Archive for the ‘Friendship’ Category

No Flowers Please

It was a good day today. No heart-shaped cards or flowers or chocolate-covered cherries in candy boxes. No candlelit dinners or romantic music playing in the background. It was perfect.

I don’t know about you, but I do not care for the hype that the commercialization of occasions such as Valentine’s day invites. In previous years, going out for dinner on February 14 meant having to deal with traffic, parking in crowded lots, waiting in line and overpriced meals. Ugh. Who needs all that to be with the one they love?

This morning, being the man that he is, my husband gave me what I know to be proof of his true love: a cup of hot, steaming, fresh coffee. There is nothing I want more at 6:15 in the morning as I sleepily try to start my day with both eyes open than my caffeine fix, and my husband knows this. I am so blessed to have this man in my life.

The truth is we both forgot it was Valentine’s day. He called me up about ten minutes after having left for work to greet me belatedly — after having been reminded by a co-worker who rides with him in the morning. I was grateful for the reminder as it had slipped my mind. My six-year old daughter handed me a red lollipop with a small, heart-shaped card she had made. It was a great start to my morning.

It got even better when I had lunch with some girl friends. It was a long overdue get-together. There was a lot of laughter, a lot of listening and a lot of talking. I looked at each one of them earlier and was struck by how different we all were, and yet we shared the same spirit and outlook in life. We connect on a level of friendship where we look out for each other. It was certainly worth the drive to Toronto!

I thought it would be a restful and slow evening, but was reminded by my nine-year old son that it was their night to go to their chess club. Tonight turned out to be a fast dinner (thanks to whoever invented microwaveable rice cookers!) but not an unpleasant one. I looked around the table and was happy to be with my children, eating pot roast and hearing them tell stories. And they have so very many! So in a way, I suppose, you could say I had a quiet dinner. I was quiet, but my children weren’t — and I didn’t really mind it tonight. It was nice.

After hungrily eating dinner, my husband had to pick up the kids from their chess club. Before leaving, he said he just had to rush by Costco for something before coming home. I looked at him and knew what he was going to do.

“Please don’t get me any flowers. Really. I don’t want any.”

I knew he was feeling a bit guilty for not getting me a gift or card, but he shouldn’t have.

“I was so happy today,” I told him truthfully. “I did what I had to do, I was with people I wanted to be with, and we have a movie we can watch tonight. Please don’t get me flowers. That’s just too commercial.”

My sweet, tired but happy husband smiled. Today was indeed a great day.


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Half a World Away

A couple of days ago, I got a long and newsy email — the kind I like, actually — from Laureen, a good friend whom I’ve known since we were eleven years old. We were classmates in Grade 6, wherein we discovered a shared love of reading romance novels and potatoes (long story….) and the ability to gab for hours on end on the phone. What did we talk about on the phone for hours? Well, our nightly long, drawn-out phone conversations were about the same things we talked about when we were together at school during the day. What can I say — we loved to talk!

But more than that, Laureen and I remained good friends over these twenty-six years that we have known each other. She lives with her family in Manila and I am with mine in Canada, and yet our friendship thrives. Our friendship hums like a well-oiled machine that doesn’t shut down and is always ready to kick into full gear. We have not seen each other in over eight years, yet our semi-annual phone conversations are never stilted or awkward. They are always warm and comfortable, familiar and very happy. She has seen only four of my 8 kids, while I have yet to meet any of hers. But I am quite proud to be the godmother of her first son — her second child. She is the godmother of my eldest, Kathrine, who is now taller than her. (She’ll get a really big kick out of that…..) Ours is the kind of friendship I wish for other people to find and cherish. It transcends age, time and space.

In my thirty-seven years of life, I’ve made many friends and formed great friendships along the way. There are some, though, that come along and seem to take up residence in my heart. One of them is Laureen — she is only really as far away from me as my fondest thoughts of her.

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