Tuesday, December 11, 2012
I have read that friends are the family that one chooses and I truly believe that. Don't get me wrong, I have wonderful family. I had a husband who was the love of my life and I truly believe I was the love of his life too. I have two daughters and two grandchilren whom I love dearly and a foster grandson whom I love. I have sisters and nieces and great nieces and nephews who are all part of my extended family but that extended family also includes those who have come into my life not through blood relation but through friendship and spiritual placement in my life.
Many friends have touched my life and have surrounded me, especially recently, with their support and love. Friends have reached out to me in many ways, sharing their gifts/talents/love with me in many different ways. Some drove long distances to be with me at Ed's memorial service, came long distances to speak at Ed's memorail service, some came to the house to sit with me, some invited me to their homes or out to lunch or dinner, one friend stayed at my home at night for several weeks. Others brought food, a young neighbor arranged for a massage for me, one friend brought Febreeze when someone came to the house and had body odor and after sitting on my couch left his odor. During the time Ed was in the hospital and on the day the life support was turned off friends were there to give support and love. there is no way that I can tell them what thall of these things mean to me. Nor can I tell the young man who mowed my lawn or the father and son who raked 30 bags of leaves from my yeard as a surprise how much I appreciate what they have done! There are no words that express my gratitude! Then this weekend someone else reached out in a way that I can never repay and can never find the words to express my gratitude.
It was almost 4 years ago when Ed and I were in Wilmington, N.C. and I heard Trop Rock music, particularly Jimmy Buffett music and told Ed. " I have to find out where the music is". I walked into the shop from where the music came and a young woman greeted us. The shop was "Poodle's Island Wear" and the young woman introduced herself as "Poodle" the owner. Well, there was an instant connection but somehow we forgot to get e-mail addresses, or any contact information and we weren't on Facebook. About 6 months later I was checking out a Parrothead Web Site and Low and behold, Poodle and I connected. Since then we ran into each other at a concert in N.C. and found out that we had mutual friends. We have stayed in touch recently through facebook and she shared about the loss of a beloved dog who was her constant companion for the last 10 years. Some said to her, "It was just a dog" but they didn't understand that she loved and still loves him. She has no husband or partner and has no children and she loved her dog. There were other heartaches that many didn't understand but that dog did; so, she is grieving and rightly so.
Anyway, Imagine my surprise when she, feeling the loss of a beloved companion sent me a message and sked if I would like to go to a concert with her in Onley, a small town on the Eastern shore of Virginia! How could I say "No"? I couldn't! I messaged her back that I would love to go and she should plan to stay here.
My friend arrived on Sunday night and we sat in my living room sharing so very much, some joys and some sorrows. We laughed and we cried until we were too tired to laugh or cry anymore and called it a night.
On Monday we went on some missions to find things for a basket she was putting together for Peter Mayer and his Band. You see, they are friends of hers too and she has even sponsored a concert given by them in N. C. We gathered everything, came home, she put the bag together and then we got ourselves together and left for the hour and a half drive to the venue.
What an amazing concert, what an amazing group of muscians, especially Peter Mayer who composed many of the Christmas songs and arranged the classic ones in such creative ways! It was an awe inspiring and joyful night and a gift of joy.
There were other people there that I knew and introduced my friend to them and after the concert she introduced me to the band and to Peter Mayer. Photos were taken and we headed back to my home and a good night's sleep with nothing to help me get to sleep.
Now the concert was a wonderful gift and I wouldn't have been able to go if it weren't for my friend. Poodle also brought me some lovely gifts from her shop and before she left today took off a wonderful scarf and gave to me. For these things I am forever grateful But most of all I am grateful for the spirit that sent me into her shop and for the friendship, the beautiful gift of friendship, that has come from that "chance" encounter. Coincidence? I think not! A gift? Absolutely!
this isn't the only "coincidental friendship that I have experienced, most of my friendships are like that. My friend Cindy, friends Pete and Linda, Wayne and Sue, "niece" Brenda and her friend Lori, Jen, Carol and Joe, and all of the others that we met on aone cruise and have remained our friends. Coincidence that we were all on the same cruise even though we were from so many different parts of the country? No, not a coincidence but a spirit guided meeting of friends!
These are just a few of the friends who have helped me get through the lonliness and grief of the past two months. Thank you to all of my friends!