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Friendship the Virus Could Not Restrict

MsDora, online writer for over eight years, chronicles Bonus Blessings, stories of gifts she enjoys in her bonus years, after age seventy.

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

Comments

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 07, 2020:

Thanks, Anupam. I appreciate your very kind comment.

Anupam Mitu from MUMBAI on September 07, 2020:

Must read... Awesome write up

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 24, 2020:

Thanks, Lori. Your contribution is inspiring. There's so much to love during this crisis, if we put on our positive perspectives.

Lori Colbo from Pacific Northwest on August 23, 2020:

How wonderfully beautiful this friendship is with the younger women, especially during this weird season of madness. I am always amazed at the wisdom I've gained from a lifetime of mistakes, successes, and my walk with the Lord. I don't think anything like I used to. I'm a completely different person. My older grandchildren listen to me. I know they dismiss some things, but it's a seed planted. Sometimes they respond positively. My sons, I'm not so sure. I miss hugs a great deal, but I've not suffered one bit since this pandemic except for the times when I've too much negative input from "news" and conversation. I'm enjoying my friendships despite it all.

I love reading your wisdom Dora.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 07, 2020:

Thanks, Lawrence. I certainly enjoyed my birthday. It was memorable, and probably will always be.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on June 06, 2020:

MsD

That sounds like pretty close to the best birthday present anyone could have given during those trying times.

Glad you got to enjoy it with friends.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 27, 2020:

Thanks, Manatita. I count you on my list of good friends, and I'm happy that you have other good friends.

manatita44 from london on May 26, 2020:

Thank God for friends indeed. One of our neighbours - a teacher - goes around offering help. She has my number and has created a What's App group. I said that I am fine but if I need help I'll let her know. one day she phoned and offered me a piece of ginger cake, so I said yes.

She brought the cake and left it on the doorstep. I came down only to see her disappearing in the distance. I guess she had some more deliveries. I ate it though, it was very nice! I guess at 68 I must really look like an old man. I'm still quite strong - God's Grace - and carry a lot of shopping about 300 yards to my house.

I'm happy for you and your three score and 11. Chuckle. Heaven will give you a great seat. Lol. More happy birthdays to come. Peace.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 19, 2020:

Thanks Tamarajo. Yes, I enjoyed my birthday. Thank God for good friends.

Tamarajo on May 18, 2020:

You have some pretty nice friends! How thoughtful. I enjoyed your reading about your experience. Happy belated birthday. : )

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 14, 2020:

Thanks, Greg. You are very kind, and yes, I am totally enjoying my new age. I've been blessed with good friends, thank God.

greg cain from Moscow, Idaho, USA on May 14, 2020:

Dora - this story, this recounting of a reality that played out on your birthday, brought a tear to my eye, a lump to my throat. You are indeed blessed, but it is quite obvious the reason you are blessed is because you yourself are a blessing. Your friends recognize that, rewarded you for it with a genuine show of love and affection. Wow. Just wow. This story touched me. Probably touched me the way you've touched the people in your life. Thanks for putting this out there for the rest of us to enjoy. I hope you are thus far enjoying immensely your new increment of age.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 13, 2020:

Thanks, Devika. Real friends are a blessing. They came through for me that day.

Devika Primic on May 13, 2020:

In times of such you would see who your true friends are and that I see here

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 11, 2020:

Thanks, Verlie. Happy that your friends also helped you enjoy your birthday. We're blessed to have real friends who care.

Verlie Burroughs from Canada on May 11, 2020:

Beautiful Dora! You are blessed. Happy belated birthday wishes! My friends were there for me in February with a parcel of goodies sent through the mail, so appreciated even before the lockdown. Your photo captures the moment perfectly.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 11, 2020:

Thanks, Umesh, for dropping by and commenting.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on May 11, 2020:

Evoking sentiments. Great.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 10, 2020:

Thanks, Tony. Hope you're doing well. Dessert for lunch--only on my birthday!

Antonio50S on May 10, 2020:

Hello Dora.

