Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.
The other day I shared with you how much I am moved by a friend of mine who is fighting cancer. His therapy has not been easy and was complicated by an infection that put him in the hospital interrupting his chemo treatments. His strength of character and positive attitude has made him a role model we all would do well to emulate.
Rather than bemoan his bad luck my friend has chosen to give us the gift of his thoughts through a blog he has subtitled “Funny things happen on your way to getting cancer.” Below is one of his short essays that reminds us why we should not take our friends for granted and the value of letting them know they are appreciated.
The Talk Doctor
There has probably been as much written about friends and friendship as any other topic. Friendship has never been more evident to me than during this journey. I can’t begin to express thanks for all those cards, phone calls, emails, and texts filled with good thoughts and prayers. At the recent funeral of a beloved priest, the church was bursting at the seams. The number of those paying their respects at the funerals of two well-known, well-liked corporate executives, on the other hand, was quite small. In a recent book, Jim Denison asks the question, “Are You Building a Resume or Writing a Eulogy?” I hope you have given at least equal time to your eulogy.
For more than forty years I have been a member and then the Executive Director of a Physical Education fraternal organization whose motto is, “Friendship Hath Power.” I’d like to borrow from the fraternity’s section on friendship. Friendship is defined by Aristotle as “one mind in two bodies.” Think about your best friend or friends and how much you think alike, respond in similar ways and generally have an almost spiritual trust in one another. Don’t put off that next phone call, email or text to your best friend. If it is been awhile and you’re not sure exactly what you’ll say, take some inspiration from Edgar Guest’s poem written at Christmas time.
A FRIEND’S GREETING
I’d like to be the sort of friend that you have been to me;
I’d like to be the help that you’ve been always glad to be;
I’d like to mean as much to you each minute of the day
As you have meant, old friend of mine, to me along the way.
I’d like to do the big things and the splendid things for you,
To brush the gray from out your skies and leave them only blue,
I’d like to say the kindly things that I so oft have heard,
And feel that I could rouse your soul the way that mine you’ve stirred.
I’d like to give you back the joy that you have given me,
Yet that were wishing you a need I hope you will never be;
I’d like to make you feel as rich as I, who travel on
Undaunted in the darkest hours with you to lean upon.
I’m wishing at this Christmas time that I could but repay
A portion of the gladness that you’ve strewn along my way;
And could I have one wish this year, this only would it be;
I’d like to be the sort of friend that you have been to me.
It has been said that we make our friends, not by calling them friends, but by being a friend. The greatest loss would not be the breaking of friendship ties, but the failure to make these friendships. Jesus never said a more gracious word to His disciples than, “Ye are my friends.” He bound them to Him and He bound Himself to them in ties of unselfish devotion.
Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That’s why it’s a comfort to go hand in hand.
Adam and Eve had an ideal marriage. He didn’t have to hear about all the men she could have married, and she didn’t have to hear about the way his mother cooked.
One woman was bragging to her next-door neighbor about her son, a college student. “Why, our son is so brilliant, every time we get a letter from him we have to go to the dictionary.”
“You’re lucky,” the neighbor said. “Every time we get a letter from ours, we have to go to the bank!”
Catching her in the act, I confronted my 3-year-old granddaughter, “Are you eating your little sister’s grapes?” I demanded.
“No,” she innocently replied, “I’m helping her share.”
Ex-lovers make good speed bumps.
The tiresome jury selection process continued, each side hotly contesting and dismissing potential jurors. Don O’Brian was called for his question session.
“Yes, I am, Your Honor.”
“Married or single?”
“Married for twenty years, Your Honor.”
“Formed or expressed an opinion?”
“Not in twenty years, Your Honor.”
Why is it called a T.V. set when you only get one? Same thing for a pair of jeans. What’s one jean?
There was a competition to cross the English channel doing only the breaststroke, and the three women who entered the race were a brunette, a redhead and a blonde.
After approximately 14 hours, the brunette staggered up on the shore and was declared the fastest. About 40 minutes later, the redhead crawled up on the shore and was declared the second place finisher.
Nearly 4 hours after that, the blonde finally came ashore and promptly collapsed in front of the worried onlookers.
When the reporters asked why it took her so long to complete the race, she replied, “I don’t want to sound like I’m a sore loser, but I think those two other girls were using their arms…”
I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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