Tuesday, January 15, 2008

it's what matters.........


At the funeral of my father in law, George, last May I was struck by the story his best friend told as part of his eulogy. Peter and George had been close friends for many years. They had fought in many political elections together......George the candidate, Peter the organizer and fund raiser. Both big presence people, with the ability to draw many into their magnetism. George had an illustrious career in politics in Ontario and held many ministerial portfolios. Peter is a self driven businessman, self made millionaire in land development. He has travelled the globe, skied many mountains, and continues to live a very full life. Busy successful men, the two of them.

Peter had an armload of "war stories" he could've told about their antics and experiences together........stories that would've been impressive on many levels.......the people they had met, the inside meetings they had attended, etc. Many of these stories were shared with family the night before over scotch and some good reunion laughs. The remember whens which included wives and kids, other friends and other families were all set aside.........for before and after the funeral.

Instead, Peter drew us all a picture of two friends sitting at the end of the dock one summer evening in the early 1960's. They had rented a cabin and had spent the day fishing in a part of northern Ontario known for that. After a dinner of fresh catch, they sauntered down to the end of the dock with a drink in hand and sat quietly in the peace. He described the endless starry sky and the quiet solitude of the moment where two friends realized together that life doesn't get any better than that. Stillness shared.

It was the most poignant moment in the whole service. One elderly man remembering his dear friend with a single treasured slice of life. Together that moment as one and it hit Peter in the core of his heart as he spoke of it. When he finished, he unconciously looked up, smiled his infectious smile and composed himself again.

Friendship, as comfortable as a favourite shirt worn soft, recognized in the stillness of a moment shared under the breath of the stars. Warm breeze, contentment, carefree acceptance when your insides tell you that you may feel like you're fighting the good fight day in and day out all alone........."HERE is moment of reassurance, your insides speak, to let you know that you are never alone. Treasure it."

Friends, the worn shirt kind, are the treasured gifts we receive from God.


The prompt this week from Writer's Island was treasure. To read more, click here.

18 comments:

Dustin said...

Dana,

This is so true. Thank God for our most treasured friends.

paris parfait said...

What a beautiful tribute to a treasured man and a lovely story!

Marja said...

Happy to be back to read this very touching beautiful story about a special moment. Thanks

jadey said...

Friendships are a true treasure. If only you have even just one person to share your secrets with or many just remember what a treasure they are to have in your life. Great post.

Awareness said...

Dustin. Yes, thank God for the friends we can enjoy an summer evening with and be comfortable in each other's silence.

Tara. thank you. I had jotted down a bunch of things for this prompt and none of them felt right until i remembered Peter's story.

Marja. Welcome back. Happy New Year.

Jadey; I think its easy to forget in the hustle and bustle of our daily living isn't it? What I like about writing prompts is that it sometimes makes you think about what is truly important in our lives.

Perplexio said...

I think that's why the show Boston Legal is so popular... Each episode ends with James Spader and William Shatner quietly sitting on that balcony and enjoying one another's company. The creators of the show really hit on something when they opted to focus so heavily on the friendship of those 2 characters, especially given the strong chemistry that exists between the 2 actors.

Secondly, I have a book recommendation for you-- And You Know You Should Be Glad by Bob Greene (the former Chicago Tribune columnist NOT Oprah Winfrey's personal trainer/fitness guru of the same name). The book is a "biography of a friendship" and Greene tells the tale of how his childhood friends were brought back together with the impending passing of one of their circle from terminal cancer. It's a very touching tale and Bob Greene really tugs at the heart-strings.

keith hillman said...

What a lovely tribute. A tale extolling the virtues of simple pleasure - priceless treasure.

tumblewords said...

Friends, the worn shirt kind,...
a wonderfully worded treasure!

Awareness said...

Darrin. Thanks. I wrote down the title and look for it. I sounds like a good one.

The ending of Boston Legal is a great example. It's what made that show....all the crazy antics and storylines culminating with two men who obviously have respect for one another in their twisted absurdist way.

Keith...those moments are priceless and yet when you look at them in the big picture, my goodness they are just a sliver of our time on earth.

Sue. thanks. I was thinking of an old camp song when I wrote those words.....it goes.....

"Do you have a shirt that you really love, one that you feel so comfy in.....? It doesn't matter if it starts to fray....that only makes it better still....."

Marja said...

Dana I know you don't do awards and I respect that. I had added you anyway for Blogger of the World. Just mention that.

Shaz said...

Hey baby ................
Im BACK on MY computer it feels great to be connected again and I can relate to this beautiful post about friends.
I have so missed being able to read daily about everything and stay in touch with your regular thoughts my fleeting few and far between visits have been frustrating but its over and i am doing a little dance ;)

Awareness said...

Thank you Marja. I don't recall writing that sentiment but maybe I did. I have in the past not felt comfortable passing on the award.... :) Blogger of the World? I'm humbled and psyched at the same time! A bit paradoxical with my feelings. thank you.

Shaz....good to have you back FINALLY! I was wondering if perhaps there were no computer fixers in Oz or something. OH, and if I squint and look deeply into my own computer screen, I can see you dancing.

Open Grove Claudia said...

I truly believe that friends make a life. We are all blessed by each other in friendship.

I'm delighted that your fil had real friends - that's a life worth living.

Gypsy said...

How Peter must miss George....still, at least he has his beautiful memories for company.

LittleWing said...

what a beautiful post...friendship the best there is...hopefully we can all share friendship just as this...a comforable warn cherished shirt...im still holding onto a nightgown my mother gave me years ago...holy as ever...amen...

Awareness said...

Claudia....Not enough can be said about them really....especially the ones you could call day or night.

Gypsy....Im sure he does. He was also very close to my mother in law too. Their deaths hit him hard on many levels. It seemed to me that it was a poignant time for him to recognize and relearn what's important. I think that's why his eulogy and story was so powerful in its simplicity. We could all see that in his eyes.

littlewing.....the comfort some friendships provide...holy as ever

Rainbow dreams said...

Perhaps we never receive treasure more valuable than that Dana... a lovely story.
Thank you for sharing it.

Awareness said...

Katie....I'm sure you heard many of these kind of stories this week at your Uncle's funeral. I was thinking of that while writing this piece.