It was about a decade ago that a dear friend had called me leaving a message for me to call her back. She left some humorous remarks on my voicemail that had me laughing out loud as I listened, afterwards telling myself that I would get back to her next week. My friend (I will call her BK) wasn’t doing very well and I hadn’t seen her since I visited her in the hospital about a couple weeks prior to her call. I knew our time on the phone would require me to set aside some quality hours to really catch up.
I really enjoyed her company. We met back in business school in the late 70’s, she was so likable, fun and very easy to get a long with back then and she never changed. We met up again about a few years later, and she became one of my closest confidants. She was so nice, so real and genuinely authentic.
About a day before I was to call her back, I had a message left on my voicemail from her sister. “Why is she calling me?” was my first response. When I called back, she shared with me that BK had passed away.
On that day, I did something I seldom do, and that was to talk on the phone while I was driving. I immediately called my husband, Daryl who all I could remember is hearing him ask repeatedly, “Ola, are you okay?” It wasn’t until she left this world that I realized how much she really meant to me. It was when friends have come and have gone in my life that I clearly understood her true value. We tolerated each other’s shortcomings; which is a sign of a committed and dedicated friendship.
So, that is why it pains me each time I tell one of my closest friends; “We’ll get together next week.” I now know those “next weeks” may never happen.
So, I recently had a gathering of some of my closest friends that, although they reside less than 3 miles away from me, I have not actually seen them socially in a year or so. A lot of those times spent together were when they were helping me with some event, opposed to us just sitting down and enjoying each other’s company and letting them know how much I appreciate their presence in my life.
I am still sadden by the loss of my friend and, only by writing this blog, do I realize how painful it has been for me to accept that I didn’t take the opportunity to treasure her presence just one last time. My friend was more than just a friend. She helped me with my business and she was very direct with me; she even told me off so badly one time that I had to laugh; yet our friendship remained untarnished.
How many times have we told ourselves, if I could just see my friend one more time?
So, I encourage all of you who are reading this to reach out to your “true friends”. Don’t let too much time pass before you show them how much you appreciate the space that they are accommodating in your heart. Be in their presence. Do more than send text messages, emails and voicemails, or simply connect over social media.
It will be years, probably a lifetime, before I forgive myself and not have the tears flowing at the thought of not fulfilling her final request to me.
I am gathering some of those friends together to celebrate them. Attached you will find some ideas for your own Girlfriends Gatherings.
You don’t have to have a big party; a small intimate and personal get together will do. Since home is where the heart is, keep it close and personal. Please share your story below about your friends or your friend’s gatherings.
Oh, have you hugged a friend today, if not…don’t wait until next week?
1. Get together for no specific reasonYou don’t have to have anything specific planned. Just being in their presence may be enough. Have an unpredictable, unplanned day where you do what ever comes naturally.
2. Support her successes and achievements.
Be there to support your friends’ accomplishments. It would mean so much for them to know that you two don’t just talk about the great things that you achieve, but you care enough to celebrate them.
3. Show her you care; especially during difficult times.
Bring her a gift just because you care. Let her know how much you appreciate her especially if she is going through some hard times. A kind gesture is what can set your close friendship apart from other friends who she doesn’t view as close.
Check back next week as we provide you with tips and some great advice on how to have a girlfriends get together. From inexpensive menu ideas, decorating tips and entertaining inspirations. Get your girls together and let them know you love them.