Posted by Simon on November 4, 2012
Tears had already been shed on this beautiful Sunday morning, when sharing in the grief of losing our neighbor, Mary, 89, who had passed away in the early hours.
So we weren’t exactly far from more tears most of the day as the time drew near to take our friends and neighbors, K~ and A~, to the airport.
At the terminal we hugged and cried and expressed our love for each other once more, and said goodbye.
Sitting there at the bar, contemplating, my tears fell again.
Then I noticed our daughter M~, 5, looking at me. I don’t think she’d ever see me cry before. And I don’t think I’d ever seen such a heartbreaking look of sadness on her face as she felt my sadness.
So there we went, in this circle of tears, and the most comforting embrace you could possibly imagine.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: empathy, love, tears | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Simon on November 2, 2012
Our neighbors are leaving.
A~ and K~, and their children, T~ and L~, are moving to North Africa.
We love them and we’re desperately sad they’re going.
Movie nights; pasta-making nights; sharing tools; shopping favors; book-lending; baby-sitting swaps; recipe-swaps; music-swaps; car-lending; taking both sets of children to the playground; doing multi-family yard sales together; kids’ sleep-overs; kids trashing each other’s places; sharing stresses of work or lack of work; easter egg hunts from the age the kids could only just walk; singing Happy Birthday in English, French and Spanish; A~ jabbing our daughter with an epipen to save her from an anaphylactic reaction to nuts; meals on their back deck; bbqs in our back yard; chats on their stoop; chats on our stoop; chats while snow-shoveling; chat’s beside storm-blown trees; chats beside fire/police/ambulance visits; chats about God, science, history, the future, family life, everything; sharing in grief of losing my dad; K~ sharing story of losing his dad; welcoming each other’s visiting parents, relatives and friends; keeping M~ partying to 4am on New Year’s Day; learning California Stars on the guitar. And so much more.
That’s the both the substance and the fruit of the friendship that’s grown over the years. Friendships are emergent. You can’t decide ahead of time who is going to be your close buddy. You’ll totally freak people out if you do. And not every person needs to become a ‘friend’. There is plenty satisfaction and reward in a simple, cordial relationship. But we’ve had the enormous pleasure of real friendship grow over the years.
It’s not that complicated. Friendship or just good relationship can emerge from simply being around – a combination of encounter (face to face meeting), time (frequency and continuity) and place (meeting in different contexts). That’s all we had really, none of us set out to make friends of each other. But encounter, time and place were the foundation upon which reciprocity, a bit of risk taking, reasonable boundaries, shared and divergent interests bore fruit in a deep affection for one another.
Along with our other amazing neighbors, they’ve given us such a sense of belonging to somewhere, of mattering to someone. It’s been so rich, and so unspeakably fulfilling, to live life on this street with A~, K~, T~ and L~.
God bless you, friends.
Posted in Continuity, Directness, Multiplexity, RelationalProximity, Uncategorized | Tagged: examples, friends, friendship, neighbors, relational, relationships | 3 Comments »