This has been a bad week for two good friends. Tracy broke her clavicle in three places body boarding in Mexico. Hali’s husband passed away tragically Sunday. She fell in love with him and married late in life only to have to let go of him just after their third wedding anniversary.
Tuesday’s 12-inch snowstorm prevented me from making it to his visitation and mass, but I skipped my arts council meeting tonight for a client so I could be there for Hali at the post-funeral visitation.
We’ve been friends for more than 20 years and I wanted her to know I would be there for her now, tomorrow and the next day. To my surprise some friends that have known her just as long passed on the opportunity. Some for good reason and others for reasons that made me question their priorities.
Before I cast the first stone, let me say I used to be that person who had questionable priorities. I was self-absorbed and didn’t attend, or stubbornly attended, funerals, communions, graduations, weddings, receptions, or swim meets. My excuses were lame, usually work related, and nothing I’m proud of looking back
Truth was I hadn’t yet placed the same value on other people’s sorrows, accomplishments, losses, gains, children or milestones as my own. And for that I’m very sorry.
I believe my life would be richer and more complete if I had learned or grown into being the woman I am today, earlier.
Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but any one can start today and make a new ending.” Maria Robinson
How to Be a Good Friend During the Bad Times
Toni Hassenpflug taught me all I need to know about being a friend. She cares deeply, accepts others for who they are, and has a packed calendar because of her commitment to being there for her family, granddaughters and countless friends.
For this and so many other reasons, Toni had standing room only at her 60th birthday party. Co-workers who hadn’t seen her in decades showed up. Others drove miles to be there for her that day. Adoration and respect poured freely throughout the evening and that is something I’ll never forget.
In the spirit of being that type of friend, remember these simply things. It’s a list I had to learn the hard way over the years.
- Unless you’re the president of the United States in the middle of a nuclear attack, your work can wait.
- A card is nice, but a kiss or hug delivered in person is priceless.
- You don’t have to know what to say. Your body language will speak volumes.
- Presence, not presents.
- A celebration not shared is deeply diluted.
- Tell your friends every chance you get, no matter the occasion, how special they are to you, how much you love them, and how important their contributions are because life is short. If you cancel that coffee or movie date with them, what if there isn’t a rain check?
At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent.” Barbara Bush
Call your mom, your husband, your best friend, your son, daughter, or your grandmother and tell him or her it’s been too long. Let’s talk, meet, celebrate, go on a trip. Do it.
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Category: Health & Happiness