I wrote this a year ago, but loved reading it again as I have been considering and reading about friendships the past couple of days.
My shortest relationship began and ended in disaster.
His mother worked at the bank with me a million years ago…well maybe not that long ago. I’ve been with my husband for so long it seems there was no one before him.(I mean that in a good way dear hubby!!)
Sadly I cannot remember the name of the sweet guy who sent me roses on Valentine’s Day. Maybe because it was 1985 and that was a long time ago. Weren’t you married in 1985 you ask? Yep! That’s another romance story. But this was February, and Rob and I were not speaking. He was in Arizona, probably not giving me a second thought..you may have to ask him about that!!
For this post’s sake let’s say his name was Doug, I think that’s close enough. As I said, I worked with Doug’s mom who was a typical mother, looking for a sweet girl for her son to date. The roses were beautiful he sent that year along, with a request for a date. I wonder what she told her son about me. We had never met but he wanted to go out. I said yes. He arrived one evening at my upstairs apartment bearing more roses. He was early, anxious to get the date on it’s way or get it over.
I ran to the door with plunger in hand as my toilet decided it was the perfect time to run over. I was dressed and ready to go, but toilet duty called meaning, water needed to be cleaned up before it drowned the downstairs neighbors. I’d like to think Doug rolled up his sleeves and helped me, but memory again fails. With the mess cleaned up we were on our way for an hour car ride to see the magician David Copperfield. Plunger disaster averted. Doug was the perfect gentleman that evening. I wish I could remember what we talked about. He was as sweet as his mom. We had a great time together, but the second disaster hit when he called the following week for another date and I had to turn him down. I worked fulltime, baby-sat a couple of evenings for a friend, was involved in ministry at church and played volleyball. I didn’t have a free evening. I’m sorry I was never able to explain my reasons. He never got up the courage to call on a girl who was too busy for him, I’m sure he thought. His mother was gracious and never asked. We went our separate ways, I married and went my merry way, hearing several years later he had died of cancer as a young man and never married. I hope I wasn’t the one who turned him off to dating.
This brief time in my life makes me think about how busy my life can become, believing everything else in life is so much more important than taking the time to spend with friends. Work beckons, babies and teenagers seem to write our schedule with church and community activities rounding out the calendar. Where does that leave those we call our friends?
I had a wake up call seven+ years ago when I was very busy taking care of my growing family and trying to keep up with a very active church life. When death suddenly arrived at my doorstep, it was like chains fell from my sides and life as I knew it would never be the same. NOT that family and ministry are chains, but that weekend when my dad entered heaven, God was showing me what really mattered. I was so busy doing, I had failed to stop and just be…whether it was taking the time to be with God, stop and enjoy my family rather than rushing from one activity to the next or stopping to enjoy coffee with friends. Maybe that is why, over that past few years, I have come to enjoy coffee so much more. I don’t think it is the taste or the caffeine(might be though). The simple act of enjoying a cup of coffee causes me to slow down, to enjoy the moments with my Bible, or across the table from my kids, friends and loved ones.
All this rambling to say we need friends. Even if it just one or two people we can count on no matter what, friendship is so important. And if you’re married girlfriend..don’t expect your husband to fill all your needs when it comes to friendship. As one husband who will remain un-named told me so many years ago…”I’m not your girlfriend and I don’t want to be your girlfriend.” If you are un-sure about that quote, give me a shout and we will have some girl time. In the mean time, let us take time for friendship.