Tag Archives: Friend

Friends are Wonderful Teachers

It’s Thanksgiving morning as I write this, and I’m thinking about my friends.

Friends have been the best teachers in my life and I think the reason why is because the love level is so high, the wall level is low.  With trusted friends, there’s no need to put up defenses or be on guard.

With friends, my heart is wide open, and revelations can penetrate deeply.

It’s not ALL deep stuff.  Though my friend Cynthia is as deep and insightful as they come, she’s my fashionista/stylist/hair/makeup and on trend friend.  Whenever we are together, there is always a conversation about, “Where did you buy that?  What serum do you use?  What diet are you on?”  We keep each other sharp (and smokin’ hot, I like to say!)

My friend Renee is a nurturer/caretaker/nursemaid/comforter who LISTENS in a way that always makes you feel heard.  She hangs on her friends words because she cares so deeply.  And research?  Just mention a topic you’re interested in, and the Inter-Nay (as we affectionately call her) conjures up the pertinent info and helps the Fab Four make informed decisions, while sending funny dog videos to keep us smiling.

Anita never skims.  She reads voraciously and has a PhD level knowledge about matters like quantum physics, spirituality, and health.  I tend to be a Cliff Notes/Readers Digest abridged version person, so how grateful I am for a friend who digs into the depths of a thing. She, too, is a world-champion listener, and always hears what I HAVEN’T said and asks the followup questions that provoke me to think.  She has a giggle like a teenager (and the bonus is that she lives directly on Jacksonville Beach, making for a perfect getaway.)  I will, however, always wonder why we live in the same state FIVE HOURS AWAY.  Seems wrong.  But it’s better than five states away.

On our recent girls’ weekend in Atlanta, Cynthia presented each of us with this “We go back, but we also go forward” mug. My coffee tastes better in it every morning!

These are my sisters from another mother.  And then there is my sister since birth, Shirlee.  So beautiful and talented, I could have been jealous, but she has always been so good to me I couldn’t help but adore her.  One of the greatest things she ever taught me was, during bad times, mark your calendar for two weeks away.  Guaranteed, life will be better by then.  (It’s true.  Bad times don’t last forever.)  She’s whipped up magnificent meals and desserts and watching her inspires me to try them at home.  She has NEVER stopped learning – now acting in local plays (even a film!) and playing her beloved ukelele with gusto.

Could I go on? Forever.

I could mention how Roseann taught me the power of a Hallmark card to really let people know I care.  (Hallmark should send her residual checks, I caught on to this so well.)  Or write volumes about Cindy, Linda, Hillary, Chelsa, Karen, Karen (I won two Karen’s when I moved to Sarasota!), Jennifer…

…you get the point.

We celebrate Friends-giving at my apartment complex, and with EDUCATION being our recent Word of the Weeks I couldn’t help but think of how much my beautiful friendships have taught me.  

And perhaps the point is not that friends are the best teachers.

LOVE is.

Onward to a new Word of the Weeks!

How perfectly does today’s post about friends go along with SISTER/BROTHERHOOD!

Keep learning, keep loving.

xoxoxoxo

Brenda

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This One’s For My Sister (and the New WOW)

My sister has been my chief cheerleader and support system for 54 years.

When I cried incessantly as a baby, my parents threatened to put me up for sale in a wheelbarrow by the road.

I think in today’s world, someone would have called child protective services, but back then it was their way of saying, “If this child doesn’t stop screaming, we’re going to lose it!”

Of course, they never INTENDED to sell me, but my five-year-old sister couldn’t grasp the nuance of dark humor yet, so SHE began to scream and beg for my life.

She wanted me, tears and all.

She still does.

Always more comfortable with a drawing pad or lost in a good book, she never failed to encourage my more “outward” pursuits.  She schlepped me to Philadelphia from Buena, NJ to get my  head shots taken. When I competed in the Miss Magic 103 radio contest, and belted out my Cher impressions for the world to hear, no one laughed louder. Before and after big events,she sends me handwritten cards or flowers.  And when I’m blue? She reminds me that better days are coming.  Usually in about two weeks, if you mark it on the calendar. In man respects, my sister Shirlee has been my guardian angel.

