My experiences during my recent vacation highlighted one other indispensable requirement: friends. Yes, friends. These are the people who aren't related to you who will put up with your quirks and oddities just because they choose to. They will take you to lunch, share dinner with you at your home, or have a hot dog while sitting next to you at a ballgame.
They will laugh with you, cry with you, hug you when you need it, and give you a verbal slap when called for. They will allow you to be you while gently nudging you to grow and develop. They will listen as you try to explain away your mistakes without judging or condemning you. Friends are what makes living rich and full of joy.
Too often we leave friends behind when we retire. Sure, we mean to stay in touch, but drifting apart after the bond of work has been severed is what usually happens. Old friends may move away or fall out of our lives due to divorce , sickness, or death. Sometimes we just grow apart. Making new friends as we age becomes more difficult.
That's why what has happened over the past year to Betty and me is so special. During our two trips to Portland we have met some people who have become a very important part of our lives. We love them, care about them deeply, and long to be with them whenever possible. Amazingly, they feel the same way.
This trip we met a new couple who we instantly developed a bond with. That relationship is likely to strengthen and deepen over time, too. We were able to talk with each other like long lost college chums, feeling comfortable and at home in each other's company.
Of course we have very important relationships with friends in Phoenix. They enrich our lives every time we are with them. But, it is impossible to have too many true friends, wherever they may live. Betty and I feel as if we have hit the jackpot.
To our new friends in Portland (and those we met there), know that you make our lives fuller, more exciting, more vibrant, and more loving just by being you.
Friends must be one of God's way of showing us we matter. Otherwise, why would He put them in our lives?
|courtesy blog.clarity.fm -|