Monday, June 29, 2009

My Personal Heroes: My Friends

It would be a crime on my part if I didn't take the time to acknowledge all my friends, current and past, who have been there for me. My only concern writing this post is that, in my fibro fog and often fatigue impaired state, I am going to forget someone!

This post also combines my love of quotes, of
which there are many about friends and friendship.

Edna Buchanan said
, "Friends are the family we choose for ourselves." and Hugh Kingsmill explained "Friends are God's apology for relations." The friend who fits these quotes is my sister Cyndie who I "adopted" last Christmas. I need to thank her for reminding me that, as an adult, you get to choose your own family. Especially now that my parents are dead and my siblings are both far flung and once removed from me, it comforts me to know that I'm entitled to build a new family of my own choosing to fill the gaps my biological family leaves behind.

"True friends are the ones who never leave your heart, even if they leave your life for awhile. Even after years apart, you pick up with them right where you left off, and even if they die they're never dead in your heart.” (Anonymous) This quote describes the friendship I have with my friend Nina, who I have known since college freshman orientation. We see each other only from time to time, mostly because we live about 400 miles apart. Yet every time we get back together, we truly do pick right up were we left off, catching up on what has happened between visits and talking about our present concerns and situations.

“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out,”exclaims Walter Winchell. This beautifully described my friend Beth, who renewed our friendship once I began my life with chronic health problems. I appreciate her periodic phone calls, checking up on me and filling me in on her job and family. Which reminds me, I think it is my turn to give her a call...

“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though she knows that you are slightly cracked,” jokes Bernard Meltzer. My friend Colleen an
d I share a secret together: we both know each other is slightly cracked! I love friends who share with me their problems and let me, in turn, share about my problems. There are so many people in the world pretending that their lives are perfect. I think it is our faults and foibles that make us who we truly are and choose my friends accordingly. After all, I often feel like the queen of faults and foibles.

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one!”expounds C.S. Lewis. I have met or bonded with too many of my friends through our mutual illness experiences, including April, Julie, Karen and Lauren. Some of the niceness, most talented, compassionate and giving people I know share my rotten luck in the health department.

“You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes,” is a quote from A. A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh. This is my cue to make a list of the friends I need to contact, like Gordon and Eloise. I used to be better at keeping in touch before chronic illness sidelined me. The best part about having the friends that I do is that, even when I fall off the radar, they always welcome me back with open arms.

So thank you, my friends for being my family, being there for me when things go bad, sharing my burdens, accepting me in spite of my shortcomings and always being happy to see me. These are the qualities that make my friends my HEROES!

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