Anniversary/ Birthday two days apart, so it all blurred into one long wonderful weekend… September, 2014 has to be the most insightful, provocative, meaningful month of my Golden Years…so far.

Thanks for all the wonderful birthday and anniversary wishes. I appreciate them all. 63 years old, with the body of a 62 year old. 34 years of marriage, without the heat of passion, but the fiery glow of companionship rages on. A weekend of just time with folks I love, who care, and a day all to my own specifications. It was…in a single word: delightful. I am loved, I get to love, and there were many comfortable moments, and even some quiet moments of reflection…with some real reflection. I am grateful for it all.

September, this September in particular, has been fascinating to me. Almost like I am an outside observer in my own life. Watching meaning, understanding, and discovery unfold almost every single day. I saw myself as I am, without anger or malice , discovering in the process that I like me just the way I am. I am finally in a position to let go of things, people, and events, that I thought would never leave me, or at least leave me with a suffering whole in my persona. That didn’t happen. If folks don’t want to be in my life, I have made it much easier for them to exit. LOL Both from memory, and from real life.

You know what? Looking back at all the things I could have done, or according to other people : “Should have done!”  I almost forgot about all the things I have done. Not in a braggadocio way, but simply acknowledging this fact: I lived. I lived my life. My way, mostly. So what if I screwed up? I succeeded because of those screw ups. So what if I lost a girlfriend or lover along the way, it taught me how to love – and to forgive. I learned that sometimes fights aren’t worth fighting for. I learned , at other times, that sometimes hurt makes you grow. I learned that most of the folks who told me how to live my life, perhaps, should have spent that time on their lives. I listened to me, and messed up. I listened to me and moved up. I could have done better in some areas, and did way better in others. In short, I lived, learned, and loved…and am still growing. Wow. I learned that I can’t make people happy, but they can be happy to be around me. I learned that I am not the reason your life sucks, no matter who you are, or how hard you try and convince me.

If I did something to hurt you , in any way, and I apologized, its over for me now. I can’t undo a single thing I did. You know what? Nobody can. Nobody ever has. The best anyone can do, is get up, learn from it, move on, and try not to repeat the mistake. I dropped a lot of baggage in my life by doing the ShawShank parole hearing speech in my own head: “That boy is long gone. He died years ago. I wish I could have talked to him, with what I know now, but I can’t. If you think you are judging that boy, and not this man, you can all go to hell.”

Yes. That has been my September. And you can all go to Heaven!

re: Kindness , a Marriage Minute article by Kevin Hughes. When is the last time YOU were kind to your special someone?

