me to write a book. I didn’t get that far, but from reader comments, my writing means something to others. If it weren’t for you, this blog wouldn’t exist.
I love you the same as I have loved you all these years, and I pray that the cancer is on its way into remission even as I type these words.
Yes, Billy Joel nailed it; you have a way about you. And everywhere you go, a million dreams of love surround you…everywhere.