Thursday, November 20, 2008

John Denver & Friends

"Friends, I will remember you, think of you, pray for you and when another day is through, I'll still remember you."

I've been thinking about my friends a lot lately. My father once told me that I had the gift of friendship. He told me that he admired how well I kept track of my friends and it inspired him to be better about doing the same. It is one of the nicest things my dad has ever said to me which is really saying something because he says a lot of nice things. I hope that I live up to those kind words.

I will say, I have a lot of close friends and a lot of other friends too. At my wedding shower, someone commented when I introduced everyone that I also said something about each of them and they all fell into some group or other. I had friends from my current job, friends from my former job (like the group pictured), friends from church, friends from book group, friends from Curves, friends that are family and so on and so forth.

Now what, may you ask, does John Denver have to do with all this? I am a huge fan of John Denver's music. I know this will leave me open to ridicule but so be it. A lot of his songs have to do with friendship including the lyrics that begin this post. In Poems, Prayers and Promises and This Old Guitar and several other of his songs he sings about the importance of his friends in his life. I really relate to that.

One of the most difficult things that has ever happened to me is damage to a long standing friendship. I don't lose friends. I have drifted apart from friends due to distance or changing interests but I don't lose them. In fact, I have often gone to great lengths to maintain friendships and to keep communication flowing with a friend even when we disagree. I am loud and opinionated and so I do disagree with my friends on occasion but I don't end friendships over foolish things like that. For the first time since I was a child, I had what I believe to be a nearly irreparable break with a friend this past year. A few people really close to me know about it but I haven't generally talked about it. It has been painful.

I won't describe or go into detail here about what happened. The bottom line is I wouldn't give in to something a friend wanted me to do for her and, instead of respecting my decision, she whined, complained and let loose a steady stream emotional blackmail and abuse that has continued for months. It has grieved me as much as if this person had died. It is now to the point that even if she does eventually apologize and we move back into friendship, I will not trust her again and our friendship has been forever changed. (She is not in the picture above by the way. )

Yet with all that, I still think of her as "friend" and so:

"Friends, I will remember you, think of you, pray for you and when another day is through, I'll still remember you."

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