Archive for the ‘Friendship’ Tag

OPENING MEETING – RECONCILIATION SEMINAR   3 comments

 

Are you settled in and ready? I’m sorry I can’t see all of you, so I hope you’ll let me know you’re out there. And here’s the first question for those of you who are willing to participate.

When was a time that you experienced reconciliation with someone – a friend, family member, co-worker, member of your worship family, person in your book study group, someone you bumped into on the street, or whoever I’ve missed?  If you are willing to describe the entire circumstance, that would be most welcome. If you’d rather keep that part secret, a report of what went down with the reconciliation and how you felt about it would be most welcome.

I’ll start out with Hallie and me and our adjacent back yards – a friendship that began when we were at the tricycle stage, or maybe even earlier. It ended when she died at the age of 70. We fought a lot – of course – usually ending with one or the other leaving the yard in anger, often determined never to have anything to do with each other ever again. As you might guess, we couldn’t sustain that for long, and one of us would break down first, shouting from our own yard, “C’mon over and play.” And that was that.

Most examples aren’t that simple. But how did it feel to me? It felt right! That awful sense of grief and tight anger was gone. Life was normal again.

So, what other kinds of answers might one get – more grown-up things?

I called my friend to say I was sorry, but she hung up on me. I tried several times until she decided to talk to me. We talked a lot. Finally, it was like we were back to normal.

Or: She continued to hang up on me. I felt sad to lose her, but relieved that I had done what seemed like the right thing.

I really wanted to tell him off! Better yet, I wanted to tell everybody else how awful he was, but my grandmother had taught my mother who taught me, “If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.” I felt better about myself for avoiding doing the wrong thing, but still unhappy. So I sent him an e-mail asking him to apologize. He didn’t. So I got really mad and sent him one back telling him how awful he was. That didn’t help much. He just got even madder. We never did reconcile, and I never did feel good when we ran into each other.

My boss infuriated me, but she had the power, so I kept my mouth shut – well, sort of – I couldn’t help telling my friends and co-workers how awful she had been. Some of them sided with her. Some sided with me. There was no reconciliation and I finally left the job, because I couldn’t stand it.

When we were divorced, we were both so angry we even argued in front of people at the grocery store. Our friends didn’t know what to do – whom to stay with and whom to abandon. I finally decided to remember what I had loved about him, and to start telling stories of when the relationship was good. I don’t know how much good it did in influencing friends, but I felt a lot better about myself.

Or maybe:  It reached the point where we both started doing the same thing and our friends got more comfortable around us – even with the new spouses we eventually acquired.

Get the idea? Please share your story to help get the seminar off the ground.

(Of course, knowing me, you can expect I’ll be carrying on even if you don’t)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted January 5, 2019 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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THANK GOODNESS FOR THE GOODNESS OF WOMEN FRIENDS   4 comments

Yesterday was moving day — again. With the help of Jean and her red wagon, my son Doug, and Dianne, I made the trip two doors down to Dianne who is hosting me for the month of October. Jean had me in September, along with a garage full of things hastily removed from my unit across the way when I was preparing it for sale.

So amazing! Back when I was anticipating life after the sale of my home and before moving to The Waters, I mentioned in conversation that I was looking to find a place to live during the interim. With no hesitation, each of them offered “Come stay with me.”

My first reaction was, in my thoughts, “Thanks, but no thanks.” After all, they couldn’t really mean it. But they did. And you can’t tell me that it’s easy inviting someone to come live with you for a month. They make it look that way, though. What a welcome, and I don’t know what I would have done without them.

So this is my way of letting you know my good fortune in being welcomed by such generous women.

 

Posted September 28, 2018 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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JUST IN TIME TO SAY GOODBYE   21 comments

I’m still working on the story of my accident and its aftermath, but before its ready to post here, I want to stay connected. So I’m posting today the short,short story I’m including in a local anthology. It’s based on an event of some 15 years ago, though it’s hard to believe that it’s been that long.

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I made it in time, half way across the country.

“Mom’s waiting for you.” Eddie gestured toward my lifelong friend, seemingly comatose on the Hospice bed. I held her hand. I think she squeezed mine a little.

“She had some prune juice for breakfast this morning,” he said. “And she asked when you would be coming.”

My last chance to talk with the person who held so much of my life in her hands, from the time we were in our carriages, I think. Certainly from tricycle days.

“Remember riding down our hill tilting your tricycle to make it a two-wheeler? With me following cautiously behind on three wheels?” I asked. Her eyes fluttered slightly open, then closed. Hallie was always good at eye-fluttering.

I think a little smile played on her lips as I went on. “Playing marbles for keepsies? The only game I was good at. You even picked more violets for Mother’s Day. Boyfriends at BayView beach? Spotting for enemy planes during the war? I couldn’t tell a plane from a mosquito. Giggling at your wedding; crying at my college graduation? Oh, and always protecting me from the scary neighborhood dogs?”

Hallie laughed, full-bellied as she used to, and drifted away to the end of her journey.

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Posted January 28, 2016 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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