Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Good Friends Make Us Healthy

While celebrating a friend’s birthday this week at a bistro with a garden shop attached, I found this smashing piece of work. She is called The Poet. DH asked me how I know she is a poet, a writer? Well, silly man, she has both a book and a pen. She MUST be a writer!

Duke University researchers found that heart disease patients with close friends lived double the time of patients with no close friends. This is one more reason to have good buddies in our lives. I have been fortunate in my lifetime to know a lot of friendly folks, but I also have a good number of what I count as close friends. My mother told me as a child that when women go through life they are lucky if they find one or maybe two true friends. My mom’s math does compute for me.

This week some of us took one of our friends to lunch to celebrate her birthday. Long ago we would slip away from families in an evening, go out to eat, give the birthday gal a big basket of gifts so carefully chosen by the group in the weeks before the birthday. Now it is harder despite the children being grown, the men being less needy, etc. We have dropped the gift giving because none of us have many wants or needs anymore. Going to eat can be a problem with special diets of no sugar, no fat, etc. We tire earlier, long for our nighties when the darkness begins to fall. Where are those bouncy young women we once were?

Yet, there is something soothing about a quiet salad or healthy sandwich at noon in a secluded corner somewhere. Things have changed but we still are friends. While we might not spring so high in our step, we do have those shared memoires of all the earlier years. Slower, yes, but in essence we are the same people.

A new friend won’t remember my children doing things like a six year old son wanting to part his hair like President Jimmy Carter! A new friend won’t remember the times of sick husbands with heart attacks, surgeries and cancer. Only I will remember the friend who came to my house in late evening to help me make up my bed while DH struggled after surgery. Oh and the weddings, the ones among our children full of promise that were mistakes as well as the happy ending ones. There is so much shared living that needs the old friends to remember.

Friends, do you appreciate yours?
                                 An Easter basket delivered this week by a friend...


noexcuses said...

You are soooo right about those good friends! I can so relate to the "jammies at nightfall" and special diets! I love this story!

marylinwarner said...

This is beautiful, Claudia. You give new meaning to the term "aging beautifully." Through your writing, I can see your son wanting to part his hair like Pres. Jimmy Carter, and see the weddings that were full of promise but still mistakes.
Thank you for this gift of "seeing" through another's words.
Marylin Warner

Linda O'Connell said...

Claudia, this is a testimonial to womens' friendships that made me tear up. Then, I read about the hair part and laughed out loud. I am glad to have you as a blog friend.

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Everything you say is so true! I'm also fortunate to have some decades long friends. They have enriched my life!

Lynn said...

Friends are great indeed!

Susan said...

Oh yes, Claudia, I definitely DO appreciate old friends, and new ones, too. They are sooooo important in life. You are right about those who have shared memories with you----they are most precious.

Things do change as we get older but the hug of an old friend is as special as ever.

Thanks for your visits to my beloved blog and for your comments,too. Love having you visit. Susan