Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Lifetime of Friendship and All that Ultimately Matters in This Life, Love

Time & Love - Two Things that Never Die 

Starting with a Poem:

You Stayed
A journey from 1979
my journey with you
my friend
you stayed,
Always and forever
you have been by my side,
throughout all this time
you have stood patiently,
During times when my life
pulled me in a hundred directions
you still stayed,
We have survived three decades of changes
from single girls
to married women
to the birth of children
there you stayed,
Through a thousand tears
and a million laughs
you stayed,
We are bonded in a such a way
that the word friend is too casual
we are sisters,
Distance may keep us apart
but sisterhood keeps us together
You can know I'm here
I can know you're there,
This gift of timeless friendship
can never be measured in miles
it's a treasured constant
Others may come and go
but my friend,
We stay

Inspiration Sometimes Comes from the Most Unexpected Places

Obviously, friendship is the inspiration, but the details of what led to this poem were unexpected.
The year was 2007, on Mother's Day. My family (kids, step-kids, hubby) had our normal get-together here at the house.
It was rather an event-filled day. About one hour before everyone arrived, I split my head on the edge of my youngest son's bed. I was so mad at myself! I ended up at the hospital for about 3 hours, and six stitches later was back home. My husband and kids pitched in and handled things; everything was under control. 
Anyway, dinner was great, and the night moved along nicely as usual with some watching tv (football, I think), one of my other sons playing guitar, the little one playing Xbox, and my stepdaughter, myself, and her hubby in the kitchen chatting it up. The conversation that night was really great. We talked about the Five Stages of Marriage I recently heard on the John Tesh radio show. It was pretty interesting. My hubby and I are definitely in stage 5. However, my stepkids were quite interested in assessing what stage their relationships were in. It was fun and quite comical.
Anyway, the conversation led to my stepdaughter paying me a nice compliment about why she believed my marriage to her dad was successful. I was grateful for her take on it but proceeded to tell her that wasn't the reason. She looked a tad surprised. So I said, "Do you want to know why our marriage is a success?" could have heard a pin drop.. both she and her hubby were waiting for me to give the "big secret," "the reason a marriage works," "the answer for all mankind" proceeded to give her the answer: "The reason your Dad and I have had a successful marriage of 22 years is that "We Stayed."

Through it all, I stayed. Through it all, he stayed: In sickness and health, for richer or poorer, in good times and bad. When there may have been reasons for others to think we shouldn't stay together, it didn't matter; we stayed - My personal experience taught me firsthand that love CAN survive almost everything.

What Inspired Me, Continued...

So, this leads me to this poem.
Nearly a month later, on the night before I was leaving to go out of town to visit my parents, I sat in front of my computer and began the night by listening to a beautiful song called Indescribable. No matter your faith or belief system, this song exudes love.
While listening, I began thinking about that conversation with my stepdaughter and about who else in my life has "stayed." That led me to my friend for whom this poem was written.

I started remembering when my friend and I met and what our journey of 29 years included. I started thinking about how many 19-year-olds today will have the same close friend 29 years later. I started thinking how rare this must be. 
With my friend's birthday approaching, this poem was my way of showing her my love and appreciation for "her staying"...through it all. 
So with the beautiful song "Indescribable, by Chris Tomlin" playing in the background, I opened up "Notepad" and started to write the short poem featured at the beginning of this article.

Since writing this, 8 years have passed. My husband and I are still going strong, having recently celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. My friend and I are friends til the end, and I'm off to visit her for her birthday in a week. We continue to stay.

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  1. There is so much truth in what you say about staying through thick and thin. So many today decide to leave the first time things get hard. Just finished a novel today on people who did not stay. What a contrast with your husband and friend.

    1. Staying together can be work, and you're right, it takes some fight to get through it - sounds like an interesting book your reading Barbara

  2. Now on his third marriage, my son tells me that what his dad and I had for 45 years was unique and special and rare. I disagree. What we had was 'staying power'. Excellent thoughts on friendships and marriage, Barbara.

    1. Pat, staying power; that's what it boils down to sometimes - be able to withstand the sometimes very difficult patches can often get us to the other side of dark tunnel that has a huge light at the end (sorry for the cliche) but that darned tunnel metaphor has so many applications!

  3. Such wise, wise words! Commitment, the will to "stay," seems to be so rare these days. Love your poem, adore the personal story! Thanks for sharing, Barbara!

    1. Thanks Susan, over the years we often learn that a team has a lot to do with 'self' doesn't it :)

  4. Barbara Love this post, your poem and your thoughts. You are so right, staying is what makes a marriage work. Of course you need love, but if you don't have that commitment to stay through good times and bad then love is not enough. This August my husband and I will be married for 47 years. We have had our ups and downs but through it all we honored our commitment to love and cherish "till death do us part" Now I'm fortunate to be able to enjoy retirement and traveling with my best friend!

    1. Mary Beth, 47 years! Incredible. Truly incredible. And to be your best friend, well that's just icing on the cake. I know what you mean about being best friends with your hubby too - my husband and I are friends as well, in fact that's a huge joke between us - I'll buy him cards that thank him for being my buddy (lol, he rips a gut laughing when I do that) - It wasn't always easy for us, and we went through some times where staying was challenging - but we got through those, and are leaving those time in our dust. I'm sure you and your hubby can relate to what I'm saying and have an even stronger connection being together nearly 50 years! Amazing.

  5. That is oh, so true! Every relationship that spans decades lasts because each person chose at different times, at different crossroads "to stay". In today's world, friendships are even harder to maintain. So many people have to move away from each other for jobs and distance puts a wedge between people. The shared experiences are often the glue that binds. You are truly blessed Barbara. Not only to have a committed friend of so many years, but to have a committed husband for 30 years. Having said that, it is an assessment of who you are too because you had "to stay" and be committed too.


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