Introduction…. From my friend Charmaine, I received a personally designed “Woman of Worth” mug with a photo of Dave and me, with a message…
“In here are reasons why I believe you are a Woman of Worth.
Please take only one piece of paper every day to read for the next month. xxx”
[ Woman Of Worth Mug of Love ]
According to Dr. Martin Seligman, the number one contributor to happiness is the quality of a person’s social circle, albeit that it isn’t the only contributing factor to happiness. Dr Seligman also indicated that the reason women, sometimes… often, live longer than men, is because they have bigger social circles. Research is fast disproving the myth, that when a man’s wife dies, he will die soon after because he can’t care for himself, when it seems the reason is more because of loneliness, and the lack of a supporting social circle of family and especially friends.
There have been few times in my life when I haven’t had a strong social circle of family and friends… although that circle may be small. However, in recent years my circle of friends has shrunk, probably for many reasons.
My daughter developed Grave’s Disease in 2012 at the age of 16, and nearly all my attention has been focused on Jess, her needs, our family and our home.
It’s been more than two years since we went out socialising… as Jess and I have spent much of our time at home, and although Dave has a job in Durban, when he comes home, he is happy to stay home with ‘his girls’ as he calls us. *Smile*
There have been few visits from friends and even family… and even less phone calls and emails.
Probably because I didn’t mention in grand detail what was happening in my life and that of my family… and for the first time in decades, I failed to share through writing on my websites and blogs.
I didn’t have the time… the energy… and often the will to fight with technology to be able to regularly publish what I was writing, or share in email.
This is not a ‘lament’ of the lack of a social circle or support of friends, just a little reflection, *Smile* and indeed indicative of my title… Friendship Happiness! *Grin*
My husband Dave and I have been married for more than 26 years, and our friendship is only surpassed by the love we have for each other. Remarkably so, as we are as different as fire and water. *Grin*
Wes, our 25 year old son, is as mercurial as fire, and pushes all my buttons at unexpected moments in the most bizarre ways, and has challenged me in ways I never believed possible, *Grin* yet, ever year he ages… grows and matures, in the most surprising ways, our relationship deepens, and borders on the fringe of friendship. And I know without doubt if I need a knight in shining armour, he would instantly defend me against the fiercest dragons and relish the task.
Jordy, our recently turned 23 year old son, is still a young rebellious child, in a magnificent too good looking for his own good not wanting to grow up young man, loves me more than he knows how to cope with… and would do anything for his family, especially me.
Jess, now 19, is slowly winning the battle against the Firestorm that continues to rage in her body as a result of the Graves Disease… and is most definitely one of my dearest, ‘bestest friends’ … while being an inspiration and endless delight.
With so much love, support and friendship filling my heart and my life, how could I ask or need more, and yet at times I do. *Smile*
A few months ago, it occurred to my daughter that she was fast approaching her 19th birthday, and she hadn’t been on a date, (a parents benefit of a beautiful daughter’s illness, although it is our constant belief, hope and prayer that she will recover completely), and that she has no friends. Entirely as a result of home schooling and study, months of total bed rest and seclusion… and not enough energy to cope with normal every day chores and responsibilities, never mind what it takes to maintain healthy friendships and an active social life.
A whiny moan I heard once too often.
In exasperation I responded with spontaneous insight.
Friendship is not the perfect story book fairy tale that so many Hollywood movies portray it to be, of two or three teenage girls that have known each other since they could walk and talk, with families in total sync having lived in the same neighbourhood their entire lives, and parents that all love and adore each other.
Not that I think there’s anything wrong with those sorts of friendship if you have been so blessed. *Smile*
I went on to explain that I believe friendship is only defined by two people who share love and laughter and care for each… like my 72 year old friend Maureen, who shares my birthday, and that I chat to on the phone every week, sometimes two or three times a week… for a few minutes… or more than an hour. Who phoned me every week to find out how Jess was doing… and how I was coping. Who has been a constant supportive friend for the past seven years, since I met her, despite our age difference of 24 years.
Who inspires me to laugh even when I don’t want too, and teaches me so much by her sharing, and willingness to open her heart… and now warms my heart as she has extended her friendship to Jess, including her in our circle of friendship
Like the young 14 year old boy that Jess tutors once a week, who is respectful and considerate, and so in awe and grateful for her assistance, and for the first time is inspired to do his home schooling English work.
Like her science tutor, who loves and adores Jess… cares for, and shares with her, despite their age difference of 14 years… and that she is married with small children and has lots of responsibility.
Or like my mom, who emails occasionally, seldom gives gifts, but sends the best packages by snail mail for no apparent reason, and phones every week from overseas, chatting for more than an hour, no matter the cost. Who gives more than anyone I have ever known, and humbles me with her generosity. *Smile*
Like Jesses little dog Jasmine, who has been her valiant loving friend since Jess was three years old, who died recently and left a hole in all our hearts that is still a little tender and sore.
Or like the two rescued puppies Jess adopted recently… yes that’s right, not one… two, mischievous, messy, naughty puppies… who love and adore her… one unconditionally… one with reserve, although she warms a little more every day. *Grin*
Like my friend Tizzy, who I have known for years… although we live on opposite sides of the world, sharing our hearts and our lives through letters and emails, and photos and messages whenever and however we can.
Like email friends, some I’ve met… and some I only know through the words we share, our friendship often deeper because of the vulnerability we don’t often realise we show each other.
Like friends I see often, and then not for months… and it feels like no time has passed since we last saw each other when we do, and our conversation just flows like a never ending story, that was never interrupted.
Like friends who come into our life for a season, and only stay a short while, yet irrevocably change our lives because of how they touch our heart and influence how we see the world that surrounds us and what it means to them… and of course to us.
Whether they challenge us… motivate us…. inspire us…
Whether they live near or far… no matter their age, how they look and what they do with their days… friends, defined by how they make us feel, softening our hearts, filling our lives with love and sharing laughter… always bring us happiness.
In honour of the friendship I share with you, in whatever measure… I dedicate this Woman of Worth website to women, the friendship we share and the happiness it brings each of us.
Please share your thoughts and feelings… your ideas and stories.
During the next few weeks, I’ll be working on the www.womenofworth.co.za website.
This website, www.womanofworth.co.za is for me, *Smile* to write… to share… to express myself… and connect and interact with you.
The www.womenofworth.co.za website will be for you… to share your ideas, your adventures, your business ideas and adverts, your work and passions… please send details to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Women” and include all your contact details. Thanks *Grin*
Love, blessings and laughter, to you and yours!