Do you thank people for being in your life? When people have been with you for years, do you thank them for enhancing your life? Do you even think about it?
The other day I had this conversation with Barb, my dental hygienist. We’re both in our sixties and have had to navigate some challenging situations. A common “theme” for both of us was deciding how we needed to live our lives differently. This theme was in my head for a while. I was grateful that she opened the door for us to have it. Granted, I was a captive audience as she was cleaning my teeth, but nonetheless I was appreciative. Barb told me that one of her patients (Mary) was at a crossroads. She was neighbors with a woman for over 30 years. The woman wanted to downsize and sell her home. She wanted a simpler life. Mary understood this and wanted the best for her friend. She recognized that her friend needed to move on. She also knew that she needed to develop a “Plan B” in making new friends and establishing new interests. Having a solid friendship with a neighbor is RARE. Many NEVER have anything as extraordinary as that. As Mary recognized the need to move on and process this extraordinary relationship, she observed her neighbor growing distant. Their coffee time grew less and less. Mary moved on with her life because she knew she wanted more with people. (Mary’s neighbor moving away was a “wake up” call to pursue more out of life.) I asked Barb if Mary ever had a “thankful” conversation with her neighbor. Barb asked me what I meant and I explained that (for me), having conversations with people who touched my life were at the core of who I was. That at 60, it was important for me to validate the importance of people, and what they’ve done for me. I also told her how unfinished (certain relationships) were, when those conversations never happened. When I explained what I meant, Barb understood, because she too, was in a place where quality time with people, was at the top of her list.
Our conversation left me encouraged because I believed I was the only one who felt this way. I had seen the emptiness (and felt it) in leaving people, without making time to say goodbye.
In the last couple of months, I’ve wanted to have these conversations with people who I deemed were important. They touched my spirit in PROFOUND ways! I reached out to them to reconnect. Alas, there was no response. I have to admit, it hurt my feelings because this “reconnect” seemed so simple and right. What I missed then, that I KNOW NOW, is that the other person needs to do their part in order for moments to be as solid, as what Mary learned about her 30 year friendship with her neighbor. It was rare and may never happen again!
In fact here is something I’ve written (and given to people), so that they understand their impact in my life.
“Thank You For Being My Friend Day”
I really wish there was a “thank you for being my friend day.” If there were, there would have to be some rules . . .
It would have to happen when the person was alive, telling a person, “thank you, you’ve changed my life,” when they’re in a box wouldn’t do it. You can’t understand or appreciate the words when you’re dead.
It would need to happen daily – “thank you” is not something one grows tired of.
It would need to happen spontaneously. If it were said at the same time, in the same way, it would lose its meaning.
It could take any form – a phone call, a card, a simple gesture, or maybe a 1-1, face to face form (yeah, that would be the best).
In some cases, it would involve tears – when you’ve never told someone “thank you” for the first time (and really and truly mean it), it might spark tears. But you know what? --- tears are ok.
It would have to involve a smile or laughter. When you’re friends with someone, smiles and laughter are good.
It would need a kiss and a hug. We can’t get enough of those!
Last but not least, your heart would have to shine and glow! Being told, “you’re important, you matter, you’re smart, you’ve challenged me to take risks and test myself, or, I’m glad you came my way,” can spark a lot. Just think of what E.T. looked like when he was excited and happy.
Yeah, I wish there was a “thank you for being my friend day.” Maybe it should start today? Look at all the things that would happen.
Today is your day.
Thank you for being my friend. © Bob Roza
Focus: Friendship, closure, spirit,
Questions for you: 1) What transcendent conversations do you need to have? 2) What’s preventing you from having them? Why?