MARRIAGE MINUTE Got a minute? Kindness: By Kevin Hughes

A very elegantly dressed woman sat next to her very dapper man. The couple was easily well into their 80s. I was seated a few tables away — and the reason I noticed them, at first, was her elegant style of dress; and his dapper outfit. It isn’t often nowadays when you see a woman with a lace neck scarf, pill box hat with veil, and silk evening gloves. Nor do you see a man like hers; with the silk bow tie (hand-tied), vest, with pocket watch and chain. Pure class. Although it was their dress and mannerisms that first drew me; it was the following conversation that snared me. The dapper man spoke: “Darling, I have decided to get myself a cup of tea. Would you appreciate one for yourself?” The elegant woman responded : “Splendid. I believe a cup of tea would be just the right thing. How delightful of you to ask.” The dapper man replied: “No darling, the delight is all mine in being able to serve such a beautiful and kind woman. Knowing that in serving you, my needs have been met.” The elegant woman smiled. After listening to this brief exchange, two thoughts crossed my mind; first, who in the world speaks like that? Second, it did not sound stilted, or practiced, even though the language is flowery — the tone of the entire conversation was thoughtful, kind, and sincere. Their language was as elegant as their dress.
When the dapper looking man returned with the tea for his elegant lady; I approached their table. “Excuse me for interrupting. Allow me to introduce myself; I am Kevin Hughes, a comedian on board the ship. I do relationship humor, and I have to admit listening to your little conversation intrigues me. I have never heard a couple be so kind to each other with words.” The elegant woman reached across the table and with her gloved hand squeezed the hand of the dapper man. They both smiled. “Should you tell him darling? Or would you rather then I tell him the story?” “I believe it would be much wiser for you to tell the story. First of all, there will be no embellishments; and you, after all, are the one who initiated the change in my behavior.” (Again, I was stunned by the use of language. There was no artifice — this was real talk. As strange as it sounded to my ear, there was no doubt of the sincerity and lack of artifice in their conversation.) “Okay. Thank you for allowing me to speak first Harold; I shall tell the young man our story.” The elegant woman then turned slightly in her chair so that she could look directly at me. She smiled, crossed her hands in her lap, and then began to speak: “On our 40th wedding anniversary — the children threw quite a shindig for us at a local restaurant. While I was getting ready, Harold (and she looked over at him and smiled) was being finicky. “Hurry up. We are going to be late. All the kids are probably already there. Your hair looks fine just the way it is. We should have left already.” At this, Harold looked a little sheepish. She softened the blow with a smile though; and continued to speak: “I did not like the tone of his voice. We drove to the restaurant in quiet. Not the peaceful quiet of a long-term couple enjoying the silence. It was the quiet of two people who are just trying to avoid a confrontation. It was uncomfortable. When we got to the restaurant — early I might add — everyone was there. There were several short speeches before dinner, and Harold was busy entertaining everybody and making sure they were taken care of; everybody but me, that is. When evening drew to a close, and we piled into our car after hugging our children goodbye. It was a very cold, uncomfortable silence, on the long drive home. Harold noticed — but did not mention anything. When we arrived home, I marched straight upstairs — closing the bedroom door behind me. Harold knew that was not a good sign. He knocked lightly on the door, opened it, and asked politely: “May I come in?” “Certainly”. I replied. I sat in front of my makeup mirror, Harold came over and sat on the edge of the bed — so that he could look at me. “What have I done?” He asked. “Harold, you have spoiled my 40th wedding anniversary — it should have been our wedding anniversary. In part, it is my fault, I should have spoken to you years ago — when you first became unkind.” “What do you mean, unkind?” he said to me. He was startled by my accusation of being unkind — you could tell it was a surprise to him. “I mean exactly that. Unkind. Over the last several years you have become less kind to me. Less polite. You’re always in a hurry — very rarely do you consider my efforts, my comfort, or show any concern for how I might feel. I will not tolerate it. Tonight was our night, honey — you made it yours. You made sure everyone else was seated, and aware of your pride — but you did not make anyone aware of your bride. I will not accept this. You are much better man than that Harold, or I would not have married you. I want you to be kind to me again.” From that moment on; he was kind to her.
In our lengthy conversation that followed the story she told me; I discovered a few things. Kindness, turns out to be one of the necessary ingredients for a long-term relationship. If not the key ingredient. Harold had always been kind to her since they first got married; then, he started to slip occasionally — eventually ending up being unkind. She was a strong enough woman to point out to her man, that being unkind to her, was unacceptable. She told him point blank; “I will not tolerate being treated unkindly.” Harold was smart enough to realize she wasn’t kidding. She told me that Harold begged for forgiveness that evening. The following morning he awoke cheerful, polite, and kind. At first, he exaggerated his kindness with overly flowery language. That would make her chuckle. Then he said: “It became a habit. Just like brushing your teeth, or shaving, or going for a walk every morning. I didn’t even notice it after a while. I just got in the habit of using very proper, formal, language. I would say things like: “Good morning my darling. I hope that you slept well, and your dreams were filled with interesting thoughts and desirable outcomes.” She would laugh. There is another secret besides kindness revealed in that last sentence… “she would laugh.” That laugh reveals that they both have a sense of humor. Kind humor — not at someone’s expense, rather, at someone’s expanse! We will leave that alone for right now; let it simmer in the back your brain — the idea that humor can be kind and uplifting. Humor is part of a longer-term relationship and we will talk about it in a future article. They both told me that when they first started using exaggerated kindness, it felt a little uncomfortable, a little stilted. These use to laugh a lot at their flowery language. They would try to out do each other; making up sentences that sounded like they came from an 1880s romance novel; and not from a modern couple living in the year 2000. I asked her what her favorite sentence was — could she even remember one that stood out? “Oh yes Kevin. I remember clearly this one: “It is time for you to wake darling. The sun cannot hold itself back anymore. It is creeping up for a better view of your smiling face. The clouds have all tried to crowd in; to get a glimpse of your face, but the wind will have nothing of it — and is busily blowing away the clouds so the sun is shining directly on your perfect porcelain skin.” They both laughed heartily at this — and she told me that Harold managed to get that entire sentence out- with a straight face. I had to laugh too. Harold and his lovely bride Eva — taught me a lot that evening. How underrated kindness really is in a relationship. How language can reflect what you are feeling inside. You can also hide how you feel; she chose not to hide her feelings, telling Harold ; exactly how she felt. I wonder how many of us are astute enough to know what we need from our partner? I wonder how many of us are strong enough to to specifically asked for that need to be filled. It must be very difficult to ask for a hug when you need one — especially if your partner is unaware that you need a hug ! I wonder how many feelings are hurt — just because one partner, or the other, never asked. She did not really ask Harold to be kind — she told him to be kind. She knew what she needed from Harold. She told him directly and without anger or malice. Because there was neither anger nor malice in her language or demeanor — simply an honest desire to be treated respectfully and kindly — Harold responded (pardon the pun) kindly. And that is another lesson — people who care, can confront each other and disagree, without being disagreeable. Because she was kind enough to allow Harold to maintain his dignity when he was being corrected; Harold became kind enough, to be the kind of person she wanted him to be. I learned many lessons from that elderly couple — whom I only noticed because they were well-dressed, well spoken, and well mannered. How often in today’s world do you find that combination of character traits? I guess the best way to end this article would be the way they said goodnight to me: “Kevin, we wish sweet dreams of people you love, doing things that make them grow. We hope that when you rise in the morning your outlook will be brighter than the sun. We hope that the day brings you the joy that you have brought us with your conversation. With that we bid you good evening and a pleasant nights sleep. Be kind to yourself.”

