Have You Told a Friend You Love Them, Today?

be a friendWe were instant friends. As though we were simply picking up where we left off when we knew each other in some former life. I love it when that happens. Truth be told that it doesn’t happen to me often. But Jenny, she’s the real deal. She’s smart, funny, kind, sweet, silly and really all the things you want a friend to be.

She’s lived in Texas for the last 12 years which makes it hard to stay in touch. You get so wrapped up in  your day to day life that you forget you haven’t talked in months. Or when you do call, she’s not home, she’s working, her kids need help with the homework. Or I haven’t left my computer for the last six days because I’m trying to meet a deadline. Or we’re both just too damned tired. Or. Or. Or.

But by some luck, an unexpected configuration of the stars and planets, the fickle finger of fate sent her west for some business. And we’ve had three glorious days to reconnect. Nothing special. A pig out at the local Sizzler. A late night Tom Cruise movie. Dinner at my house. Ice Cream at Baskin Robbins. It doesn’t matter because just hanging out with her is like remembering who I am. It’s a great gift of the universe to be in the presence of someone who gets me. And who I get. I’ve laughed more in the last three days than I probably have in the last six months. Hell, even my dog is happier when she’s around and my dog is the happiest dog on Earth.

In couple of days she’ll be heading back  home to the husband and kids. To Texas. To the faraway again. I’ll probably cry because having her these few days has reminded me just how much I love her and miss her. Still, it’s a gift to have such a wonderful friend. No matter how much time you get to spend with them. It’s a joy to hang out with someone you don’t have to explain yourself to or with whom you can just sit, without even talking and feel at home. Feel the best parts of yourself gurgle and sparkle.

And I’m thankful. And I’m grateful. And Jenny…I love you, girl.

Do you have a friend like Jenny? Then what are you waiting for? Tell them you love them and that they’re the best. Because let’s face it, our friends the real treasures of our lives.

 

Annie

 

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Dear Friend

dear friendFriends are the best and what the heck would we do without them? But we’re so busy all the time and there’s always so much to do, we sometimes don’t say the things we should to our friends.  So, I’ll say it here and now. 

Dear Friend,

I am not your friend because you are always happy, cheerful and care-free. The truth is I love you even when your warts are showing.

I think you are a wonder even when you can’t control your anger, sadness or depression. I respect you because you can feel deeply and feelings are neither good or bad – they’re just feelings.

My wish for you is that you are always happy and that life is a continuous adventure.  But I know that sometimes you aren’t and it’s not.  But that’s okay because I still love you. (Even if you have gained 50 pounds and can’t give up the chocolate.)

I want you to always feel loved but I know that sometimes you feel alone.

I want you to know you can tell me anything – even the the things you keep from me because you don’t want to be a bummer.

I want you to spread your lovely wings and fly. But I understand that there are times when wings break and the back-ups are at the dry cleaners.

Why do we try so hard to be perfect? Don’t you know that you are perfect just as you are in all your wonderful imperfections? Well, you are.

To all my wonderful friends – you are truly special people. 

Writer Chick

Copyright 2014

Gratitude – Friends

 

How would we ever get through life’s ups and downs without our friends?  The people with whom we laugh and cry, celebrate and commiserate? Though I am not one of those people who has a million friends, the friends I do have are incredible individuals and have added to my life in innumerable ways.  I am grateful for…

1. Zelda – my partner in crime, and too many adventures to note.  Who always has my back and worries about my retirement.  Who makes me laugh and prevents me from taking myself too seriously.

2. Kelly – who inspires me with her emotional fortitude and the absolute refusal to let life keep her down. Whose laugh can crack an eardrum, and whose heart is bigger than the great outdoors.

3. Cora – who taught me about fashion, passion and perseverance.  Whose intelligence and spirit personifies strength and character. Whose encouragement is appreciated more than I can say.

4. Jenny.  A sister, a daughter, a mother – just family in every way. A shoulder to cry on, a reassuring voice in the dark times , a woman who is always up for silliness and dumb pranks and will drive me anywhere.

