My very dear girlfriend lost her father five days ago. She is flying home alone today & I offered to pick her up at the airport (yes, at rush hour). I have had time to think about how I could help her. Typically, people will call the person who has lost a loved one & ask, “what can I do for you”? Unfortunately, the adult who has suffered the loss is in their grief. HOW WOULD THEY KNOW what to tell you? I decided to take a different tactic, after a lengthy conversation with a few of my other girlfriends, by the way! Yesterday, I roasted a whole chicken & root vegetables (in disposable pans). Today I made a simple green salad & home made salad dressing. Another friend dropped off home made molasses & chocolate chip cookies. THIS SAYS, WE CARE! No one should have to return from burying a parent and take a taxi home! I was able to get a small group of our mutual friends to prepare to more nights dinners. This says, WE LOVE YOU, We are here for you. It may not be food that your friend needs. It may be YOU! Just your presence. You might simply say something like, “can I just come over & be with you”? Anyone else have an idea about how to help a grieving friend? written by Toby
King 5 TV featured a panel discussion on aging parent issues today, in which 6 of us talk about our pressing concerns. Check us out! If you have an issue that you think should be addressed as part of this on-going series, send it to us on our web site via “Contribute a post”.
Thanks, Norma & Toby
Norma & I were interviewed by Chris Schobert, writer for “Forever Young” magazine. Great title, right? Check it out.
Why do I have a variety of friends who are all so different in character? How can I get along with them all? I think that each one helps me in a different way!
With one of them I am polite. I joke with another friend. I sit down and talk about serious matters with one. With another I laugh a lot. I may have a drink with one. I listen to one friend’s problems. Then I listen to another one’s advice for me.
My friends are all like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. When completed, they form a treasure box. A treasure of friends! They are my friends who understand me better than myself, who support me through good days and bad days. We all pray together and for each other.
Real Age doctors tell us that friends are good for our health. Dr. Oz calls them Vitamins F (for Friends) and counts the benefits of friends as essential to our well being. Research shows that people in strong social circles have less risk of depression and terminal strokes. If you enjoy Vitamins F constantly you can be up to 30 years younger than your real age. The warmth of friendship stops stress and even in your most intense moments it decreases the chance of a cardiac arrest or stroke by 50%.
I’m so happy that I have a stock of Vitamins F!
In summary, we should value our friends and keep in touch with them. We should try to see the funny side of things and laugh together, and pray for each other in the tough moments.
Thank you for being one of my Vitamins! What do you think?
I am lucky enough to have a girlfriend living in the same city that I do, that I have known all of my life. We know each other’s families well because of all the time we spent at one another’s homes, growing up. My mother & her father actually went out on a date together when they were in college.
So you ask, “why is this all so important & relevant”? The answer: due to our ongoing relationship we spend hours discussing what is currently going on with our families & in particular with our aging parents. The topics cover information that is often too personal to discuss with outsiders. It’s just not a conversation I would be having with too many other people.
A perfect example is our ongoing e-mail exchange about my mother’s daily barrage of telephone calls. They are filled with panic and amount to nothing. By that I mean, my mom calls about every ache & pain she has and whether she is too hot or too cold or if the food somehow does not suit her. On the other hand, my girlfriend’s mother has no telephone to call out on, as they took it away from her! She broke her hip a year and a half ago trying to use the phone. Today, since she has dementia, she would not even know how to use one any more.
I love my husband and my siblings but I do not know what I would do without my best girlfriend, Samantha. Who is that special someone that you can talk to? written by Jill in Alabama
It was 1961 when we met in. We lived in a Baltimore suburb & attended 5th grade. I had moved to the city 2 years before. Val had recently lost her father in the line of duty (police) and found herself in a new community and a new school. Val was seated beside me, and a friendship was born.
We were in school for 5 years together, before we were sent to different high schools and then my family moved away. But, our bond was deep and would not be broken. We grew up in an era of strict parents, some fabulous music (the Beatles) and all sorts of world-changing events. Recall the show/movie, “Hairspray.” We lived that life! From the start, I always admired Val’s sense of calm and her loyalty to our friendship.
Letter writing and an annual visit back to Maryland kept us connected. We were maid of honor in each other’s wedding, and were there at every life event, although Val lived in Maryland, and I moved around the country. Holding her daughter in my arms at her baptism was an amazing experience. We became immersed in everyday life with 5 children between us. My father went into a coma; she visited me daily in the hospital and was at the funeral. Twenty years later, when I returned to Maryland to help my mother with a serious health/life crisis, she was right there with her usual calm and strength, providing me with resources and emotional support. This past year, she struggled in a life and death battle of her own with her daughter’s life-threatening Lupus. When a kidney transplant was the only answer, Val said of course, she would donate her kidney.
Now that our children are grown, we make the time to meet somewhere each year. In October, we will be celebrating our 50 years of friendship in Key West, a vacation that Val declares will be “the vacation of her life.” It will be a special time indeed, of reflecting back, enjoying the moment, and dreaming about the future!
If you feel inspired please share about your special friendship!
I am going to be on Seattle talk radio, channel 1150 AM , tomorrow Thursday, March 24th at 8:45 AM SPT. If you are in your car please tune in. If you are at your computer you can go to www.chatwithwomen.com for immediate access. Wherever you are please join me as I explain why I began this blog site. Hope you will tune in, Toby