A bowl of potato soup, a glass of Irish Mist and happy birthday

I know extraordinary women. We meander through each other’s lives from a distance or we drive across town to meet for coffee. We lift each other up when life is beating the other one to a bloody pulp. These women are endlessly amazing. They are brilliant. They are funny as heck. They love me. They nurture me. I nurture them. Sometimes weeks go by without talking (either via phone or electronically). Yet I know that they love me. I pray they know I love them.

My life is enriched because of them. We can sit for hours and discuss our latest crisis or our latest joy. As Anne of Green Gables would say, we are “bosom friends”. Their friendship helps me remember to be my better self.

When a friend is hurting I long to rush to her side. Life doesn’t always let me do that. But we support each other however we can. Truly, is there anything so lovely as sitting down with a friend over a bowl of homemade soup? Not just talking….really being heard. Going through the nuances and layers of what the other is suffering through or celebrating. Knowing with certainty that you will be accepted and loved. Being reminded that you are not going through it alone.

So many folks are hurting. The economy is tough and people have trials. If you knew these friends of mine you would be astonished!! They are amazing….yet they would toss that assessment off as not true. They are so busy loving others and giving and making the world better that they are blissfully unaware of their giftedness.

How did I get so lucky to know so many FABULOUS women? I am a billionaire in friends. These women have stood by me through some MAjOR crises. Some friends did not. But these women did. Their love for me remained strong and faithful. They were there for me. I have tried to be there for them as well. I love them SO much.

They have taught me what constancy in friendship is all about. Their advice is rock solid. We know we are not in it alone. We teach each other, support each other, and laugh with each other. They have provided great examples to me and helped me become a better person.

Today I am praying for a couple of my very dear friends that are going through difficult and stressful times. I pray that they will be flooded with grace and peace. I pray that their children will gain health and peace.

I want you to picture this: my friend making an incredible pot of potato soup while our sons play. We have been talking for hours and we are just getting started. We pull out the fabric and plan quilts. We talk about a cookout. We share a tear over issues our children are having. We rejoice because it is her birthday. We laugh and recall many, many memories. I dash back home and grab the corned beef and cabbage dinner and bring it over to her house for all of us to share. She takes out and opens a bottle of Irish Mist. Eventually our husbands arrive at home. ..and join the rest of us.  We talk and talk on into the evening. I think to myself “THIS is what heaven will be like”. and I smile. . . I have had so many blessings from this friendship. . . and you can be sure we will remain friends the rest of our lives.

I think of another friend’s child who is recovering from surgery and know that she is there for her child. She is so devoted, deep, and loyal. She has been there for me countless times. . . she has been a guidepost and a steady hand.

I think of my lighthouse Nantucket friend—geographically we are way too far apart these days. But she is in there pitching every day—I can hear her laugh. Things happen in the world and in the political arena and I think of her and remember countless discussions and conversations. – – I think of her support and her laughter. I see a good book, I think of her. My bookaphile friend. My Lord how I miss being geographically close to her.

I think of my walking friend…..how she listened to me as we walked around and around our block while I poured out my aching heart. She listened and she loved me.

I think of the other friends i have too—they know who they are….women of faith, women of strength, women of political and humanitarian involvement.

In these wee hours of the morning I smile. I know that these women are making the world better. In big ways and little ways. Each of them makes ripples on God;s sea of life. I am thinking of things like bucket lists these days. I think my bucket list has got to include spending big chuncks of time with each of them. In the meantime we seek each other out. We pray for each other. We laugh and cry together. We make soup. We make coffee. We make lasagna. We meet each other for coffee or breakfast when we can. We plant gardens. We share crops. We talk. We email. We remind each other how much the friendship means. We share old memories from long ago.

This strengthens us for the stress, trauma, excitement and whatever else we are going through. I can picture them in my mind when I think of all the things that occupy my days. It is beginning to look like these women are Forever Friends. As we continue to age and enter new stages of life I am glad that I will have them. I am glad they are at my side. I am glad they have my back. I am glad, as I walk along the shore. that they are running towards me, arms outstretched ready to give me an enormous hug.

This is the stuff of life. Friendship is what helps to define me. Their belief in me helps me begin new things. Helps me clean out a closet. Helps me write. Helps me, in turn to reach out to others. Happiness runs in a circular motion. Love is like a little boat upon the sea…

The people in my life believe in me and I in them. They are beautiful. Our journey as friends continues. You honor me with your constancy. Love you my friends. I really, really do. May the consolation, peace, comfort, and direction you seek come your way as quickly as possible.

And to those whom I have neglected lately, I am truly sorry. I’ll be there for each of you. Always.

An addendum…..today is proof once more ofthe wonder of friendship. so many have been in touch to wish me a happy birthday….thanks! It makes me grateful all over again. You bless me beyond measure—I cherish you.

About Kate Kresse

I love to write, I love to talk, I love to uplift people when I can. I am a woman in love with life. I am a wife, mom, tutor, writer, and I am a perennial optimist. (OK not every single minute but you get the point! :-)
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