"Trappings and charm wear off… Let people see you. They see your upper arms are beautiful, soft and clean and warm, and then they will see this about their own, some of the time. It’s called having friends, choosing each other, getting found, being fished out of the rubble. It blows you away, how this wonderful event ever happened — me in your life, you in mine." - Anne Lamott, Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace
It just came to me while thinking through my gratitude list how friends, to include family members like cousins I grew up with, have sustained me in my nearly six decades on this blessed Earth. From whom did I learn how to make and keep friends?
One of the reassuring sounds I hear daily in my Pasig home is my mother chatting with one of her Legion of Mary sisters. It's a conversation punctuated with girlish giggles (she's 87) even if one of their favorite topics is the ache and discomfort of old age, how limited their movements and activities have become.
And then I remember my father, too, a doctor who made house calls and whose weakness or strength, depending on how you look at it, is not charging his patients whether they're well off or not. He'd say in Filipino, "Hindi ko kailangan ng pera, kaibigan ang kailangan ko (I don't need money much; I need friends.)" It came to pass that at his burial, legions came, including a truck full of workers.
The friends who've blessed my life are as varied as the colors in my grandchild's crayon basket. I wouldn't have them any other way.