Friday, August 27, 2010


The other day I thought about someone I used to know, a long time ago.  I was in my thirties and she was in her late fifties.  One day she canceled a planned get-together because she had to go to a funeral.  "You go to a lot of funerals," I told her.

I'd just emerged from a period of going to a lot of baby showers and before that a lot of weddings and wedding showers.  I'd begun to hear about a lot of divorces.

Then there was a long spell, many years long, with only the occasional punctuation mark of a wedding, a baby, a funeral.

And now I go to more funerals than I used to.

My friend's husband died yesterday.  She's one of my Circle sisters -- yes, she was raising a glass with us just the other night when we had our mu shu pork and drinks with umbrellas.  He was President of our Church Council, a strong and thoughtful leader, a man with a gift of hearing all of the points of view and conversation and talk on an issue, and then filtering out the inanities and succinctly sum up what was going on.

It's been a week of hard things.  Superimposed on our upcoming restructuring at home, I learned that a friend's son's faltering marriage has, indeed, ended; another young man I know and like so much has been served by his wife with unwanted divorce papers; and yet another young man faces surgery in a few days for what may very well be a cancer.  And there's a young woman I know who is entering the phase of "separation" from her husband.  And now this terrible loss -- for my friend, for our church.

My other friend Sherron is one for succinct remarks.  In the face of unpleasant news, she's known to say, "Well, it's not cancer.  And nobody died."  In other words, "Keep your perspective."  She wouldn't be able to say that to me if I talked to her today.

But she wouldn't be at a loss for words.  Because she has another remark, "Hug your people.  Hold your people."

That's precisely what I plan to do.


Pat said...

Hugs and prayers. and more hugs.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. I'm usually at a loss for words. In the future, I hope that I remember what you have said.

Dee said...

What a smart friend. I understand what you're going through as this seems to be a 'winter' season for those around me as well. My prayers for your friend.

Lurline said...

God Bless!
Hugs - Lurline♥

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Sending prayers your way for strength and support through these difficult days.
Ecclesiates 3:1 comes to mind, remember that spring surely follows winter.
I am going to hold my people close today.

Tanya said...

You're right. I seem to see a pattern in my life too that coincides with my age... My conversation with friends used to be about adolescent headaches. Nowadays it is about caring for aged parents. A few baby conversations and wedding conversations (unfortunately in that order...) I hope I can keep your friend's perspective when other things come my way.

KimQuiltz said...

I'm mad at my mother, dang it, and you just (without meaning to, of course) gave me a good scolding. Thank you, Nancy. :-X

Judi said...

Thank you for this thought-provoking post, Nancy.

My goodness, you give good advice.

Ray said...

I am sorry for all the losses that are showing up all around you. I send you hugs and love!