Friendships are what sustain us. Someone who truly cares and wants to know what is going on in our heart. Someone who wants to know where our soul is at these days and if we are finding joy or if the burden feels too heavy for one and offers to help carry that load. My dear friend Joanie cried with me today because I will be going and she is staying. While we cried together she hugged me and said I know! I know why you are going and would do it too if I were you. I will miss you so.
I will miss her as well. She and Doug provide me with a solid grounded loving that I can always count on, even if we don’t see each other for months at a time. Our friendship is based on caring for the people we are, not what we do, but who we see in spirit and heart. A gift not often found. A loss to grieve for deeply.
Throughout my life I have had several very dear friends, both in Michigan and in Canada. I have been blessed and feel the gift of being loved through all of my life changes. It is because of feeling seen, understood, safely loved and belonging that I have been able to do anything at all with my life. If I have accomplished anything in the many decades of living on this earth, I have so done because I have felt loved. When I forget that it is true that there are those who see me for who I am and want me in their lives, I begin to wither. Adults falter just as children do when they lose love.
I need to feel my heart being touched and I need to know I am wanted for who I am and not for what I do or how I speak. I know that is true for all of us. I know of a 95-year-old man whose wife just died. He was a mean grumpy man all of his adult life. He is scared and looking for a home where he will feel loved and safe, now that he is a widower.
Not many homes are open to him. He has many sins to account for; he is scared nonetheless, and I love him in his fear. I know his fear yet I am loved. What must it be like for him, because I am sure he knows he has been exceedingly difficult. I know of at least one fine son that he raised. There had to have been some awareness somewhere deep inside of him to have a son as loving and generous and kind and wise as the one I know.
Everyone needs to feel loved. Those who deny this may someday regret not taking action to help make themselves lovable. Maybe that is the major lesson to be learned in this life time: that it is important we learn to give love and to receive love. There will inevitably come a time when that will be crucial.
At 95 we know that time is limited. Five, maybe 6 or possibly 7 more years. How do you want to live the last 7 years of your life? I want to live mine where I feel loved and wanted and I would bet almost everything I own that you do as well. That is not always possible. How do we face the realities of the next years of our lives?
I think we face whatever it is that comes next with friendship, with kindness, leading with giving love and welcoming the receiving of it. I think we would be making a big mistake if we don’t do that. I think dying and being unable to access the love in my heart would be the biggest travesty possible. The greatest crime to my soul. My precious soul, who came here to learn and trusted I would take care of us. I must not abandon my soul. I must allow my soul to go where there is kindness, generosity, were I am welcomed, and I must intentionally return all that I am receiving.
The music, the theatre, the busyness, the hustle and excitement, the challenge, the diversity, the magic of the city ultimately do not matter one wit. What matters is intimacy, friendship, closeness, kindness, caring, generosity, feeling safe and belonging. I left Portage, Michigan almost 30 years ago for a bigger city with more possibilities. I return to Portage, Michigan for the love it offers me as I move into my final years.
I am blessed. Nancy