And Squawky, Christine, Billie, Di, Kim, Sharie, and Jess – Andy, Michael, Andrea, Debba, and, and, and…

My friends mean the world to me and I am grateful for you all.

How about you? What friends are you grateful for and why?

copyright 2011

 

 

Needy Nancy

needy

Yup, I have been a Needy Nancy. Believe it or not, this was something that just dawned on me recently. Not sure why but it probably has something to do with the fact that I went through a pretty needy period not so long ago. Truth be told I didn’t like me too much during that period either.

In looking back though I wanted to see if I could understand where it came from or if it was a good or a bad thing. I’ve always prided myself on being very independent and for most of my life have taken care of myself. Even as early age eight I had some sort of going business concern – washing cars, raking leaves, babysitting. Something to earn money. Even at that age I had a real affinity for money or more for what money could get me.

And there is nothing wrong with being independent, in fact, we encourage one another to be so. We work toward it from the first time we reach for something on our own, don’t we? The first time we push the bottle away or try to grab the spoon that mom is shoveling down that mushy lump of peas? From the cradle our impulses are always in the direction of finding our own way and making our own discoveries.

And that was me. In fact, I believe it was the source of much torment and dismay for my mother in particular. I remember distinctly a time when I was sitting at the kitchen table drinking tea and talking with my mom. I forget exactly what the topic was but I believe it had something to do with the fact that some other family member had disrespected her or embarrassed her. For an eight year old, I was giving her some pretty sage advice – like ‘forget them’ ‘you don’t need them’ ‘don’t pay any attention to them’ or something equally brilliant. Suddenly though she looked at me and started to cry. When I asked her what was wrong she lamented that I’d never been a child.

This was an odd statement considering I was only eight at the time and I pointed out to her that I was in fact, a kid. Then there was more lamenting about my not playing with dolls or some such girlie thing. I shrugged and told her I preferred books.

As the years went by the term, ‘you were born 40’ issued from Mom’s lips hundreds of times and I always marveled at why she seem to think that was such a bad thing. I suppose she was right – there was something adult about me even when I was a child – even in photographs of me as a very young child I have the same face I have today – fewer wrinkles of course, but definitely the same.

As usual, I digress – suffice to say that my independence was something I wore with great pride and in many ways became my best friend. Despite a few fragile moments in my life – my bounce-back-ability was second to none. Then last year happened…

I don’t know what it was about last year. It seemed that everyone I knew went through (and in some cases are still going through) some set back, crisis, bad news, disappointment and so forth. In my case there were many things – and they made me shaky – but it wasn’t until my friend Kelly had her accident that I began to doubt my own ability to ride the storm. I’ve talked about this many times and am not going to revisit it except to say that seemed to be the beginning of my needy nancy stage. I fought it and I fought it hard but I found more and more I had to ask for help. Something I am particularly bad at doing – it embarrasses me so. Track up to my move to the east coast and then back again – and needy doesn’t even begin to describe what was going on there.

It’s been a tough few months trying to regain independence and righting my footing. Though I had a few realizations along the way…

1. It is okay to need other people
2. It is okay to need help and to ask for it
3. It is okay to admit you aren’t bullet-proof or infallible
4. It won’t kill you to feel lost or even alone
5. It won’t hurt you to just look at the hopelessness of it all
6. Just because you need someone doesn’t mean they need you
7. If someone can’t help you doesn’t mean they don’t care
8. Other people have troubles too
9. Sometimes you just need to get over yourself.

So to all my friends who have helped to prop me up – encourage me, even dole out some tough love, I say thank you. From the bottom of my heart. Thank you.

How about you guys – any needy nanciness happening for you? What did you realize about it?

Sending Joy – An Introduction

daisies-joy

I want to introduce you to a very special woman whom I have known for many years. We first met at an online writer’s group. From our first contact, I knew this lady was a unique individual. She was incredibly perceptive and very gentle in her words and actions. Soft is the word that comes to mind. You know how some people are just like a soft, clean light? Well, that’s Sharie in a nutshell.

