Monday, November 23, 2015

Friends Along the Way

I am sure that I have repeated myself several times; however, I am sure we can read things over and over again.

We are on a life journey where we meet new people and get new friends. It starts when we are a baby where our mother’s best friend or those she hangs out with at least who has a baby as well around the same age. Along with them are other babies at church, in the neighborhood, grocery store, library and cousins. After a little while we meet new friends in pre-school and then onto kindergarten before elementary school. We continue meeting other kids whether they move into the neighborhood or into school. If we move at some point we get new friends as well. After high school we meet new friends at college and then onto the workplace. During college or in our twenties we meet the love of our life that has their own friends as well. We have children and the cycle continues with them getting friends until our lives end at some point. Of course, we lose friends along the way whether they move away or we do. At some point death ends friendships. It could be a death of our spouse or a death of a friend’s spouse.

The real special friendships are those you have at an early age and continue throughout life. Not everyone is so lucky to have someone like that to be close with the whole life until one is gone. Also, there are friendships that you have for a long time but you only see the person once in a while. Maybe they live somewhere else but you keep in touch by email or social media. Every year you talk on the phone as well along with exchanging pictures of children and then grandchildren. My mother has a friend like that she has had since they met right after college. They have close ties though only see each other once in a while because of the distance. My mother lives here with me on the west coast in Washington State while her friend is in on the east coast of Canada in Ontario. My mother’s friend has a daughter who lives in Florida and was named after my mother. It really shows how close the two of them are naming a child after the other.

This last Saturday I went to a funeral I guess you would call it or a memorial. I am not sure what the true difference of the two is actually but it really doesn’t matter at all except that you are honoring someone you had known. This fourth one I have been to in the last three months. I guess I would call this one a funeral because it was more formal than the other three with a service. The other three were remembering those who had passed away with sharing remembrance. One was real informal it took place at the Gig Harbor Yacht Club while the other three were in churches. Nothing takes away how important the informal one was to me it was just a different setting and was a total social time with other people who knew him.

What made Saturday’s service and social time after different from the other ones two was the man who passed away I met him when I was twenty while two of the others I grew up with and then the service of the first one I went to I was in my later twenties. This man is Bob and I met him through his wife who I became friends with in church choir. My mother actually met his wife through the Yacht Club as they were sailors along with my mother and father. My mother found that his wife was Episcopalian like she was and invited her to church where she jointed up in the choir. Arriving in Gig Harbor they bought a restaurant which my parents and I would go to sometimes. They had the restaurant for a long time when they finally retired. After retirement the two of them would spend some time in California during the winter and return to Gig Harbor in the spring. After the death of my father my mother and I would go to their restaurant on occasion especially on Easter because they had a fabulous brunch. In fact, you had to make a reservation to be sure you could get in. When they had the time which was not a lot while owning the restaurant they would go out sailing in their boat. During their retirement they spent more time sailing and his wife when in town she would play bridge with my mother and others. They continue doing that to this day. At her age my mother considers bridge a good way to keep her mind intact along socializing with friends. I find that my mother’s age this is a good way to interact with people because many people her age are no longer around, and it can be a lonely time otherwise.

I find that I do have some friends but not many that I would call close but I take every opportunity to spend time with them and with many others as well. I go to a local coffee shop almost every day along with a small group of men from church I meet with twice a month. At the coffee shop I usually see a lot of the same people though I don’t consider them close friends I enjoy my time with them. Also, I enjoy meeting new people at the coffee shop and at the grocery store that is right nearby. Whether we have many or few it is important that we cherish every friend and person we meet on this wonderful journey.

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