all of the selves we Have ever been
Dates have been slipping and sliding from my calendar this year.
Darn virus! The entire year, to date, seems like one long sick-day. Among the unexpected and unreported side effects of COVID-19 is losing track of time and important occasions.
And so, while I was sniffling and prostrate on my couch,
surfing channels broadcasting ads asking me to call this attorney or that about every conceivable type of cancer caused by common household products,
I missed it. And I can’t believe it.
Friendship Day 2020.
Friendship Day is the first Sunday in August. This year it was August 2nd. I wanted to remember that date this year. Apologies to all.
Friends have been the gift of my life, friendship my daily bread.
Friends fill spaces in our lives that family cannot reach. Friendship develops parts of us that may go unseen or unpracticed in our family dynamics. Our oldest and dearest friends become a new kind of family, a chosen one. I would give any of my dear friends a kidney or a lung if they needed it.
The years can change things within our families too. Children grow up and become adults. We come to enjoy them as trusted advisers, companions, equals, and friends. As we age, our aunts, uncles and cousins are no longer just “the relatives,” but friends with interesting lives and new perspectives on family history.
During this time of COVID, my friends have been my lifeline. Daily phone calls, emails, texts, and letters keep me connected to life, to the past, and to myself. The words and voices of friends keep me in the present and give me hope for a future. We laugh and talk. We use our friendship to defy the virus and dispel those occasional intrusive thoughts that cast doubt about the future. Together, we are daring and hopeful, planning for a time when we will be free to get into our cars and take road trips together, eat indoors at restaurants, go to the movies, and celebrate birthdays in person. For my friends and because of them, I can be a ninja warrior in this extended battle against the virus.
The poet Kahlil Gibran wrote this about friendship: *
Your friend is your needs answered.
He is your field which you sow with love and reap with Thanksgiving.
And he is your board and your fireside.
For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for your peace.
. . .
And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.
If you forgot about Friendship Day too, use a lifeline, phone a friend. You will feel like a millionaire!
*(From The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran first published in September 1923)