Friendship in the modern age

Photo by Ben Collins

Friends are very special people. Over time, they weave themselves into our lives and become our other family. Sometimes they only stay for a short time, and sometimes they remain in our lives for years, even decades. Friends complete us.

During my life, my friends have helped me through good times and bad. Through our conversations, I have been introduced to different points of view, to see things from a different perspective. Doesn’t mean I always agreed, but I stopped being one dimensional and could accept new ideas and new ways of doing things

In our confinement, friends have become especially important to us so keeping in touch is essential. I miss the face to face contact, miss touching them, and especially miss hugging them.

We have to reassure one another by phone until things get back to normal. Will it ever be back to what it was? Probably not, but it will be our family and friends who will help us through it.

I have caller ID and I when I see who is calling, I get a feeling of delight as I pick up the receiver to say hello. My telephone conversations have become longer and more relaxed than they used to be. After all, when we have finished talking, I have nowhere to go.

We talk about mundane things, the weather, how we are spending our day, what we are making for supper and so on. Not a lot going on except grocery shopping, doctors appointments and the occasional solitary walk around the block.

I am finding that I am getting to know and appreciate my friends more. I am learning more about them, a sort of sharing of confidences, and most importantly, they are keeping me from getting depressed in my solitary existence.

Soon, hopefully, I will be able to go and see a special friend, my hairdresser. It will be great to get my hair cut. Good thing too as I am once again turning into a shaggy senior. She is not only a good friend, but she does her best to keeps me looking neat and well-groomed. She is an important part of my life and I always enjoy the hour I spend sitting in her chair.

One detrimental happening in my world of confinement is my eating habit. Unfortunately, I have been sitting too much, eating too much and not walking enough.

I walk the halls in my building, but it is not the same as walking with a group of friends and enjoying the outdoors. Hopefully when spring arrives our group will once again resume our weekly walks in Calgary’s wonderful parks.

Over the years, I have had so many wonderful people come in and out of my life. Because my father moved us not only from county to county, but continent to continent, I have friends in many places. Last year I lost a friend whom I met in 1946, that is 74 years.

Now I am not saying that we were in touch throughout all those years, no, we lost touch but through a truly incredible circumstance, we met again in 1992. That story is for another day. The most important thing is that our friendship was rekindled and we were able to talk about old times and enjoy each others company.

My friends and I have faced many things together. Sometimes tragedies and other times much joy and laughter. Happy hours spent on the telephone and giggling over boys in our early teens. In our twenties, sharing the joy of planning our weddings and then the excitement of looking forward to the arrival of babies

In my 40s, I met a wonderful lady at work and she and I shared a special bond. Every morning we met for breakfast and did the Albertan crossword puzzle before going to work.

At least every other Sundays we drove to the mountains for breakfast. Sometimes our drive was quiet as we were deep in our own thoughts, but other times our words flowed like the Bow River. Either way, we were happy in each other’s company. She is gone now, but my memory of our shared times together lives on.

This technology of being able to connect with anyone all over the world is a blessing in my life. I am able to connect with my family in Hungary and with my friends in Australia.

The other morning while I was doing a jigsaw puzzle on my computer the Skype bell rang and to my delight, it was Judy calling. She lives in Perth, Western Australia and before she headed off to bed, she decided to give me a call. She wished me a good evening and I wished her good morning because when we talk, she is ending her day, while I am beginning mine.

We have come a long way since telephone party lines, or the small screen on our black and white TVs set, not to mention with only one channel to watch.

Telephones and computers are a wonderful way to communicate. I am very grateful that Skype not only lets me talk to but to also see my friends. Either way, telephone or Skype, I appreciate all my friends near and far, now more than ever, they are my lifeline.