The unexpected joy of friendship

Vanna White Yarn

Holidays become more “routine” the older you get. What I mean to say is that you go through the motions of decorating, making cookies, writing Christmas cards, even attending holiday parties. But somehow the magic has been warn thin. For one thing, you have everything you could possibly want, so no one exchanges gifts anymore. We all have said in some way or the other “spend the money on yourself instead of me”. No longer do you expect anything personal or even meaningful, and resort to buying yourself gifts to try to capture the spirit of “giving”.

This year two friends of mine made me well up with tears. They both took the time to give me personal gifts that mean more to me than they will ever know. It has been a very very long time since anyone has touched that childlike Christmas holiday spot in my heart.

One friend, Linda, who is a quilter, made me a quilt. I never in my wildest dreams expected to get such a labor of love. We are close friends for years, travel together, laugh together, and most importantly eat together. I consider her friendship the greatest gift of all. This year she presented me with my very own quilt. It is so precious a gift, that I can barely touch it without crying. Right now it sits next to me on my couch, as I sit there and knit and watch tv. Eventually it will cover me, but right now, it sits beside me, a folded bundle of patched love.

Another friend, Bobbi, is going through a life changing experience with chemotherapy. We have been friends off and on over the years, with common friends, and a common sense of a passion for learning. She was our school librarian, and was constantly on the cutting edge of knowledge and technology. She was my go to person. In my own way I have become her go to person. I had the same type of cancer she has and was treated and recovered 24 years ago. When I found out she was diagnosed, I reached out to her and offered some anecdotal advice, hoping to comfort her and allay her fears. On the way to one of her chemotherapy sessions she asked me about my hat knitting passion of late. I told her how I was knitting hats for the homeless, and she asked how many skeins of yarn it took, how long, etc. etc. Little did I know that when I dropped her off at her session she immediately got online with her iPad and put in an order for over 30 skeins of yarn that she had delivered to my house. Her generosity to this fiber artist rendered me speechless. As many of us who knit do, I collect, sort and hoard yarn so that I have just the right color, texture, and amount I may need for the “next project”. Like with the quilt, I just look at my new stash of yarn and well up.

I am just a sentimental old fool.

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