I am grateful for each of you who takes time in your day to read this journal and share your thoughts. Sending you a hug today!
There are some people in my life with whom, even though they aren’t present every day or even every year, I feel a solid connection. Part of my writer’s group for many years (begun in Maureen LaJoy’s class), I kept in touch with Terry Lovaas. We didn’t agree on politics, or religion, or what we were writing about, but I respected him. We had lively conversations. We read each other’s manuscripts and gave honest, forward-moving critiques. We worked together on videography projects that made us both proud. Terry was brilliant and caring and an inspired dad and husband. He passed away yesterday, still a young man. He will be missed by a legion of friends and writing group members, and his family. I’m grateful Terry is a part of my story. I’m going to miss hearing him laugh, wondering what he would write next. Fare well, Mr. Lovaas. You were one-of-a-kind.
Who would we be without our friends? The friend I have had for the greatest length of time (I can’t say my “oldest” friend, she’s not) is standing in the middle of this group of neighborhood children celebrating my birthday. The sweet blonde standing next to me (lower right) is very dear to me. I grew up in the Twin Cities, in an apartment in a complex with few children nearby. I waited until my summer vacations and holidays, spending time with my grandparents in my hometown, to see my best friend. Once I started working (at 16) and stopped traveling to that hometown (my grandparents moved to another city), we lost touch. Each of us married, our names were different … even though I searched, I could not locate her. I am grateful for Facebook … we found each other again. A couple of years ago, we traveled for hours to have lunch together. I couldn’t stop smiling. For all of us, time passes but friendship bonds sustain us.
In 2014, we began hosting a game night for six Friday nights during January and February. Steve and I were having a tough time with winter and grief. We suspected that surrounding ourselves with friends and playing games would be a healthy—and fun—prescription. We were right!
The games are designed to fit a theme, several people take a turn hosting an evening, and the laughter, talents, and wisdom are always heartwarming. I am grateful for those warm hearts, the avid game-playing, and the creative efforts of this very dear group of people because, really, it’s not about the games … it’s about the people. If you’re looking for a way to brighten your winter, give game nights a try!
Year Five began last Friday night. The theme was “Harmony & Understanding,” a look back at 1968 to 1972. Thanks to David for taking photos. Not all participants are pictured here; poor health kept some people away—get well, everyone!)
Last night, as friends gathered around the table for dinner, I observed as people took turns listening, questioning, and conversing. Laughter, glistening tears, congratulations, surprise, and caring. I realized how grateful I am for conversation, face to face, no digital intrusion, no miles or pixels between us. It’s an emotional high that’s nearly impossible to replicate in any other way. Let’s sit down together soon and exchange news, thoughts, ideas, and our love for each other.