goodbyes

this horrid forgetfulness

A dear friend has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s – a friend we have known and loved for more than 30 years.

Another friend whom I remember as being so very vibrant in the 1950s is now in the final stages of Alzheimer’s.

Praying for my friends –  God be with them as they enter and live in this Dark Place.

God be with my friends’  loved ones who care for them and who anguish when it is necessary they go to a facility with trained personnel to care for them.

God be with them all.

traveling to a place prepared – just for her . . .

The last message
I received from my beloved friend.

October 9, 1938 – June 8, 2012

I am always in awe of the early settlers. The faith they had, to travel to unknown places, to survive, most of the time, without Doctors, certainly to live off the land! To follow their dreams to the west!Louise Birchfield Darnell

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My heart is heavy.

My dear friend is gone from this earth – my precious friend whom I won’t see in this lifetime – I thought we would be sharing stories and memories and laughs for many more years.

My heart is broken and the tears flow.

John 14:3

And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again,
and receive you unto myself;
that where I am, there ye may be also.

pop psychology and valued friendships

“The phrase ‘toxic friend’ is pop psychology,” says Jenn Berman, PhD, a psychologist in private practice in Beverly Hills, California. “I would say it’s someone who, after spending time with them, makes you feel bad about yourself instead of good; someone who tends to be critical of you — sometimes in a subtle way and sometimes not so subtle; a friend who drains you emotionally, financially, or mentally, and they’re not very good for you.”

Recognize the toxicity. “The first step is to recognize that the person is toxic,” Figley tells WebMD, “or at least that the relationship is toxic. They might not be a toxic friend to others but they are to you.”

Take responsibility. By continuing a toxic friendship, you’re allowing your friend to hurt you, but you’re also hurting yourself. “You have to take some degree of responsibility for the situation,” says Figley, a spokesman for the American Psychological Association. “It’s a pleaser personality — you want people to like you, you want to get along, and it’s hard to say no. But you can pay the price in one way by having toxic friends.” So even though we want to help our friends and have them rely on us in troubling times, take responsibility for toxic friendships and how they make you feel.

End the friendship. “It’s difficult to end a friendship,” says Figley. “Breaking up with anyone, whether it’s a spouse, love relationship, or a friend, is not fun. It’s even more important in this kind of context. In contrast to a love relationship in which you recognize you aren’t compatible, this type of relationship  is hurting you.”

In every relationship, you need balance, as Roberts demonstrates. Each person needs to be happy and feel good about the other. Ultimately, you want to feel good about your friends, not dread their ridicule.

source: Women’s Health

It takes a friend to be a friend.

Eris – winged goddess of Discord

Jeffrey Zaslow, co-author of  The Last Lecture describes conflicts and periods of alienation and disappointment in friendships.

However,  Jeff told an interviewer recently,  in a good friendship, the conflicts can be resolved.

Friendship at its best requires mutual respect and trust.  Good friendship is based on trust and if that trust is broken, the friendship may be hard to salvage.

If your friend tells you something in confidence, keep that confidence and don’t talk about it to anyone else. It’s what you’d expect in return and so be tight lipped about the matter. Don’t discuss your friend behind their back and don’t spread rumors about the confidences they’ve imparted to you. Rule out gossip or backstabbing when it comes to friendship! Never say anything about your friend that you would not be prepared to repeat to their face.

source: How to Be A Good Friend

I am so thankful for my good friends.  Have I always been a good friend?  Shamefully, the answer is probably not (although I do keep confidences and certainly wouldn’t spread rumors, be critical of or backstab a friend to another  – however, I have sometimes been neglectful – which I regret).

Do I treasure my friends?  YES!  Have some friendships become distant?  Yes – the caveat: I still and will always love these friends; we have just drifted apart – but they are forever in my heart and in my prayers.  Regardless of what caused the ‘drifting,’ I will never disparage them to others.  Nor do I base friendships or friendliness on what someone may tell me about a problem relationship with one of their friends or acquaintances.  That is their problem relationship (for whatever reason there are problems, it involves them – not me).

