The Importance of Expressing Gratitude in Your Friendships
I have some very special friendships I want to share with you. Let me tell you about them.
My friend, Fran “the tax man” and I, have been friends for 41 years. He’s always had a special spot in my heart. He has a glint in his eye, a natural kindness, and tendency to like to horse around. Dear Fran helped me move from my college housing to my “adult” housing after my dad died and helped me with my taxes. He has a sincere interest in me and my success in all roles of my life. Fran is a former CEO of a Fortune 500 company and one of the most special men I have ever met in my life. I’ve always said, “I want to marry a Fran.” He’s set the bar for men for me. Fran is 91 years old.
My friend, Dorothy, is married to Fran. Unlike Fran, I didn’t get to know Dorothy until later in my life. Fran used to come and visit me when I was younger when he traveled to MN for work. Meanwhile, Dorothy was at home, “holding fort,” wherever they were living at the time.
Dorothy and I have been good friends for the last 15 years. She is the most proper and pristine person I know. She is petite, about 5 feet and currently stands at a 90-degree angle. Her osteoporosis has made her quite crippled. Dorothy is a kind and gentle spirit. She loves people of all ages and takes an active interest in you AND remembers everything about you. She loves her great-grandchildren and cherishes her time spent with the youngsters in her family. Dorothy is 95 years old.
Another dear friend, Father Jim, just celebrated 60 years in the priesthood. I have known Father Jim all of my life. He is…silly. He can make me laugh, and we laugh together because we both like to horse around and have a good time. I admire his intelligence, openness and success within his career. He’s impacted hundreds and thousands of lives and has shown how being a priest doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your personality. I admire his authenticity and ability to see beyond his religious beliefs. Father Jim is 81 years old.
Last and certainly not least is Char, one of my best friends. Char is a part of my family, even though we’re not blood related. I have known Char since I was five years old. Char has a spirit that is like no other. She has battled a few major health hurdles that most people would die from, but not Char.
I cherish my time with her and confide in her on things that most of my friends don’t hear about. Her heart is enormous, and all she exudes is love for you. I admire her moxy and I have learned many things from her. She has close friends from 5 to 95 years old; she’s one-of-a-kind. Char is 92 years old.
The past few months, I have been worried and sad thinking about what the next few years will hold for them (and for me). I want Fran, Dorothy, Father Jim and Char to live on forever. I can’t imagine not having them around. I know that now, RIGHT NOW, I need to cherish every opportunity I can spend with them and celebrate their lives. I cry writing this blog because I love each of them very much. They have been key role models in my life, and I am thankful for knowing them and for the opportunity to learn from them.
What a gift our elders are to us. I try to live my life so that if someone did die, even me, each person would know how I feel about them. I am going to renew that relationship with my good friends over the next couple of weeks because I have been neglectful. My time is short, actually for any of us, and seeing the twinkle in their eyes and experiencing their kind and engulfing love will nourish my soul and stay with me forever.
About the Author
Peggy Paul, Founder of SheTaxi, originally published this blog in 2011 on SheTaxi.com.