Sharie is the friend I mentioned previously, that I was helping set up her own blog. She is probably one of the most spiritual individuals I have ever met (and when I say spiritual, I don’t mean religious) and her strongest desire in life is help others and to see the world and all its inhabitants at peace.

Her new blog is called Sending Joy – A Place to Soothe the Spirit. In order to tell you what her blog is all about, I quote her own words here:

I truly believe that everyone just wants to be happy. Most of us search for happiness in the world or in another person, or in things, jobs or money. And we’re always disappointed because it’s never there. It’s in a place we forget to look. Right inside ourselves. I have been a student of A Course In Miracles for seventeen years. During my studies and through interaction with other Course students and under the guidance of some amazing Teachers I have developed a whole new way to see the world and everyone in the world. I have learned things like “forgiveness is the key to happiness” and ‘we are all entitled to the miracles of peace and love and joy’. I have been a spiritual teacher for many years.

Through my dear friend, Annie, I have learned of a new venue called WordPress where she helped me build a lovely Spirit Space called Sending Joy . Anyone interested in tapping into their own joy, wanting to empower themselves by gaining a new understanding of who they are and why they’re here, having a question they want answered, wanting to communicate with a like mind, or just needing a moment to rest their spirit, is welcome to visit me.
Peace, Sharie

I would ask all of you to give Sharie a visit, read a few of her posts and her poems and see if it is a peaceful place you might want to visit again. I can promise you, you will never meet anyone quite like her and you’ll be glad that you did.

And Now a Word About Perspective…

kelly

All of you know of my friend Kelly who had a very bad car accident about a year ago. I have written many posts about it and all of you have uttered prayers and good wishes for her over these many months. You know how very much she means to me and how very much I admire her and love her.

Today, she posted a message to her CarePages page to all her friends and family and I wanted to share it with you for a couple of reasons:

1. I wanted you to hear first hand from Kelly and her view of what happened to her
2. I wanted you to have the opportunity to experience the change of perspective I did when I read her message.

Kelly said:

Why My Accident Was A Good Thing

Me again!

Almost getting killed a good thing? Excuse me? What the heck am I talking about?

Yes, it’s been exactly one year today that my life got totally turned inside out. It’s been a year of misery. A year of “crybaby days” where literally all I can do almost daily is cry about how much I hate what my life has turned into. This one year anniversary has been looming and all I’ve been able to think about is the frustration with how far I still have to go to get my life back. I mean gosh, broken bones heal so much faster than broken brains. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to still be where I am.

OK, there you go. You’ve got the miserable side of it. It’s all I’ve been thinking about lately. Just what do I say on the actual one year anniversary day?

Well grab a cup of coffee because I’ve got so much more to say. I started to think. What IF this accident never happened? I started to realize the amount of GOOD things that I’d be without or that wouldn’t have happened. When it comes right down to it, everything I’ve had to “endure” is actually a small price to pay for all the good that has come of it.

Good things? Am I serious?

Yes, I am. Here is the short list:

#1 I’ve met and can introduce all of you to amazing people that can change your life. If only one of you gets some part of your life improved, worth it.

From the most awesome Physical Therapist around:
Bret from Physiocare in Woodinville. 425-402-9443 (read the message he left on my last/first update. Wouldn’t you want that attitude guiding you?) Plus you wouldn’t believe what I’ve been able to accomplish with his instruction/guidance. He could do the same for you!
To the very funny AND inspirational friend:
Al Foxx – Professional motivational speaker/comedian/author. Someone who’s had the same injury as me. HE can make jokes about it! To have someone understand to the degree that he does and can make me laugh so stinking much has been unbelievable. The fact that he’s become a friend of mine I get to have a part in helping others experience his awesome wise words and comedy. To have him inspire even one of you, again, way cool! (you all get a copy of his book if you can make it to the anniversary party 😉
To the most tremendous group of friends:
All of you. You wouldn’t believe how awesome you all have been. To have such a remarkable community surrounding you is amazing. If what happened to me created in any way more of a “come together” attitude that has inspired any more of a community feeling…. so worth it. I have heard of some amazing things that you have done for others. And to “inspire” anyone to be a good friend to anyone else is so, so way cool!