"Nothing breeds friendship like sharing the same goal and fighting on the same side to win the same battle"

That is real UNITY Dora. "You are my friends if you do what i command" ( John 15:14 )

Second most Important COMMAND. To love our neighbours " literally" AS OURSELVES. ( James 2:8 )

HOWEVER. Dessert for lunch. What's going on ? ( Smile )

Tony.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 09, 2020:

Nithya, you certainly understand how special my day was! Thanks for your comment.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on May 09, 2020:

It must have been a a pleasant surprise to see your friends on your birthday. This shows that any virus cannot restrict friendships. Ice cream for lunch, what a treat!!

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on May 07, 2020:

I whole heartiy agreed.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 07, 2020:

Thanks, Linda. I appreciate your kind comment. It is encouraging to know folks who invest in the happiness of others.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 07, 2020:

Thanks, Rajan. I surely would like to remember it forever. Thanks for your comment.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on May 06, 2020:

You have some wonderful friends! Their kindness and their determination to give you some enjoyment on your birthday is very touching.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 06, 2020:

What a birthday celebration! This will be a remembrance for life.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 06, 2020:

Brenda, they really blessed me. Thanks for your encouraging feedback.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on May 05, 2020:

Awe...Ms. Dora, that is so sweet.

I am delighted to hear you have such wonderful friends who are there for you...especially on your special day.

They are angels with special blessings for you.

Thanks for sharing.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 05, 2020:

Marlene, thanks for sharing your beautiful feedback. It is indeed moving, even as I think about it.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 05, 2020:

Thanks, Eric. Your counsel is most appropriate right now. "We must triumph though it may appear we suffer." My thought for today.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 05, 2020:

Peggy, "They are indeed special friends! " Thanks for the kind thoughts and wishes.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on May 04, 2020:

This is such a beautiful story. I broke out in tears as I visualized your friends standing 6 feet apart, singing the birthday song. Pure love! It melts my heart. Thank you for sharing your story and letting us share in such a precious memory.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on May 04, 2020:

A person not moved to tears with this has a questionable heart. "If we can meet tragedy and triumph and treat those two just the same we have overcome" It sounds so strange but we must celebrate adversity. We must triumph though it may appear we suffer.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 04, 2020:

I am so glad that you shared that sweet and loving story of your birthday celebration with friends during the pandemic. They are indeed special friends! Belated birthday wishes to you. Thanks for the smiles today.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 04, 2020:

Thanks, Shauna. I had a wonderful day. I appreciate all my friends, including you and others on HubPages.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on May 04, 2020:

Dora, what a wonderful birthday celebration you had! Your friends obviously love you very much. I'm sure you were gleaming all day long after that unexpected, loving surprise. And you got your favorite ice cream to boot!

Happy belated birthday, Dora. May you have many more.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 03, 2020:

Thank you, Bill. I thank God for all my caring friends, including you. I enjoyed my birthday!

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on May 03, 2020:

I'm so glad you had such a fine birthday! And so glad you have some caring friends to enjoy the time with. Maybe a little late, but Happy Birthday!!!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 03, 2020:

Thanks, Marcy. My friends and really special and I have much appreciation for them. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 03, 2020:

Thanks, Denise. I did enjoy my special day and I did appreciate your kind comment.

Marcy Bialeschki from Cerro Gordo, IL on May 02, 2020:

Sounds like you have some pretty special friends. Happy Birthday, a little late.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on May 02, 2020:

What an awesome group of friends. You brought tears to my eyes. Happy Birthday, dear friend. I'm so glad you are well-loved in person because you are well-loved by those of us who know you buy your writing. God bless you on your special day.

Blessings,

Denise

Jimmy Bio Jr from Tabaco City, Albay, Philippines on May 02, 2020:

Yes, Ms Dora. Godspeed!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 02, 2020:

Jimmy, Welcome to HubPages, and to my HubPages Circle! Looking forward to many exchanges of articles between us.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 02, 2020:

Thanks, Marie. Better pecan and chocolate! Tempting. Success in the semi-fast and enjoy the novena blessings!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 02, 2020:

Thanks, John. It was a great day, initiated by good friends who was determined to celebrate.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 02, 2020:

Thanks, Arthur. I appreciate your visit and your taking the time to comment.

