And now for the rest of the story…
Last week I wrote about Ruth, the latest addition to our assisted living family. Ruth moved into our condo (Country Comforts Assisted Living) less than two weeks ago. She was already receiving hospice services, and as soon as she settled into our home, she relaxed into the process of dying. Early yesterday morning she was born into her new life. Ruth’s son, her two daughters and their spouses, and some of her grandchildren gathered together at our place in the morning to share some time together, savoring being part of the cloud of love that has been hovering over our home that I blogged about last week.
Over the past ten days, members of Ruth’s family have become close friends of Mim and me. Sharing the experience of caring for a loved one as she passes on to her next life brings us together with a truly special bond. I’m thankful for all the new friends we’ve gained through Country Comforts Assisted Living. Both Mim and I really value the continuing friendships that have been formed.
“Make new friends but keep the old; one is silver and the other gold.” Marilyn Huebel, a friend of mine who dates back to college days, also writes a blog every Monday. This morning, she started her blog by reciting the line above from an old camp song. In her blog she reflects on the different kinds of friends we have in our lives. Marilyn uses the image of an onion with all its layers to describe the types of friends we have – different circles of friends at different layers of closeness. (Here’s a link to her blog: http://monday-muser.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-colors-of-onions.html.) I think an onion serves as a very good analogy for friendship. But since I’m not much of an onion eater personally, I’ll stick with the image of a cloud of love that surrounds me, a big, white, fluffy cloud filled with the positive energy formed by God and all my friends.
Between Country Comforts Assisted Living and Whispering Winds Retreat Haven, Mim and I have been blessed with the opportunity to meet many people, some of whom have become very close friends, and others who have become good acquaintances. I’m thankful for all the friends, old and new, gold and silver, that have come into my life – school friends, church friends, work friends, neighborhood friends, and, of course, family members. All of these friends contribute to the “cloud of love” that surrounds each of us.