Relationships are complex.  Friendships are valued.  Life is a Learning Process (who said we are apprentices here on earth?).

Friendship is an undervalued resource. The consistent message of these studies is that friends make your life better. – What are Friends For?

Sadly, I’ve lost contact with “Kitten” (second from left).  Pat (next) and I still correspond and occasionally see one another at a reunion.  Kay (last on right in plaid dress) died too young and I will always miss her.  These friends have enriched my life and I am so thankful for them.

Some friends I’ve ‘lost’ as they have entered the Dark World of dementia and Alzheimer’s – yet the love is present and will always remain.  Some friends have died.  Again: the love remains.

Proverbs 27:9

Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart,
and the pleasantness of a friend
springs from their heartfelt advice.

The friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.  – C. S. Lewis

to be fully

source: I Love Old Magazines

our legacy

In the midst of a world that is too big and too fast, a world where information rules like a dictator and news travels like a virus, it is easy to be overcome by the hopelessness of the world and the helplessness of we, its keepers. What impact can we have? What traces will we leave behind?

History, I believe, is not the story of grand acts and masterpieces. History, instead, is the inexorable accumulation of tiny events–footsteps and glances, hands in soil, broken promises, bursts of laughter, weapons and wounds, hands touching hair, the art of conversation, the rage of loss. Historians may focus on the famous, familiar names–but history itself is made, day after day, by all those whose names are never known, all those who never made a proclamation or held an office, all those who were handed a place on earth and quietly made a life out of it.

So, what do we affect during our lifetime? What, ultimately, is our legacy? I believe, in most cases, our legacy is our friends. We write our history unto them, and they walk with us through our days like time capsules, filled with our mutual past, the fragments of our hearts and minds. Our friends get our uncensored questions and our yet-to-be-reasoned opinions. Our friends grant us the chance to make our grand, embarrassing, contradictory pronouncements about the world. They get the very best, and are stuck with the absolute worst we have to offer. Our friends get our rough drafts. Over time, they both open our eyes and break our hearts. Emerson wrote, “Make yourself necessary to someone.” In a chaotic world, friendship is the most elegant, the most lasting way to be useful. We are, each of us, a living testament to our friends’ compassion and tolerance, humor and wisdom, patience and grit. Friendship, not technology, is the only thing capable of showing us the enormity of the world.

– Stephen Dietz, 1992.

Bearers of grace

Friendship is like a step to raise us to the love and knowledge of God. – Aelred of Rievaulx

“We do not wish for friends to feed and clothe our bodies, but to do [a similar thing] to our spirits.” – Henry David Thoreau

Friendships, even when they do not end in conflict, sometimes wane as people drift apart.  We create ambivalent bonds.  Sometimes I hold back to protect myself. – Timothy Jones

“Often we simply need someone with whom we can simply be.  A friend, a family circle, a church can help us face the week’s hurts and hopes with the assurance that others know about what we face. . . . Friends can become bearers of grace.” – Timothy Jones

A poem of ending

To See My Mother
– Sharon Olds

It was like witnessing the earth being formed,
to see my mother die, like seeing
the dry lands be separated
from the oceans, and all the mists bear up
on one side, and all the solids
be borne down, on the other, until
the body was all there, all bronze and
petrified redwood opal, and the soul all
gone. If she hadn’t looked so exalted, so
beast-exalted and refreshed and suddenly
hopeful, more than hopeful—beyond
hope, relieved—if she had not been suffering so
much, since I had met her, I do not
know how I would have stood it, without
fighting someone, though no one was there
to fight, death was not there except
as her, my task was to hold her tiny
crown in one cupped hand, and her near
birdbone shoulder. Lakes, clouds,
nests. Winds, stems, tongues.
Embryo, zygote, blastocele, atom,
my mother’s dying was like an end
of life on earth, some end of water
and moisture salt and sweet, and vapor,
till only that still, ocher moon
shone, in the room, mouth open, no song.

staying connected

Lordy!  I’m not sure where time goes, but it seems so fleeting.  Fourteen years ago, Ginger Jones (FHS Class of 1956) began maintaining a newsletter for Farmington, New Mexico High School alumni.  Five years later, Ginger passed the reins to me and thanks to her, we are still connected – 190 persons strong.  Our 1956 graduation class numbered 126 (or was it 116 – or 106?), however, the newsletter has expanded to include news of all Farmington High School Classes and we love the connections.  We treasure the friendships.  Learning about our classmates’ lives since graduation, rejoicing with them when our children and grandchildren achieve goals and make us all proud, grieving together (albeit over the miles that separate us) when a classmate dies or experiences the death of a spouse or loved one, sharing our teenage memories – these connections draw us closer together and we realize how very fortunate we are.

