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Thank You For Being A Friend

I was reminded yesterday, by a group of close, girl, friends, how lucky I/we are to have friends in our lives that care enough about us, to reach out and wish us well in this pandemic. Their simple words to each other, and me, got me thinking about how much I miss the ability to get together with them while we fight this deadly virus.

2020 has been an unbelievably trying year for all of us. Social unrest, political insanity, restrictions on gathering, and of course the worst pandemic in a century, all have profoundly changed our lives. Will we ever get back to normal? Those much smarter than me say it is unlikely.

Because of what we are doing to curb the spread of this virus, staying home, not socializing, avoiding each other, we have slowly slipped into a world where we have lost contact with those around us that made up our daily network.

I know that I've been terrible about staying in touch with those I used to communicate with on a regular basis. You get so wrapped up in your own little cocoon that you forget about others until suddenly you realize it has been eight months since you last spoke with them.

You forget that those you love are going through the same withdrawals that you are, and they need that human contact just as much as you need it. You also forget that they are people too, with feelings, and concerns, although many times different ones then you, but important to them nonetheless.

I was reminded of this by someone that I love and respect, in my extended family, earlier this fall, during one of my stretches of writing against the current president. She correctly pointed out, that while she understands that my views are different than hers, it doesn't give me the right to denigrate her, or her views. It was especially disturbing that I was doing it while calling for all of us to come together and stop the nastiness towards each other.

She, of course, was right, and, shame on me.

Our friends and family are the escape hatch to life we use when things get overwhelming. Grabbing lunch with an old friend, having a few couples over for drinks, joining them as they take a grandchild to the zoo, or just picking up the phone and talking about nothing for twenty minutes, are ways we lighten the load of daily life.

Not being able to do that this year has made it even harder for us to get through this awful mess. When I received the note from Homma Nancy yesterday, and the other Homma's replied in kind, it warmed my heart and made me think about how important to my world they were and are.

It also made me think about the other friends that have slipped away from my regular rotation of touching base this year. Friends from work, friends from college, friends from grade school, and friends from many other parts of my life, all have been pushed down on my list of things to do because of other priorities right now. And that is wrong of me to have done that.

These important people have been with me every step of the way in life, and me with them, helping each other, consoling each other, and cheering each other up when life gets in the way. I know we can't get together just yet like we would like to do, but I can certainly do a better job of staying in touch with them than I have been doing.

I promise to reach out to each of you in the next few weeks, if only to say hi, and let you know I still care, and still love you. Once this virus is defeated, and it is safe for us to see each other, I am making the offer for everyone to come out here, and let's have ourselves one giant welcome back party.

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you, and I hope that you and your families stay safe.

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