Passages…six decades into my life, and the pattern starts over again…LOL The changes from year one thru ten, are equalled by the changes of 60 thru 70.

I think it was Gail Sheehey, who wrote a book called: Passages – way back in the early 70′s.  I didn’t agree with her then, even though I knew there were two big passages for females: Menarche, and Menopause. For men, well ejaculation…and balding. LOL

Now, however, I realize she was on the right path- each decade of life is in and of itself, a separate block of life. You get three decades in prime time, if you are lucky, you get two more decades of life to chill out, and that first decade of headlong rush into puberty.  Adding up to the proverbial three score and ten. Seven decades…and decade one and seven seem to be about equal mentally, and unfortunately, equal in the amount of physical changes in your body. Two, four, six , and eight, and ten years of age, are lightyears apart for most of us, and so is: sixty, sixty-two, sixty-four, sixty-six, sixty eight, and seventy! My friend Ed told me about this bookend theory of decades, but it took me until this year to appreciate how on the mark he was. You go down almost as fast as you went up!

The thing I want to focus on though, is this: Those first ten years of your life, you are learning, you are playing most of the time, and you barely care about the world outside your family, and are barely aware of most of those in your family too. LOL At sixty, the same thing happens. If you stop working, you start to play again, you start to hang out with just a few friends, you could care less about the rest of the world, bills, appointments, clothes, and a whole litany of other things. Your world becomes smaller in some ways, and big enough to fill your days in another. It is like being a kid again. You do what you want, when you want, you take many naps, and run full speed into the night. LOL  You don’t read newspapers, except for the funnies, you experiment with stuff to see if you can do it, or not. You only hang out with people you like, and you spend a whole day busy, but at the end of that day, for the life of you, you can’t remember doing anything of import, just a long, delicious day, filled with fun, and alone time, and play time, and some food and drink. Yep.