#2 Revitalized marriages. Not only has this accident made Mark and I even more committed to each other (we’re going to renew our vows! 😉 We have heard of other marriages being more “solidified”. If even one spouse changes their viewpoint to one of “So what if the dishes didn’t get done today. I’m so glad I still have a teammate for life”. Oh my gosh! So cool!!

#3 The totally awesome talent my brother, Stuart, has with the written word has been exposed. So many have been wowed with the way he speaks I can add that to my list. I 100% know he will be get to do so much good with how he writes. I’ll get to say “he got his start with me!”

#4 Lives SAVED! Yes my accident has saved lives. How? you ask? Well, look at it this way. IF the driver of the car that hit me had hit anyone else, they would have been killed. The fact that it was me and I had the support system there to help me survive and the motivation there to hang on, I DID. Someone else might not have had what was needed to live. I did, so someone else lived. Not only that but so many have changed their driving habits as a result of my accident, how many other accidents have been prevented?
AND The guy that hit me has changed HIS driving habits!! Yes, we have talked! I called him because I heard from our attorney that he was willing to speak with me in front of drivers Ed classes encouraging kids just learning how to drive to be very careful on the road. Is that cool or what? I had a very long conversation with him and was totally impressed with his willingness to talk with me. Yes, I did hate him at first and yes I did want him to suffer some big consequences. BUT then my mother genes kicked in and I realized I couldn’t have another life harmed in any way by my accident. So I got my courage up and called him. I know it took guts on his side too and it was an awesome conversation. He is a kid just starting to get his life going and talking to him made me realize he really IS a good kid. This was an accident. He admitted to me his driving habits have totally changed as a result of the accident. AND he is very willing to work with me to make sure this doesn’t happen to someone else. That has saved lives and will save more. Period.

So here is something else I want to say about the guy that hit me: I need all of you to forgive him too. Worrying about me and Clara (the girl in the accident with me) has had him totally beside himself. I honestly felt that from him. Having anger from others hanging over him is NOT something I want him to have to live with. Plus he’s willing to help me prevent this from happening to anyone else. I don’t think I could asked for a more awesome result 😉 Let your anger with him go. He is changing his life and will change the lives of others too. Let him.

OK, OK, I promised a “short list” I know your coffee is getting low so I’ll let you go. The list continues so you’ll get more later. Gotta go celebrate.
I’M ALIVE!!

Totally love all of you!
Kelly

Kelly honey, you are amazing and you totally rawk.

Thank You for Being a Friend…

me-and-b

Okay kids, I am dog tired because I have moved, yet again, this weekend (there must be a comedy routine in this somewhere). The good news is that it looks like it will be a permanent address for a while (fingers crossed and praise Jesus) and my back will eventually go back into correct alignment.

So this is the part where I thank everyone who has been truly a blessing to me these past few whacky months. First of all, Zelda – for opening her home to me, her floor, her nine pets and her incredible ability to be there for her friends, no matter what. Despite our consistent disagreements about just about everything under the sun, I thank you for being a true blue friend for 20 years plus. You rawk, and since your short term memory sucks, just think how happy you’ll be every time you read this because each time it will be new.

To my old roomie and chum Leny, for hauling crap, finding chairs, endless lemons and a quiet place I can hide out in when I need it.

To my friend Kelly for her relentless spirit and the inspiration she has been to me in this last year. Your strength, humor and fortitude knocks me out. You are amazing – no matter what life does to your brain. Love you girl.

To my posse, Christine, Jess and Panther for being ever so patient and understanding of the delay of the resurrection of Theme Fridays, the countless emails, laughs, tears and comraderie. You gals are some very special ladies and I have nothing but admiration for you.

To Grit for his friendship, passing on his business acumen (from his usual unreliable sources) and boundless advice whenever I need it and sometimes when I don’t.

