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Monday, March 22, 2004


Friendship...



From Peyups...

After trying for more than a year to plan a
weekend together with three dear friends I met
in college, we finally set the date for July 20-
22. For the first 10 years after college, I kept
in good contact with them all and there were
many telephone conversations, visits, and cards
and letters--and I was even asked to be maid of
honor in two of their weddings. In the past five
years or so, however, contact dwindled and
became minimal.

As our big weekend approached, life became quite
hectic for me. I traded a trip scheduled on that
weekend to attend. Doing so had me flying seven
days in a row—-something I never do. However, I
was very happy I could arrange my schedule for
the big meet.

Something really strange happened as that
weekend drew nearer though. As I crossed the
country several times for work (with many stops
in between), began suffering from too little
sleep, and became cranky, I began to question
everything about the weekend. Despite the fact
that I had been so close to these friends in the
past, I hadn’t shared so much of myself (i.e.,
my fears, struggles, hopes, and dreams) with
them lately and vice versa. Suddenly, I began to
have doubts about the reunion. What if I moved
heaven and earth to be there and left feeling
disappointed, I considered.

Without really planning to, I wound up writing
two of them and suggesting that maybe I wasn’t
supposed to be present for the weekend. As for
the other, she instant messaged me while I was
online one night so I wound up suggesting the
same idea to her. The two wrote me back and
addressed my thoughts directly. They said that
the weekend would be about reconnecting and
catching up with ones we hold very dear--even
though it goes unsaid too often. During the IM
session with the other, she was able to convey
to me how much it would mean to her that I
attend.

As I considered everything, I decided that I had
needed to clear the air and that, although I did
so emotionally and messily, that that was okay.
I had missed them and had needed to share my
feelings with them. I had needed to say the
things left unsaid for too long if I was to feel
good about attending. And, as good friends
typically do, they gave me the best responses
possible: said they wanted me to be there, they
would miss me if I didn’t attend, and that they
would all definitely be there.

Having addressed my internal struggles, I went
and had the best time ever. I cannot believe I
ever almost opted out of such a special time
because of past disappointments, lapses in
communication, or philosophical ponderings!

I had the time of my life reconnecting with my
dear friends as we celebrated the past and spoke
of the present and future. It was so perfect—
upbeat, life-affirming and –rejuvenating,
precious, and timeless. We embraced, remembered,
talked, laughed, layed on the beach, danced,
were quite silly, had a special dinner out the
first night at a restraurant called Stars,
bought groceries and prepared our meal together
the second night, listened to each other and
understood where the others were in life, and
accepted each other.

I've already seen some photos from our weekend
together, and I will never forget laughing until
we cried the last morning as we viewed a
videotape we made the night before after the
bartender extraordinaire turned us on to her
top, top-shelf margaritas. Words could never
express all the gifts I received from that
weekend.

…So, as I drove away from Ocean Isle Beach, NC
that Sunday afternoon noticing the cornfields
and other farm crops--things you just don't see
in the city--I was smiling as I was reminded of
important lessons I had already learned about
friendship—and life, such as:

1. Friends are one of life’s greatest gifts. To
have known someone and shared so much is a
priceless gift. To be able to look into his/her
eyes after so long, remember how you always
thought they were such a special and beautiful
shade of brown, blue, or green, and accept that
a piece of your heart will always belong to that
person is knowing how magical life can be.

2. Friends shouldn’t keep score. Keeping score
is a lose-lose proposition. Nobody wins. While
there were times that the people we wanted to be
there for us on our saddest days or happy
moments weren’t, this door swings both ways. We
weren’t there for them either—to offer love and
support or share in their sad days and happy
moments of life.

3. We're all doing the best we can, given where
we are in our development or situations, at any
given moment. This is the only reason one needs
to overlook or forgive almost anything. To be
happy, forgive a friend today for something--
whatever! To be really happy, forgive everyone
for everything, and reach for the stars. …What
would we do if we each wound up with one in our
hands?

4. Lapses of time within a friendship or
lessened communications do not mean the
friendship is over, has served its purpose, or
has died. The lapses allow us to know better the
others in our lives and develop and strengthen
those relationships. In the grand scheme of
life, the lapses are strategic respites or
pauses that allow other good and positive people
and things to flow into our lives, as well as
the lives of our friends.

5. Our deepest friendships never end. They just
go through many transitions during a lifetime as
do we. Loving someone is to love them. It's not
about how much communication there is or what
you receive from the connection. It just is, and
that's all it needs to be. We should connect
with our friends whenever we can, be there
whenever possible. It’s all good. ...It's a win-
win situation for all involved.

6. Oftentimes, we receive our greatest gifts
ever in life just for showing up. Many priceless
treasures await us because we care enough to
find a way to go somewhere or do something that
is difficult or causes uncertainty and doubt.
Once we go or do it, the rest is just stars and
magic.

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It is always refreshing to know what is in your mind. Thanks!