After age sixty, if you don’t have to work just to stay alive, or to pay for a place to live, each day becomes a Summer Vacation day of your youth. If you are working, I hope it is for either your passion for what you like doing, or because you get a sense of community for it. If you are working just to pay for stuff, I know what a grind that is, and wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Kathy and I live off of my Social Security, a small stipend, and her Minimum wage job, and we live well. No houses, one car, paid for, and a budget that lets us have the occasional day out. We don’t travel much, because we have been to forty eight states, forty nine countries, all the provinces of Canada, and all the States of Mexico, weekend trips are enough for us.

Because Kathy works, just that little bit gives us some wiggle room. For me, it provides the long Summer Vacation like days. I can’t believe the difference in my outlook on life, since turning sixty three- when I compare it to the Kevin who thought he had to become: Super at Sixty! I was 58 when I began that journey to be my definition of Super at Sixty. Now, at 63, I have left that Kevin way back in my past. He makes me smile. That Kevin needed validation, an excuse for not living life to the fullest, which, by the way, he thought was to be busy working, creating, being productive, and participating. Oh, the ways of the blissfully ignorant. Being alive, doesn’t need proof, validation, or activity for others to note. Nope. Sitting on a park bench, reading for your own pleasure (not a title to impress those who may sit next to you and ask: “What are you reading?” Kierkergaard ! LOL)  setting your book – or Kindle- down to watch a squirrel, or listening to see if you can tell what kind of bird it is, by listening to its song, and that funny smile you get , when you find the bird, and it IS the one you had in mind. Or, if you just suddenly lose yourself to a memory of another bench, with your younger self, and a partner…you can smell her, feel her skin, hear her laugh, and the joyfree feeling of an unlimited future in front of you. You can see the both of you, and hear the laughter and see the smiles, and giggles- but, the words are gone. Only the gist remains, like the haunting moment at the end of a beautiful song, where the music has stopped, but not its effects.

Maybe minutes go by, maybe hours, who knows? Who cares? For a few moments, you were ten again, or sixteen, or twenty three, or thirty seven, or forty nine…and what bubbles up, comes unbidden, with only strong emotions and no judgement to slur the feelings. A breakup with a loved one, becomes bitter sweet, and accepted. A kind word gets remembered, and you thank them- again. A softness of a quiet head on your shoulder, providing warmth, love, contentment, and safety…keeps the words from forming that would break the spell. Until a squirrel, a squeal , or a chirp, or even the dip of your own head, brings you back to the now. You get up from the bench, and you walk…still smiling. Your Mother’s voice doesn’t call you home, but if you really wanted to, you could hear her as you got to see what is for supper.

Summertime, in the Winter of life. Oh yeah Ms. Sheehey, there are passages!

short sentences…all in a row….all for fun…and all I know. LOL

There may be more than one Universe, that should change love songs that limited themselves to :”You are my world.”

I once heard a garbage collector say: “Thank God for all this beautiful trash.”

I once heard a girl say: ” I hope I still think I’m pretty, when I am not.”

“When flowers die, do they shine in heaven?” Overheard by a kid in a flower shop.

“Do you suppose winter is to make us stop using cars?” From a five year old nephew.

“Everybody has a mom, not everyone has a mommy.”  A sign written by a first grader.

“I know she doesn’t love you, she slept with you.”  Told to a friend of mine, when we were in our 20′s.

” I never cease wondering at how much wonder there is out there.” Me. LOL

“If someone loves you, loved you, or wants to love you, you are a success.”

“Money pays the bills, and buys stuff. Everything that means something, is free, or nearly so. Somehow we forget that.” Me. Again. LOL

” You go where you go, until you get what you got, and when you get to where you got, you got there by going where you went. ”  Me…again. LOL

“I love you.”  There is no better ending than that.

Media Pollution. Yep. Get out side, without any radio, tv, facebook, twitter, youtube, or selfies…and guess what…Eden is still here. So are people. LOL

A very short blog. Social Media …isn’t.