And to each and everyone of you for so many things – but especially for your understanding of my crazy fricking life – the good wishes, the comments and just bothering to click on the link and say hey. You mean more to me than you know.

And finally to Will, for bringing love back into my life – no matter how short lived. You never can have too much love in your life. It meant the world to me.

Love,
Annie

The Miracles…

signs-n-stuff009

I’ve come to realize that my world in the last several months has been a sort of protected secret. A restricted area where few were allowed passage. And I’ve had to ask myself why. I may be right or I may be wrong but I believe the following sheds some light – at least for me.

About a year ago something unthinkable happened – a friend almost died.

“Dear Friends” the email began – and those words, changed my life forever.

The day was beautiful – perfect- and as I sat at my computer in my sun-filled room I saw nothing but darkness. The flowers in the vase on my table died as I stared at them, unseeing – grasping for the ordinary – the normal – knowing I would never again have it back in my possession. Not really.

The azure sky and the aubergine mountains closed in on me and were like a noose squeezing the joy out of everything I held dear. My possessions, once the source of comfort and stability, became dangerous and threatened to hurt me because everything reminded me of the pain I felt of losing an irreplacable friend.

My blue walls became an ocean that drowned me as I fought for air for lungs already filled with tears. The guilt of my weakness and grief robbed the little oxygen I had left and I’ve not felt the easy action of breathing in and out since. I must tell myself to ‘breathe.’ Often, I don’t succeed. Because in that moment a door shut. No. Slammed. And something in me died – the death throes of that moment still rattle in distant brain cells that refuse to go quietly.

Moments, days, weeks, months have blurred one into the next. So much so that I couldn’t tell you what’s happened in my life, except in the most general terms, in the last year. I can say that I’ve felt like a woman submerged in a deprivation tank of perception and senses. Things once light became dark, things once clear became dull. No matter where I go, what I do or see, everything reminds me. How can that be? And yet it is.

Speaking of it and attempting to express it has only added nails to the coffin because it was my job to be strong. For her. For her children. For her family and friends. It was my job to fix this terrible mistake that life had perpetrated on us. My job to find the answers to why. Why? Why? Why? Why did this happen at all? Why did this happen to her?

No amount of comfort, sympathy or soul searching has answered that question, leaving me with the conclusion that we aren’t meant to know some things before their proper revelation. Which makes me wonder if the ‘truth’ is a wholly subjective animal that changes on a moment to moment basis rather than something carved in universal stone. A creature which will remain illusive as long as I chase after it. As long as I must find it.

But the truth cares not to show its face to anyone and rather prefers to taunt and torture all of us into submission and fetal positions of the soul. Running from it and the reality of what has happened has brought no relief either. Instead it brings more pain and confusion to my doorstep and camps there now like a squatter claiming real estate that belongs to another.

Yet also, I see that in this nightmare there have been miracles. True miracles. For which I am grateful beyond description. Her irrespressible spirit denied death its prize and she survived – and reclaims her life one small piece at a time. She is not satisfied – ever – and is relentless in her pursuit. But I see each small victory as a blessing and a gift from God or the angels or the universe. And pray for more every day.

And now I choose to focus on the miracles and maybe that is what God intended from the beginning?

angel-baby

Old Friends

Don’t you just love them? Especially the ones you haven’t talked to in ages and when you pick up the phone and give them a call, it’s as though nothing has changed. You still have so much to talk about and laugh about – and damn it’s just good to hear their voice and remember how much you really dig them? Yep. That’s one of the good, good things in life, isn’t it?

I had the pleasure of talking to an old friend last night and I’m still smiling. It was just great to talk to them and yak about…everything really. And even though we talked for three hours we still had a lot more to say to each other. I really love that, don’t you? Someone you like so much that you never really run out of things to say or talk about.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the daily crap and what is stressing you out at the moment and forget to stay in touch and all that. Ah, but when I do get back in touch I forget about the stress and remember why I really like this person – that I own a little piece of them and they own a little piece of me and that’s how it should be.

So, sorry no funny saracasm, no rapier wit – I’m just really happy that I spent a lot of time last night talking to an old friend.