Shirlee DiBacco has always avoided the spotlight, yet has always helped my face find the sun.

And this past Friday night she made her acting debut!

Forever she has loved the play “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder. An “Our Town” groupie, she’s seen the play from New York to Hammonton numerous times.  She quotes from the play, because to her, there’s a line from “Our Town” to fit any situation.

And then she saw an ad that her community theatre in Somers Point, NJ would be holding auditions for…”Our Town.”

She tried to talk herself out of it, but couldn’t shake it.  When she showed up, she practically recited an encyclopedic knowledge of the play.  She would have paid the producers to give her a part.

No need.  So captivated by her enthusiasm, she handily won the part of “Woman in the Balcony.”  The woman with a movie star face who always took a back seat and applauded for everyone else is finally having her moment.

Her friend Barb, husband Tony, friend Chris – and the STAR, my sister, Shirlee, celebrating with ice cream after Our Town’s debut on Friday night.

And I am so proud of her I could just burst.

I’m flying up to see her final matinee next Sunday, the 12th. And I am equally delighted that she (and my mom) picked our new Word of the Week!

I wonder what new things are right around the corner for us this week?

Let’s be explorers!

xoxoxoxo

Brenda

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A Wise Friend and the WOW for 3.6.16

When we planned their visit over a year ago, we had no idea how wise the timing would be for our friends Judy and Jim Neubauer to come to town.

It had been over a year since I had enjoyed quality time with my friend and, for the guys, well – they’re great at being goofy together. I vividly recall one New Year’s Eve when they tried their hand at hip-hop dancing as the clock struck twelve.

Thankfully, they both decided to keep their day jobs.

The levity Jim brought with him is exactly what Duane needed after traveling home from his mother’s funeral services. A true pal, he even watched Johnny Carson reruns with us.

Jim and Judy are the kind of friends whose kids call us “Aunt Brenda and Uncle Duane.” Can I tell you how much I love that?

Not having a daughter of my own, I got to go prom dress shopping several years back with Judy and her daughter Laura (who is now practically a pharmacist).  Doug was Shasta’s favorite baby-sitter.  He’s now a Marine. I’ve watched Amanda grow from a “Little Cindy-Lou Who” lookalike to a stunning young teenager…and Daniel?  He was the only Neubauer offspring I’ve known since the womb.
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An entire essay could be written about Daniel, whose twinkle and star-shine wrapped into an irrepressible personality are likely to be famous one day.  (I called it, folks.)

Yep, I love those Neubauers.  But getting back on topic:

DISCERNMENT was this past week’s WOW and while I have enjoyed making my new Sarasota friends, there’s nothing like a long-time friend whose counsel you trust to boost your mental health.

And in this case, it wasn’ t just my mental and spiritual health – it was physical, too.  See, Judy is a Nurse Practitioner.  If you’ve got a belly ache, a pang in your side, a funky looking mark or…well, you name it, she’s got just the advice to put your mind at ease.

So while the trip here was supposed to be HER birthday present, I’m the one that really got the gift.

Sometimes you just need someone you can say anything to who won’t judge but will lend a listening ear and some sage wisdom.

And who will go shopping with you.

Thank you, Judy, for being such a friend.  For encouraging me to take those probiotics and for helping me with this week’s WOW!:

How freeing it was for me to discover that not everyone had to love me – or even LIKE me – for me to be at peace.

How relieved were my friends and family when I stopped trying to get them all converted to my point of view!

Trying to change anyone other than ourselves is an exercise in futility.  And who made us the other guy’s savior?

Yes, when I focused more on the moat in my own eye and embraced the concept that we can all agree to disagree, HARMONY began to blossom in my life.

And my life began to blossom.

May our week be filled with good music and inner peace – regardless of what may be going on around us.

Let others’ dramatics play on.  We don’t have to enter the fray.

xoxoxox

Brenda

 

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