Work is fun, if you don’t have a job. LOL

Get out and walk. Violence is the favorite tool of the media, and the first resort of the ignorant.

People should never be hit, devalued or ignored. Funny how we think only women get abused, and only physical abuse leaves scars. Funny how we mistake skin color, or culture for race. Funny how we use statistics to back up opinion, and treat the “numbers as facts.” Here is a fact for you…numbers aren’t facts, and are manipulated as easily as words, and some people. LOL

Judging folks is so easy, as long as : A) You are not related.  B) They are not known to you, except through the media. C) None of your failings, shortcomings, or acts of deceit come to light.

If you can clear your head of the bombardment of the media, and I use that word by choice- for it is a bombardment of violent news, shows, and reality TV: manufactured reality …like George Burns said: “Once you learn to fake sincerity, you have it made.”  Nowadays, once you fake Reality, you have it made. LOL

Quiet your mind, don’t close it. Make your mind a safe haven for the things you like, adore, admire, feel passion for. Spend a day with yourself, or with your kids, or grand kids, or in an Art Museum, or watching folks having fun, or maybe just kicked back on the edge of a pond, letting your thoughts drift by like the ripples left by your toes dipping in the water.

The world isn’t always safe from cradle to grave. On the other hand, how much of the crap you see in a day, hear in a day, read in a day, was really YOUR life?

Take the back roads, simplify, love, laugh, and give back, or forgive. Find out how much your thought process has been polluted, and work to make it a clean , safe, happy thought process. Not necessarily happy, but content. Find peace.

Let the Media pundits pund on …go chase a butterfly. It sounds like Hippy talk. It isn’t. It is a way to mental health.

Try it. Break  the bonds of Media Pollution, if Shit happens, but not to you, let it go. If the shit concerns you, kill the bacteria, turn it into fertilizer. Make something grow where once it would die. Yep. Be you without the commercial interlude.

Who are you anyway? Might be a good thing to find out.

Life lessons from an Old Guy…for old guys. LOL Or young guys. Or Old Gals, or young gals. Or, just people. LOL

If I do something you don’t like me doing, it doesn’t mean I don’t like you.

No one can read minds. If you need, want, or expect me to do, or say something- tell me what it is.

I don’t care how many people you have sex with, you still need someone to talk to.

Other people aren’t you with a different face, they aren’t you- period.

Save 10% of everything you earn, ever. LOL

Learn how to sleep well.

If you know how to talk, learn how to listen, not to reply.

Forgive, or let hate and anger rot your heart.

Make enough money for what you need, make your wants hang around until you need them. LOL

Keep it simple.

Hug everyone you love.

Tomorrow isn’t here, and might not be, so if it has to be done, do it today.

Taking care of yourself, isn’t the same as being selfish.

Don’t listen to other people’s opinion of what you should be doing in your life UNLESS: A) they are in your life a lot, B) You value and respect they way they live their life, C) You know they know what they are talking about. D) It is actually something you asked for advice on.

The secret to complete holistic (in the sense of body, mind, and heart) health: Eat, drink, breathe, and move. Then: think, love, contribute, laugh, and get really, really, really good at something.

In spite of all the Social Media and Daytime talk shows: Your private life, and thoughts, should be yours. Not everyone needs to know your demons, and if you have a demon that needs to be addressed, talk to someone – privately. LOL

THEY – don’t exist.

And finally, to have a great day tomorrow, think about it before you go to bed, and decide what a great day would be…if you wake up and get that day- have fun making it great.

