|A furry friend|
We didn't set out to fill our holiday with visiting, it just happened and it was a gift. Roughly two-thirds of the way through our vacation while I was riding shotgun, I lined up all the friends we had encountered in our trip. They all stood side-by-side in my mind's eye. The data collection part of my brain kicked in and I began sifting through the relationships for commonalities and differences.
There were a lot of differences and few commonalities. The friends came into our lives at different times through a variety of avenues over many years. Some went back to high school days when an electric typewriter was high tech. Others came into our lives through work, formed threads of friendship and stayed. They spanned several generations and a huge range of interests. None fit a predetermined friend mould but all were kind and generous. Somehow we were fortunate enough to have each of them come into our lives and choose to stay.
The whole gratefulness thing has hung around in the corners of my brain for the last two weeks as we got back into our regular work schedules and continued to have encounters with friends. I attended a colleague's funeral last week and it made me think about friends and gratitude. The church was full, even the balcony. It was full of family, friends, and colleagues. I have often thought that all the wonderful friends we have from the different spheres of our lives may never come together until a funeral, and that seems wrong. Maybe we should throw a gratitude party and just put a public announcement in the obituaries. Except it would be a We Are Still Alive & Thankful announcement. Everyone who felt they had a connection to us could just come. We would celebrate our friendships and relationships while we were alive instead of waiting until we were dead and it was too late.
Maybe one day I will do that. In the meantime, Thanksgiving is a fine opportunity to express gratefulness for the cornucopia of friends who have chosen to stay in our lives. Thank you! Spread the gratefulness this weekend by letting at least one friend know you are thankful for them. The best things in life come out of a place of gratefulness, including friends.