Thursday, September 29, 2011

Friends: Our Greatest Treasure!

Hubby and I have been working to finalize the arrangements for a cross-country train trek that he and I will be taking in mid-October when during which we will be visiting with two families who have been friends for over forty years. Actually, we all served together back in the late 1950's-early 1960's when we all were stationed in Berlin, Germany. We were a part of what was then referred to as the "German-American Community" and worked in a setting that was not segregated from the German establishments around the various military offices. It was a very unique setting and we had wonderful opportunities to get to know people we would ordinarily not have met. Planning this trip has sort of turned our thoughts back to those days, made both hubby and I realize that we have encountered some very special people in our life, many of whom we have had to bid farewell or whose lives have taken them in different directions.

Added to the remembrances engendered by all this trip planning is some thought brought on by a discussion I had with a local friend about holding grudges. I guess the direction of our thought was along the lines of: "What is really most important? Holding the grudge or keeping the friend?" I found it a question I hadn't considered often in recent years. As one who really doesn't hold grudges, I haven't thought much about what really is going on. But I have realized in recent days that two of my really good friends are mad at each other and, in my humble opinion, are holding grudges about really silly stuff. Obviously, it isn't silly to the two of them, but really, is the grudge so important that they are willing to sacrifice a long-time friendship so they can hold on to their particular "take" on a given situation? I'm worried about them, and yet I know I have to stay out of their way.

This, of course, has moved me on to thinking about the value of friends in my life. I am presently counseling with a lady who seems to have a talent for choosing people as friends and acquaintances who are absolutely toxic for her. They continually disappoint her and have, in fact, had some destructive influence on her and her life. She is so needy, and so lonely. Made me realize just how precious to me my friends have been throughout my life. Thanks to Facebook I have been able to connect with some friends of the past (although their lives are so different now and we really don't have nearly as much to share these days). I will always treasure the times we spent together. I choose to believe that they were there when I needed them, and hopefully, I met a need in their life as well.

Of course, I also remembered people I thought of as "friends" and realized later on that they were acquaintances or people I worked with, but that they had not investment in my life as a true friend would have. Those experiences taught me a lot about being insightful about the people in my daily life--are they co-workers I value but don't have much to do with my life outside of my job? And I realized that the number of true friends I have had in the past and have now are a much smaller number than I first assumed. All the more reason to treasure the true friends I have.

Lastly, I can't have any commentary on "friends" without acknowledging my very best friend who happens to also be my hubby of many decades. He has stayed with me through thick and thin, through kid troubles, money troubles, job troubles, and with his irrepressible sense of humor, made me laugh when I least felt like doing so. I am truly blessed to have him in my life.

Hang on to your friends . . . they are our greatest treasure!

1 comment:

Tracy said...

True friends are just one the most wonderful things on earth. Having moved around so much when I was younger (as you well know) it was hard to make friends and keep up with them after we moved. Not like now where there's Facebook and texting and email. The ones that stick by you year after year and keep in touch make life that much better.

About the grudges...I can only see a few things in my mind that would warrant losing a friend. It's just not worth it over petty stuff. Hopefully your friends will realize this before it's too late.

I love that photo btw!