Smiles to all.

re: A funny thing happened to me…

 I found: peace. Not just peace, but a sense of soft contentment earned by hard tears. What I found , was this: I have loved, and been loved. I have failed, and succeeded. I have given my best and knew it. I have not given my best, and knew it. I have wronged, and asked for forgiveness. I have been wronged, and forgiven. I have been stupid, silly, daring, and courageous, often, in the same day. I have been kind, shallow, mean, and deep, often, in the same day. I am not the man I was, nor the man I could have been.I am not even the man I thought I would be, yet, I am still- a man. I have cried tears of happiness, and of sadness. I have lost while alive, and lost some to whatever is next. Grief has found me in many ways, but not in as many ways as joy has found me. I have comforted others in their hour of need, and held small babies so that their mother could sleep,  I had a mother who held me too. I have a family,  one of my own,  they like me just the way I am. Yes, a funny thing happened on the way through life, I found I had lived my life, with all that came my way-  if I screwed up a couple of things, or let them fester, I own them now. In fact, everything I am, is because of everything I did…and when I hug, it is open and honest, and trusting, even after sixty odd years. A funny thing happened o- I found peace. Smiles, Kevin

Change your attitude, change your mind: change your mind, change your life: in fact, a little change can do a lot of good.

Change.

It is everywhere. Even in couch cushions. LOL

Real change though, where a person, an outlook, or a way of doing things, changes, well that can be life changing. LOL

A change in attitude was taught to me early in my life by my Mother. She told me this after I fought a neighborhood kid at school:

“Kevin, if you knew one more thing about that kid, you could forgive him. If you knew one more thing than that, you could learn to like him.”

I did what she said, and wouldn’t you know it? He and I became friends.

My Dad told me this little gem, again after a fight in grade school ( I swear, I didn’t start them. I was small, as in truly really little, and bullies seemed to find me like the proverbial flies to honey.):

“Kevin, fighting doesn’t solve anything. Most people who fight, don’t fight out of anger, they fight out of fear, which looks like anger.”

I thought about that this week, when my friend sent me a whole story on that ugly incident in Missouri. As you all know, I do not watch the News for a reason. But big stories get through any of my defenses. Even if it is just a hint of what most folks watched, or read, or listened too. In Missouri, all they did was change the attitude of the people in “Authority” and suddenly, Peace. At least, so far. Why? They are still police. All that happened is the attitude went from one of complete control, with the crowds as the enemy to an attitude of : ” a wrong has been done, and people have the right to voice their opinions. A simple paradigm shift, the removal of displays of force, and the scene reverts from violence to sadness. My Dad was right, Fear often shows up as anger.

In my old world of Comedy, you only had so many minutes on stage, and when time got dolled out in three or five minute segments, well, lots of comics got angry. “I can’t do much with that short of time on stage. They won’t even know who I am.” I disagreed. Time wasn’t a constraint, it was an opportunity. I changed many a comics mindset with my advice- I know, because dozens of them thanked me for this little paradigm shift. Here is what I told them:
“You only have five minutes?  Great! You can practice your Television sets. Not only that, but you can practice the different lengths that a Carson, or Letterman, or Daytime Talk show would give you. How cool to have your “A” sets for TV, already polished, done, and your timing down pat. Not only that, you have an opportunity to develop your persona, your comedy voice, and your viewpoint, so that they all are apparent in five minutes on stage. Folks who like what they see, will want to see more. It isn’t a restraint, it is a gift to become a more condensed you. A chance to learn to sprint instead of doing a marathon. It is a chance to sparkle.”  A lot of comics listened, and doggone if they didn’t sparkle, and get more TV shots by just changing their attitudes from what they were giving up, to what they were getting.

I have another friend who is slightly overweight. All he did was remove sodas from his diet. That’s it. In one year, he lost 18 pounds. No other adjustments…he just quit sodas. I asked him how he felt. “Great Kevin. Just great. The secret is this, I stopped trying to lose weight immediately. I read a comment from a guy who said: “If you just quit drinking your calories through sodas or fruit drinks, or chocolate milk, in  a year, you will lose ten to twenty pounds. ” I thought: “That can’t be true. Who wants to wait a year to see results?” Then I thought: “What the heck. I didn’t lose any weight last year. Well…I did, but I put it right back on and ten more to boot! LOL  I challenged myself to just stop drinking calories, and then I would weigh myself one year later. One year later, just like the man said, I lost almost 20 pounds. This year, I am going off of fast food. Yep. Just fast food. If I lose as much as I think, I may simply disappear. LOL”  NOTE:  My friend lost another forty pounds in one year. Just by not going out for fast food. Want to know what his doing this year? He is not eating after 6 PM. That’s it. He is within 20 pounds of his High School weight , and he didn’t even diet. LOL

Now, for the one last bit of how powerful change is. This story is borrowed from someone who knew Stephen Covey (the Author of : Seven Habits of Highly Effective People). He said he saw Stephen give the most profound marriage advice he had ever heard. Apparently Stephen had given one of his mega seminars, and well wishers were crowded around, when an Old Friends of Stephen’s showed up to announce his divorce. Stephen pulled the guy aside, and said:

“Why are you ending a 25 year marriage?”

