Hello all

Today I want to share a poignant story with you that was triggered by yesterday’s blog. Yes, I did tell you that’s how these things happen and it can bring memories that need healing or that bring joy. 

Yesterday it brought joy, today it brought healing, for after I had a moment of “Epiphany” in the shower today, I found peace. Let me tell you about it.

This is a tale about two lots of friends: couples who had known each other a very long time.

The gentlemen concerned had been friends since they were eight years of age (almost 60 years). The women for 42 years. This was a very unlikely friendship as they were as different as chalk and cheese.

Because one couple lived in the country and the other the city, they did not see each other as often as they would like but they maintained the friendship and phone calls were made back and forth.  In 2005 the couple in the country retired due partially to the gentleman now having Parkinson’s Disease and the wife some back problems. But though they were country folk and had very unassuming jobs, they had managed to save a lot of money and were more than comfortable.

But they were bored and miserable having worked hard all their lives, they now did not know what to do.

And so, the City Couple invited them to go on a cruise from Sydney to Vila and the Islands for eight days. The country folk were interested but felt totally overwhelmed at travelling to Sydney and facing all the trials that travelling presents. And so the City Wife reassured the Country Wife, encouraging without being pushy and answering all the questions they asked including the one “Can I bring my own teapot?” Yes, this is true, the Country Wife took it everywhere!

Finally after many phone calls and knowing the City Couple would look after them, drive them to Sydney to stay overnight beforehand and be a support to them, they agreed. But, I have to say: the Country Couple were very very nervous. I think the presence of the battered old teapot helped though, a bit like a security blanket of sorts.

The Country Couple were totally overwhelmed when they found themselves staying on the 75th Floor of the Sydney World Trade Centre Hotel in the heart of Sydney in a huge apartment, which The City Wife  had obtained cheaply on a website. Glass walls on every side. Very intimidating. But the view of the beautiful Sydney Harbour was amazing and gave them “to-die-for” views very early the next morning when they watched their ship The Pacific Sun come into port and dock. What a location!

The couple had been so anxious that they had hardly slept and the Country Wife found herself sitting outside the Hotel in the street on a wall with her teapot and mug of tea and smoking at various times through the night and early morning. She was very eccentric but we knew that and accepted it.

The friends went on the cruise and had a wonderful time. The Country Couple were so invigorated that they spent the next four years cruising and travelling the world. They had found a whole new life and the City Couple were pleased for them. And so another shared cruise was organised for 2009 to Hawaii.

But what The City Couple did not understand fully because of the distance, was that a psychological illness was humming along in the Country Wife and her husband was immersed in the “stories” she was telling him about us and also the rest of their family. The City Couple thought things were not good, but failed to understand how badly they had become.

And so they all set out but the journey did not go well. It was a 35 day Cruise and by Day 4, the situation had deteriorated out of control. The City Couple managed to last out the cruise but any attempt to fix things between them never worked. Once back home, the problems became worse and finally, by the end of 2009, the City Couple were no longer speaking to the other couple for they had to cut off contact  to protect themselves. Calls from the family confirmed the worst suspicions that the Country Wife was in great difficulties but would not seek help.

So the City Couple were very distressed with this situation but were consoled by the fact that they were in touch with the children who were very upset but also cut off. The City Couple were present to give love and support to the adult children through it. The situation continues in this way – unresolved – to this day.

Folks, Geoff and I are that City Couple and up until today, I had given up hope of this siuation ever improving,  but in the shower this morning, thoughts of my blog made me aware of that wonderful time in Sydney when we watched the Pacific Sun sailing into our beautiful Sydney Harbour. The words of a song came to mind: Amigos Para Siempra (Friends for Life). You know the one that Sarah Brightman and Jose Carreras sang at the closing of the Olympic Games in Barcelona.

Amigos para siempre
Means you’ll always be my friend
Amics per sempre
Means a love that cannot end
Friends for life
Not just a summer or a spring
Amigos para siempre

I feel you near me
Even when we are apart
Just knowing you are in this world
Can warm my heart
Friends for life
Not just a summer or a spring
Amigos para siempre

I realised that we are “Friends for Life, not just a summer or a spring” and the missing ingredient of “HOPE” sprang up in my heart. I became aware that just because our relationship has been tested these last few years does not mean that our friendship is over. No. Friends do not desert each other. They quietly continue to Pray and have Faith and have Love and most importantly …  HOPE … that there will be a better time in the future.

Ours is not a romantic love but a love born of friendship and shared experiences and good times that will never end.

Friends do not desert each other, no they are “friends for life not just a summer or a spring.” We will continue to HOPE.