The start of a new year spurs many of us who observe the Gregorian calendar to take stock of the year just gone and to set goals for the year ahead, whether personal, financial, business, or spiritual.
In looking back on this past year, one event stands out: I lost my beloved friend Maureen last April when she died after a two-year battle with cancer.
What kind of friend was she? Here’s what kind:
Quite a few years ago, my career headed in a new direction, I was about to depart on an out-of-state business trip that would take me many miles away from home and well out of my comfort zone. (I also have to confess that I was terrified of flying.) Knowing how important this first trip was, how much was riding on it, and how absolutely petrified I was about getting on that plane, Maureen mailed me a card filled with handwritten words of encouragement, optimism, and love. I immediately put it inside my briefcase so that it would be with me on my trip. The trip was a success, just as Maureen predicted it would be.
Her card’s my good luck talisman and travels with me to this day, no matter where I go. The envelope that contains it is frayed around the edges, and the card itself is battered and worn from holding it in my hands so often, but the words, in Maureen’s handwriting, remain clear.
Maureen was an extraordinary, luminous soul, lit from within by all the qualities of character she possessed. She let that light shine brightly into the lives of those fortunate enough to have known her. Like that card I carry with me, Maureen’s love still travels with us, packed up safe inside our hearts.
I will always remember how much that simple and sincere gesture meant to me. A card, a stamp, a few handwritten words. That was all. Friendship is built upon such foundations – the thoughtful deed and the stalwart heart.
And so, in Maureen’s honor, there’s one resolution I set for myself this year: to be a friend like her.
With best wishes to you all for a joyful and healthy 2010, and may you be blessed with loyal friends.
Thanks so much for reading.