Of friends & generations

This past weekend, I returned to Virginia for the first time since Mom died. After a couple of days at her house (will I ever call it my house?), I went to Maryland for a service celebrating the life of the friend who died in mid-March.

It was a weekend of mixed and varied emotions – but one thought was a constant  – that of friends.

Throughout Mom’s illness, her friends were remarkable. They were unfailing in offering to help, to run errands, to pick things up at the store, inviting us out, and bringing food. Their moral support of the both of us was profound. I will never forget their generosity, the kindnesses extended to us.

During this weekend’s too-short visit to Virginia, my Mom’s friends were again wonderfully warm and welcoming. I think they were truly happy to see me. I now realize that they’re not just Mom’s friends, but mine as well. And now I know that because of Mom, I have a whole set of friends whom I’ve inherited from her.

When I went to Maryland, I realized that my daughter may also be blessed with cross-generational friendships. She accompanied me to a pre-service lunch, a mini-reunion of old and geographically-scattered friends, and she was a valued participant. At the service, she also knew number of people. I realized that as Mom gave me the gift of her wonderful friends, so also may I be giving the gift of my wonderful friends to my daughter.

In both my daughter’s case and my own, our inherited friends won’t replace friends that we’ve developed on our own – but they will make both of our lives richer through their different and diverse experiences, ages, backgrounds.

Friends are a wonderful thing to re-gift.

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