The Gift of Friendship

I am the one who put forth the relationship challenge this week, and I have to confess, I am struggling with how to articulate my feelings.   Fast approaching my sixtieth birthday, I find I am sentimental, or maybe, it’s that after years of isolation due to illness, I now treasure relationship more than ever.  Either way, how can I do justice to something that means so much?

Our trip this week was to the home of a very dear friends, whose acquaintance dates back to high school days.  L is the anti-thesis of me:  calm, and steady.  Just being in her presence puts me at ease: I feel safe, respected, and accepted.

There are times in my life when L has been my champion.  During an unwanted pregnancy scare, she confronted my then boyfriend as to his intentions.  When devastated by an unforeseen divorce, she hugged me and told me I didn’t deserve it, and then furnished a home for the kids and I.

Recently, she told me that people are naturally drawn to me, that I make them feel better about themselves.  Her words surprised me – are we mirrors for one another?

The gift of her friendship, knowing that I am always welcome in her home, has value beyond words.  Of course, the same welcome is extended to her and her husband, but as I always do, I wonder what I bring to the relationship?

Loyalty, for certain, but I hope something more.  I hope that I bring to her a comparable comfort, a knowing that she is loved for who she is, and a reassurance that she is never alone – that I care always, even when we are apart.

I have struggled with relationships, likely the product of a troubled childhood, and I chastise myself often for not doing enough, for not being enough.  I feel as if I’m overbearing, and a burden, and worry that I have taken more than I give.  Even as we pulled away on Saturday morning, and a warm glow lingered, I felt the doubts seep in.   It is a demon I have to overcome.

Forty-six years of friendship should teach me otherwise, and the text I received when we got home:  Love having you…anytime…any (or no) reason!

How blessed I am.

How about you?  Is there that one relationship that makes you feel better about yourself?

Love to hear from you.

(Featured image is from personal collection.)

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

2 thoughts on “The Gift of Friendship

  1. How wonderful to have a long time friend with unconditional love to offer. I have a few of those myself and make sure I see or talk to them on a regular basis.
    I am rereading a good book called “You Could Live a Long Time: Are You Ready?” by Lyndsay Green and her first chapter is about how important it is as we get older to keep up friendships and make new ones. It’s a worthwhile read…

    Liked by 1 person

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