Friendship and kindness

The other night I had a dream, but at the time, it felt like a very real memory coming to the surface. I was attending the wedding of my best friend, and we were gathering and organizing things the morning of the ceremony. The feeling of the day was light and cheerful, and I felt at peace with the sunshine, conversation and happiness in the air.
Conversation was about the future, and support for the choices that we both made in our lives as we transitioned into a new life with this wedding.
I remembered feeling such joy in the conversations; having a person that knows how you work, what your thoughts are before you speak them, and can give you encouragement like no other truly defines a best friend.
As I began to slowly drift toward consciousness, a feeling of peace came over me, and the wonderment of understanding how friendship prevails through any obstacles, through change, through almost anything was the theme of my thoughts.
I drifted closer towards my morning, and I experienced a heartwarming smile that happens between friends when they are leaving one another, but know that they will see each other again soon – nothing special, no big goodbye, just a thank you – love you – see you later kind of smile.
I was happy, a kind of happy I haven’t had for a long time, knowing that level of kinship with another person in my life. Deep friendship that needs no explanation.
As I woke from that sleep, one last thought dwindle in my mind as I made the transition to wakefulness – why don’t I have this feeling more often? What a blessing this level of trust and happiness the last few moments have been.
It was then that the memory of where I am today, and where my best friend Lisa is today, floated to the surface of my morning.
She is gone from this life, leaving us after a long battle with cancer when we were just in our early 30’s. At the time it was such a shock – not many of us lose a best friend at the age of 31. And due to a very complicated pregnancy, I was unable to attend her funeral, and did not have my moment of goodbye with her.
I am blessed that I have moments in my dreams where we are together again, often laughing, not doing anything specific, but living a moment in time where the complete trust and openness only born from true friendship lives, regardless of death.
I have carried that dream with me for a few days now, holding it with me, relishing in its warmth. It is beginning to fade and lose its color, which often happens to dreams after a bit. I have tried to find a reason that I am thinking of her at this time – there is no real catalyst, other than her family has moved away now, and maybe the transition has triggered some of those memories to come to life for me again.
One can live an entire lifetime and never experience that feeling of complete honesty with another person. Often these friendships begin in childhood, where roots are grown deep during the years where change happens without notice, and bonds form strong through the years without a care. Friendships such as these prevail through the trials of childhood into adulthood, and although never perfect, often bring us to a place of safety when we are living in hard times.
I have had few friendships to rival the one with Lisa, and like many adults I know, friendships now are few, and difficult to maintain. Facebook is filled with people living life with friends and experiences, but I know that there are many that are observers, watching those live life, yet feeling very alone in their own world, regardless of how any people they may see or speak to each day.
Kindness, like friendship, is a gift. Friendships need to be nurtured and cherished – kindness needs to be developed and given freely. Both need to be given away, and received when given with pleasure. Without either, life can become a lonely and dark place.
Remember that there are people in your life that need that nurturing and friendship; they need the gift of kindness. Being surrounded by others is not a sign of having friends, it is a sign of being busy, of being able to interact with others.
Oftentimes, these are the people that feel most alone.
Human nature may be to not meddle into another person’s space, but sometimes a little meddling can mean the difference between sadness and hope for one struggling with their reality.
Be kind.

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