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Friendship the Virus Could Not Restrict

MsDora, former teacher and Certified Christian Counselor shares tips for smooth relationships with friends and encounters with strangers.

Friendship the Virus Could Not Resist

Friendship the Virus Could Not Resist

Show me the best friends any seventy-something woman could ever have! I bet they’re mine. On my birthday in April 2020, in the midst of the national lockdown and all the inconveniences that came with it, I experienced an incomparable, heartfelt show of friendship. No hugs, no kisses, just genuine love!

The Friendship

They are four female friends, all younger than I am, who invited me into their circle two years ago. They intended to embark on a spiritual journey of praying their children through the struggles of childhood and youth, and they trusted the prayers of a motherly figure alongside theirs. Nothing breeds friendship like sharing the same goal and fighting on the same side to win the same battle. We evolved rapidly from prayer partners, to specials friends, to soul sisters, in a bond that not even the coronavirus could restrict.

The beauty of friendships between the younger and the older is the intergenerational exchange of inquiry and insight, of the merry and the mellow, of passion and patience, of doubt and determination. In a short time, we experienced the friendship climb—up hills, through tunnels, down into valleys and up again. We share food and fellowship, fears and fulfillment, fortitude and faith. We care deeply for each other and my birthday celebration limited by lockdown became a group concern for the others; though they never mentioned it to me. I would have been content with some happy birthday text messages.

Just the day before my birthday, I moaned that I couldn’t even get out to buy my favorite flavor of ice cream. My friends consoled me and encouraged me to wait for a full celebration the following year. I went to bed, totally at peace with the situation.

There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. Jane Austen

There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. Jane Austen

The Celebration

Birthdays are not blessings to be taken for granted. So, I awoke with a heart full of gratitude for a bonus year—bonus because this birthday made me “three score years and ten” as promised in the Psalms, plus one. During the lockdown, most everyone I knew, was staying in bed later than usual. I did likewise and counted my blessings, since there was nothing more interesting to do, and nowhere available to go. I did not appreciate the knock on my front door. It disturbed my relaxation and perhaps I would have to remind someone that visiting was not allowed.

Through the peephole, my blurry morning vision fell on the mask, before I identified the face behind it. Then I heard a familiar voice say something about social distancing. That, I guessed, explained why the individual had stepped away—far away from the door. The mask I saw reminded me to put mine on, then I headed to the door.

After a few fumbles, the key turned inside my safety bolt. I pushed the door open, and burst into smiles. One of my sister friends greeted me with, “This is difficult, but it’s fun.”

Six feet apart from for her was another, who was six feet apart from another. One of the four did not make the show. The three were wearing masks and gloves, and on cue, they burst into the rendition of the Happy Birthday song. The humorous sight of my friends in limited protective gear combined with the sound of their lovely voices and the realization of their love in action, transported me to a place I hope never to forget. It was a place where lockdowns do not contain the spirit, where souls embrace despite social distancing, where no virus could restrict the power of friendship.

Later in the day, someone knocked again. I looked outside and there on my porch was a small tub of my favorite ice cream. I was so happy, I did something that no one under age seventy should be allowed to do: I had dessert for lunch.

No hugs, no kisses, just genuine love.

No hugs, no kisses, just genuine love.

The Memory

A birthday during the Covid-19 pandemic summons two basic emotions, gratitude and sorrow. We celebrate the gift of life while we mourn the loss of fallen relatives and friends; and we store the memories within the keepsake chambers of our minds. These memories may surface together in the future, and there’s one ingredient which will heighten the memory of the celebration and make the pain bearable. That’s the sweetness of friendship. Thank God for friends!

© 2020 Dora Weithers

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