Jimmy Bio Jr from Tabaco City, Albay, Philippines on May 02, 2020:

Indeed, the bond of friendship is beyond this turmoil. I love this article Ms Dora.

Marie Flint from Jacksonville, FL USA on May 02, 2020:

What a beautiful birthday surprise, Dora!

Interestingly, I have been dreaming about being in a home sanctuary with four other females with whom to pray for the youth and world peace long before the virus was discovered. I do pray with online services, though.

Yesterday I broke down and bought some non-dairy Butter Pecan ice cream and Lindt's dark chocolate. I'm semi-fasting today, though, allowing myself a little fruit with my herbal teas and water.

Prayers continue. I'm engaged in a novena through June 2nd.

Happy 41st!

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on May 02, 2020:

What a beautiful and uplifting story, MsDora. Such thoughtful friends you have' I am glad you had a delightful and memorable birthday despite the lockdown. Happy Belated Birthday.

Arthur Russ from England on May 01, 2020:

A most wonderful show of heartfelt friendship.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on May 01, 2020:

Dora, I appreciated your comments. Thank you.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 01, 2020:

Thanks, Pam. I appreciate the birthday wishes and I'm glad that you like the article. Friendship is such a beautiful topic.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 01, 2020:

Thanks, Flourish. After such a good start by my friends, I enjoyed the rest of the day.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on May 01, 2020:

It is so nice that you have such good friends. They sound so thoughtful, Ms Dora. I really enjoyed this article and I will give you a belated birthday greeting.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on May 01, 2020:

It is so nice that you have such good friends. They sound so thoughtful, Ms Dora. I really enjoyed this article and I will give you a belated birthday greeting.

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 01, 2020:

That is the sweetest story! What nice friends you have! Happy belated birthday, dear Dora!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 01, 2020:

Miebakagh, great seeing you after a long while. Thank you for a kind, encouraging comment.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 01, 2020:

Oh Liz. So you can imagine the joy I felt. Thanks God for good, kind friends!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 01, 2020:

Thanks, Shannon. I wish the same genuine friendship for you and all my readers.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on May 01, 2020:

Dora, I agreed with you that the coronavirus could not restrict, hinder, or stop you and your friends from meeting. What a friend and what sort of lovely friendship you have cultivated. Thanks for sharing vour story.

Liz Westwood from UK on May 01, 2020:

A belated happy birthday to you, Dora. I am pleased that your friends made it a memorable day. The door bell went the other evening (a rare event these days). A friend had left a container of homemade apple cake for us. Acts of kindness mean a lot, especially these days.

Shannon Henry from Texas on May 01, 2020:

Thanks for sharing this lovely story, MsDora. I couldn't think of a better way to start off my day, now that I'm up and about. It made me teary because I could feel the love between you and your friends. Happy belated birthday! I know you had a beautiful day well-spent. I hope you have a fantastic year ahead.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 01, 2020:

Thanks, Linda. Your observation is worth repeating: "Love conquers all, even a pandemic."

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 01, 2020:

Thanks, Chitrangada. We co care. I appreciate your kind comment.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 01, 2020:

Thanks, Bill. You also have offered me beautiful friendship here on HP. Thank you.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 01, 2020:

Thanks, Rosina. This birthday may even be more memorable than if it happened when life was "normal."

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on May 01, 2020:

Dora, what a beautiful story. How blessed that you and these four ladies have found each other. Love conquers all, even a pandemic. Happy belated birthday to you; may you have a blessed year.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on May 01, 2020:

A heartfelt article, and you are right that this virus could not restrict the love and friendship.

This is a positive way of looking at the present times, and I like it.

Your picture is heart touching. Taking precautions, such as social distancing, shows that you and your friends care for each other.

I wish you belated Happy Birthday. Wish you a happy and healthy year ahead.

Thank you for sharing these beautiful thoughts.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 01, 2020:

That is a beautiful memory, and you have beautiful friends. Sending you belated birthday wishes from afar, my friend.

Rosina S Khan on May 01, 2020:

I am so happy for you that you celebrated your birthday in April with special friends through social distancing and no hugs and kisses. You even got your favorite flavor of ice cream from your friends to celebrate your bithday. Certainly a birthday to remember! Belated Happy Birthday, Dora!!