“I don’t love her anymore.”

“Then go home and love her.”

“But, Stephen, I don’t love her anymore.”

“Then go home and Love her!”

This , apparently, went on for some time. Stephen’s refrain to any of the guy’s complaints, grudges , and rants, remained the same: “Then go home and Love her!”

Exasperated, the guy did just that. 15 years later, at their 40th wedding Anniversary, the guy thanked his wife first of all, for not giving up on him. Then, very quietly, he thanked Stephen, turned to the Audience and said what Stephen said:

“Then go home and Love her.”  I did, and I do.”

Smiles, Kevin at home

re: When does love end? When does friendship end? Does it?

Most people I talk to say “true friends” , stay friends. That true love never dies. Well, to quote the Amazing Randy: “No amount of belief makes a fact true. ” You can believe that three plus two is six…and it never will be. Maybe, friendship and love, are the same way? Lots of people believing that the answer is not five.

How many friends  do you have that have been lifetime friends? Friends who’s closeness never varied? Friends who you always considered the most important people in your lives?

When you think through it, I think you shall find what I did: FACTS DON’T MATTER.  If you believe you are in love, you are. If you believe they are your friend. They are. Sadly, if you believe that they love you back, and they don’t, well, at some point it becomes obvious to everyone except the oblivious one. At some point, mental health comes into question. Yet, a truly mentally healthy person, has to love someone, or some thing, or some activity that brings passion and the juice of living with it.

So maybe three plus two is : Six.

It needs no proof. LOL

How to lose a friend….

I guess there are many ways to lose a friend, but not many ways to lose a true friend. To lose a true friend, well, you have to do something really stupid, like fall in love with them, or ignore their feelings. Either can work.

I lost a friend by getting so wrapped up in self discovery, that what we had built – the two of us, became all about my view point, and less about my friend’s feelings and thoughts. I got so hyped up in figuring out why I was me, I forgot that other people were there for the journey too. A lot of friends, especially when you are younger, tend to slip into that : “Oh dear, I think I love you,” phase. That leaves the one who doesn’t love you, but did like you – a lot, squirming as they try to defuse the situation and go back to being “just friends.” Which, of course, never happens, because the specter of  love either: denied, unrequited, or possibly flaring up again, lays in wait to spring up unexpectedly in the middle of an argument, often, the last argument- as friends.

Friends put up with a lot of your crap, as you do theirs. Sometimes, it hurts. You apologize, and they know you mean it. All is forgiven, and you actually grow closer. Once in a while though, the hurt punctures their soul, or their heart, the friendship bursts, leaving scattered pieces of guilt, shame, sorrow laying around amidst the : “I didn’t mean…”,  “wait, let me explain…”  and ” please , listen, I am sorry…” that are strewn about tripping any tiptoeing back into the relationship from happening. You have lost, a friend.

It isn’t easy to lose a real friend, and maybe, given enough time, you don’t. Yet, when the friendship renews, the roots are damaged. You can grow new ones, but the situation has changed, and the friendship needs to heal again. Sometimes it leaves a scar, other times, the scar is just a reminder, and a good story. Once in a while though, the scar is disfiguring, altering the friendship into a scared, timid, not very forceful shadow of its former glory. Housebound, in a small room, in an almost empty heart.

Friends can accept: “I am truly sorry.”  They can’t accept: “Oh, I am sorry. Did that hurt you?”

Cherish your friends. And your friendships. Don’t let them end without a fight, and don’t end them with a fight.