Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December 30: A Tremendous Thing, Best Friend, Prayer for a Coworker

“You have been my friend," replied Charlotte. "That in itself is a tremendous thing...after all, what's a life anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die...By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone's life can stand a little of that.”

Charlotte's definition of friendship is pretty powerful.  It's all about sacrifice.  By helping Wilbur, she makes herself a better spider.  I think that's why E. B., White's book has endured for so long.  Charlotte is noble, selfless, and true.  We all want to have a Charlotte in our lives.

Last night, one of my best friends came to my house for a visit.  Let's call him Frodo.  Frodo was the best man at my wedding.  I've known him longer than I've known my wife.  In fact, he introduced me to my wife.  After he graduated from high school, he lived in Hawaii.  Then New Zealand.  Recently, he settled in California.  That's why he's home for the holidays this year.  He's only half a country away instead of half a hemisphere.

So, last night, we played the original version of Trivial Pursuit.  Genus Edition.  That means there were questions about the Soviet Union.  The West German Flag.  Things that don't exist any more but were relevant when the game was invented.  It was fantastic.  It was like stepping into a time machine.  We were back in the 1990s.  Young.  Passionate.  Full of hope.

And then we tried to get up off the living room floor without grunting and muttering things like, "Why didn't we sit at the dining room table?" and "I'm going to regret this tomorrow morning."  We had a wonderful time.  That's why I didn't post last night.  I was reliving my youth for a few hours.  By the time my friend left, it was close to midnight, and I was exhausted.

It's always nice to be reminded of the strength of friendship.  I haven't seen Frodo for almost three years.  Yet, we didn't miss a beat.  It was like the Soviet Union still existed, and the Berlin Wall wasn't in a million little pieces on people's mantles across the globe.  Frodo is the same.  I'm the same.  Our friendship is the same.  And I felt incredibly lucky last night.

Today, at work, one of my coworkers tried to harm herself.  It was an incredibly sad day.  "Mandy" is one of the kindest people in the office.  Always helpful and funny.  Always going the extra mile for patients.  She's spoken to me about her previous struggles with depression, but I never would have known she was struggling again.  Mandy's safe in the hospital now, thank goodness.  But she has a long recovery ahead of her.

I'm lucky.  I know I have family and friends, like Frodo, who love me.  I knew that last night.  I'm just hoping Mandy knows how much she is loved.

That's my prayer this evening.  I'm praying for Mandy, and I'm asking you to do the same.  Pray for her health and happiness.  Pray for her little boy and girl.  Let them all feel God's loving embrace.  Let them know the love and strength of friends and family.  There is Light in the darkness.

That is Saint Marty's solemn prayer this evening.

 This is for Mandy...

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