By sharing my writing (Poetry in particular), a life long dream, I hope to inspire others to go after their dreams and goals.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

My Friend many of us have them?  That is a question an old rap song by artist Whodini, asks us. When I was younger I used to think everyone does.  As I got older I learned that sadly this is not true.  Some people confess to having no friends at all.

One of my favorite poets, Ralph Waldo Emerson, said "The only way to have a friend is to be one."  I find this to be very true.  Friendship is a two way street.  Today is the birthday of a dear friend of mine.  We met, as many people who become friends meet, at work.

I will always recall something she said to me in the early stages of what would become a more than twenty year friendship. She said something to the effect of "I was hoping I see something in you that proved what I had been told, that you are the best at your job."  She was referring to my boss's statement about my work ability.  I know she worded it differently but she was completely right.  Up until that point I probably had not been giving my new position 100%.  Her honesty, down to earth and extremely kind heart drew me to her.

I knew that we were more than co-workers when we began to socialize outside of the work place and not just for drinks.  She drew me into the world of boxing, sisterhood (she is one of three lovely sisters that I had the privilege to get to know) and so much more.  Her no nonsense, yet loyal and dedicated approach at work and home would have a great influence on me in later years.

We worked together for close to five years, both thriving in our chosen career.  But then I left the company, eventually the business and finally I even left the state we lived in.  Yet, not before we both experienced a bond with three other beautiful people, meeting for dinners, happy occasions and support during the tragic events of September 11th.  We had other friends in common as well and that showed me that we were drawn to similar people.

We kept in touch when I moved, via email, social media, cards in the mail, little gifts.  I tried my best to be there for her when one of her beautiful sisters passed away too young, leaving my friend devastated.  When I first became a grandmother she was one of the few who celebrated the occasion.  While others were more subdued by the fact that my daughter was a teenage mother, my friend sent me a little magnet that read "Grandmas are Moms with a lot of frosting."  It meant more than she probably knew.  Well my friend is a friend with a lot of frosting.  Now that she is a mother, her beautiful daughter will be lucky to get all of my friend's sweetness.

I am grateful and fortunate to have many friendships.  Still there are only a few I consider very close to my heart. Like any relationship, friendship is a give and take equation.  I am not referring to physical gifts. I am referring to the gifts of time, love, support and encouragement. My relationship with my friend, whose birthday I celebrate today one thousand miles away, has grown stronger over the years despite the distance. I cherish her being in my life, as I do my other friends and I truly hope she knows that.

This past year I feel as if I have been less than a stellar friend.  This is due in part to the many changes that occurred in my life and my ability to finally create some boundaries in my relationships.  At first I felt guilty about not being available and taking time out for myself but then I realized my true friends have remained throughout and that giving each other space is one of the gifts we can offer one another.  I hope to see my friend in 2014 when I travel her way.  Until then we will "see" each other through good and bad times, offering support, laughter and most importantly ourselves.  For it is who we truly are that draws a person to want to be your friend.

So don't fake a friendship.  Give of yourself and if a person truly cares about you they will reciprocate. Remember though, friendship is not based on how much each one does for the other.  Friendship is about accepting each other as we truly are.  Sometimes we may not offer up our "best" but a true friend will call you out on it and hopefully your friendship will grow and you will both have a laugh about the good old days.

Happy birthday to a woman I admire very much and am profoundly grateful to call "my friend."



  1. today i sat at the coffee shop and did something i barely have time to do..i sat down and checked my email and as i was going thru it i saw "castles and gazebos"....and instead of continuing to check my emails i decided to read your blog..i hadnt had a chance to sit down and read them since september...but i am so grateful that i took a moment to sit down and read them...i actually had to leave the coffee shop because i had to be some where but as soon as i got settled in at home i opened up my laptop to finish reading...i have always loved you and always knew u could write beautifully, but reading your posts made me fall in love with u even more...i couldn't stop reading and even now, i want to read more....if you could see me reading you would see my nodding my head and thinking, wow! that was beautiful...and i say that from my heart and sincerely....your heart, spirit, and warmth is sooo strong and im taken aback thinking, i know this woman! shes not just a blogger, she is Val...its crazy because i know u and i know "of" this side of u, but now i see that side of u even more beautiful than it already was in my mind...idk if that makes sense? You have always been an inspiration to me and continue to do so every day....there are moments in my life when i have needed some one to bring a smile to my face, and u have done that with the little gifts you have sent me over the years (which have always, always made me feel so special), with the birthday cards and simply "thank you, congrats, or thinking of you cards", they mean the world to me...something so small like that literally brings tears to my eyes, and those things are what makes you soooo special to me! i want you to know that u mean so much to me and i am so thankful that God has placed you in my life so so many years...i love you, i really do! thank you for everything and thank you for finally putting you dream of writing/blogging into play...this is YOU, this is where you belong, but this is only the start of your have been patient and relentless in every aspect of life, keeping a smile on your face thru it all...i want you to know that u are special and those seeds you have planted (as well as those that God has planted in you) will sprout into beautiful things for you! i always keep u in my thoughts and i will say a prayer for u, that that "bucket/resolution list" becomes a reality....i love you angel xoxo

    1. Just completely choked up right now. Thank you so much Tanya. You are very special to me. I love you very, very much.