The Gifts Of Friendship

Tell me I’m clever, Tell me I’m kind, Tell me I’m talented, Tell me I’m cute, Tell me I’m sensitive, Graceful and wise, Tell me I’m perfect – But tell me the truth.

~Shel Silverstein

Searching through a virtual mountain of photos of my dear friend Patrice, it was this image that made me pause and get a bit teary-eyed. Taken last September when she was here for a visit, it illustrates what I consider one of the best parts of our relationship … the quiet moments of earnest conversation and sharing.

Not long after Patrice and I first met, she gave me a tour of her home telling stories about different things as we went from room to room in a way very similar to what I might do. Knowing early on that I was a big reader and lover of books, we stopped in front of a bookcase where she had several books that were special to her heart.

At least one was written by Shel Silverstein, an author I knew about, but had not really read and it seemed meant to be somehow that this quote jumped at me when searching for one on friendship this morning. I smiled when I read it knowing that she would understand exactly why I chose this one.

Today is Patrice’s birthday and even though I can’t be there to help celebrate, I wanted to remind her how much I love and appreciate all the ways she has enriched my life with her sweet friendship. I celebrate the light she brings to my life and the many ways she has helped to illuminate the truth.

Happy Birthday, Patrice!

Patrice ... Celebrating the Light!

You can go here to see more photos of Patrice’s trip to Cornwall last year.

Tearful Reunions Taking Place In Cornwall

Patrice & Lisa Arrive By Train

We’ve been showing off Cornwall to friends Patrice and Lisa over the last few days and I wanted to share our reunion with you. I think the sweetness in this hello has to be seen.

Patrice was saying “E,” a nickname some of my friends like to call me, only when she says it, it sounds more like “Eeeeeeee!”

I think everyone should have this experience at least once in their life where someone shouts their name with delight and opens their arms for a big embrace. We do it with our children especially when they’re young and I wonder how much better we’d all feel if greetings in general were more joyful and enthusiastic.

Lisa took this picture of me giving Patrice a big happy hug and the one below as well!

Happy Tears To See Each Other

Patrice and I have known each other for ten years and found a compatibility in our communication right from the first when I showed up in her physical therapy office needing help with a painful hip injury.

We chatted our way through my physical therapy appointments always running out of time with more to say so I suggested we get together for dinner after completing my course of therapy and we’ve been friends ever since. It’s difficult for some of us to find close friends later in life especially the kind you can trust with your secrets and it’s comforting to me to know Patrice is that kind of friend.

We’ve seen each other through some extreme times of sweetness and sorrow watching and supporting each other through major life changes that seemed to happen all at once in our 40s. We’ve laughed and cried our way through romantic disasters, shifts in employment, and the death of both of her parents in the last ten years. It has not always been easy.

Our 50s have a different look about them as we’ve worked to create lives that are more of what we want and while we still struggle occasionally with our individual areas of stress and compromise, I think we’ve both learned the joy in holding tightly to moments with people we love and value.

Patrice is here with her partner Lisa for a few days and John and I are having a blast showing them all the places we love. Their clear delight in everything (except apple cider) makes each day an exciting race to see more and I’m taking pictures of them like a mad paparazzi documenting moments we’ll want to remember.

The pictures above were taken at the train station Saturday evening and capture our happy reunion. We were both teary even though we had said goodbye in Atlanta only last month. I feel sure my tears were more about welcoming a dear friend to my life here in Cornwall than about anything else and it thrills me to see her enthusiasm and appreciation for the places I’ve come love and think of as home.