We.  Are.  Fortunate.

Issue 14, No. 3 is back from the printers, the envelopes are labeled and stamped.  Scorpio Tales goes to the  Seguin Post Office today and will fly to various destinations: New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Washington, Arizona, Hawaii, New Jersey, Virginia, Nevada, Missouri, California, Utah, Oregon, Minnesota, Colorado, Illinois, Montana, North Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Australia.

We have spread our wings!

Farmington Alumni – many thanks for the photos, articles, information, contributions – and most especially (shades of Bob Hope), thanks for the memories.

A song from the Fifties!

always there

 

I am grateful for

grandchildren

Becoming a grandmother is wonderful.

One moment you’re just a mother.
The next you are all-wise and prehistoric.
~Pam Brown

childhood friends

The things which the child loves
remain in the domain of the heart until old age.
The most beautiful thing in life
is that our souls remain
over the places where we once enjoyed ourselves.

–          Kahlil Gibran

children

The child must know that he is a miracle.,
that since the beginning of the world
there hasn’t been,
and until the end of the world
there will not be
,
another child like him.

– Pablo Casals


siblings

Our brothers and sisters are there with us
from the dawn of our personal stories
to the inevitable dusk.

– Susan Scarf Merrell

my husband

Dear God,
I prayed, all unafraid
(as we’re inclined to do),
I do not need a handsome man
but let him be like You;
I do not need one big and strong
nor yet so very tall,
nor need he be some genius,
or wealthy, Lord, at all;
but let his head be high,
dear God,
and let his eye be clear,
his shoulders straight,
whate’er his state,
whate’er his earthly sphere;
and let his face have character,
a ruggedness of soul,
and let his whole life show,
dear God,
a singleness of goal;
then when he comes
(as he will come)
with quiet eyes aglow,
I’ll understand that he’s the man
I prayed for long ago.
– Ruth Bell Graham

our legacy

In the midst of a world that is too big and too fast, a world where information rules like a dictator and news travels like a virus, it is easy to be overcome by the hopelessness of the world and the helplessness of we, its keepers. What impact can we have? What traces will we leave behind?

History, I believe, is not the story of grand acts and masterpieces. History, instead, is the inexorable accumulation of tiny events–footsteps and glances, hands in soil, broken promises, bursts of laughter, weapons and wounds, hands touching hair, the art of conversation, the rage of loss. Historians may focus on the famous, familiar names–but history itself is made, day after day, by all those whose names are never known, all those who never made a proclamation or held an office, all those who were handed a place on earth and quietly made a life out of it.

So, what do we affect during our lifetime? What, ultimately, is our legacy? I believe, in most cases, our legacy is our friends. We write our history unto them, and they walk with us through our days like time capsules, filled with our mutual past, the fragments of our hearts and minds. Our friends get our uncensored questions and our yet-to-be-reasoned opinions. Our friends grant us the chance to make our grand, embarrassing, contradictory pronouncements about the world. They get the very best, and are stuck with the absolute worst we have to offer. Our friends get our rough drafts. Over time, they both open our eyes and break our hearts. Emerson wrote, “Make yourself necessary to someone.” In a chaotic world, friendship is the most elegant, the most lasting way to be useful. We are, each of us, a living testament to our friends’ compassion and tolerance, humor and wisdom, patience and grit. Friendship, not technology, is the only thing capable of showing us the enormity of the world.

Stephen Dietz, 1992.

Friendship exists, complete and absolute from the beginning.
You don’t make friends, you recognize them.

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