My mother always told that the one true mark of a
good life are the friends you leave behind.
She even had a number by which this goodness is defined, 5.
you, and payed the price of loving you. Who have protected you from harm, even when the harm was self inflicted. Who have defended you beyond question, when all others around you accused. Who have laughed with you, and cried with you and shared their secrets with you. Who have shared memories both sweet and sour, and have reflected on each with equal joy. If you should die with five such persons to name as friends, then you have lived a rich life my girl", my mother said.
I'm half way through my life, and on most days the scale by which I choose to measure it is not nearly so stringent as the one my mother proffered. Success, popularity, achievement, knowledge and respect are the standards I use to measure my progress for they are far far easier to attain.
I do not enjoy the kinship of five such laudably loyal friends, as my mother described. I do not enjoy the kinship of two such friends.
I do however, know one girl. One good and honest girl, who shared my walk on this earth, for three of the four, oh so short, decades of life.
She is my five.
And but for her, my life would have been a near complete surrender to an arid landscape of the false and the hypocritical. A lonely and cowardly drudge through a mine, where the canary has long since perished.
She has been my friend, my companion, my adversary, my guilty conscience, my fiercest critic and my never waning virtue.
We have played together, procrastinated together, laughed together and mourned together. we've picked each other out of depressions and pulled each other away from delusions. she has been my family, when my own family was being much too familial for my tolerance. My window to the world, when all the worldly doors were shut. My never yielding call to godly worship, and the ever forgiving heart of all my sins.
She has made my life easier, more pleasurable and certainly more sane. She is my lighthouse in the storm.
Tonight my darling, and most dearly cherished friend celebrates, much to her denial, her **th birthday (number redacted at her hysterical insistence) in health and happiness.
On this night, I am most eternally grateful to God. Most eternally and reverently grateful for his mercy and his grace on this day.
I could not have survived without her in my life, nor would I have wished to.
Tonight is a night of high celebration. A night for looking forward to the next ** years full of laughs and arguments, weddings and births, diets and binges, dinners and coffee afternoons, work and retirement, books and arguments about the books. Parties and weekends, husbands and children and grandchildren, parents and winging about parents ; But most of all, my sweet, to ** years of you in my life.
Here's to you my darling friend, I wish you..
Blossom, my darling, blossom, be a rose
Of roses unchidden and purposeless; a rose
For rosiness only, without an ulterior motive;
For me it is more than enough if the flower unclose.
Happy Birthday Old Friend!