Friendship is golden. It lasts in our heart for a lifetime. Don’t ever underestimate the power of your kind word, your acceptance and your caring.
One of my favorite lifelong friends passed away the day before Thanksgiving and I got the news on Black Friday, the day of her funeral. She had always lived with a strong zest for life, always attempting to keep a level-headed perspective. In her presence, I always felt totally accepted and allowed to speak my truth and be myself. The tears flowed for the loss of my beloved friend, even though we did not live nearby or see each other often. The good part is that in the last few years we spent a few brief days together and I did tell her how much she meant to me and how much I cared. Our hearts connected in a spirit of love. She is gone and sadness touches my heart but I know she leaves behind a trail of loving hearts.
My friend, Barbara V. Schonbrun Wassum, was an avid 4.5 ranked tennis player. Together we started our personal tennis journeys by betting a penny each time we missed the ball. The person who missed the fewest shots would collect all the pennies. Over the years we had basically drifted apart, only connecting through holiday greetings. But when I relocated to Florida, she and her husband Don would visit once each winter season and we would play some tennis, share a meal or two, talk and laugh. It is so wonderful how time disappears when you love another person. All those years between mattered not. I did tell her how much I cared and I shared with her a wonderful healing Rubenfeld Synergy session during which she vowed to fight those chemo/radiation chemicals because she said: “I am no longer fighting the cancer. My body is now fighting the chemicals. And I have competed in tennis and I will not give up fighting.” And she did fight and she traveled somewhere special one last time after I saw her.
On Black Friday, when I saw the message that my beloved friend Barbara had passed on, I wrote the following poem I would like to share with you. I am thankful for a friendship that has lasted through many decades of my life and continues onward in my heart.
Goodbye My Friend
Smiling together as we heard the graduation talks
Life beamed its light upon us with our dreams intact
You were the rock, the shining example of womanhood
A firm approach to men with a gentle acceptance of life
And life was good to you for many years
A comfortable home, devoted spouse and beautiful children
Filled your life with a true sense of meaning and purpose
That passionate desire to play full out in tennis and in life
Created the foundation for a flourishing business venture
A natural born teacher, you taught about love by being you
Studying and sharing what you knew about nature’s ways
Even in illness you found a way to fight back and endure
For longer than expected but not long enough for those who love you
My dear sweet friend I have always loved your very presence
When you were near I felt okay to be myself, to just be me
Truths were shared and emotions were bared
Always in the spirit of loving acceptance of the way it is
Though our times together were infrequent and sparse
I have always thought of you with fondest regards
Now I can no longer call you on the phone or meet for lunch
Yet you remain in my heart a smiling and loving nod of acceptance
Goodbye my friend
We will meet again one day I know.
© 11/23/12 Erica Goodstone, Ph.D.