“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value, rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” – C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves

My adult daughters have become my peers. We are friends.  I’m done raising them.  I can only advice when they ask but I let them be separate individuals using their power of choice.  They don’t need me to raise them anymore.  They’re women with children of their own.  I enjoy chatting with them regularly.… just to say hello on 

[restrict]Facebook/Messenger, see pictures of my growing grandchildren and hear about their progresses in schools and their extracurricular, school dances, camping trips and other activities.  They always make me smile.  I also chat with my friends which simply stopped last week.  I lost the network service.  My cellphone is not compatible to use the new updated services from our network provider.  It took me a couple of days to adjust… starting with miffed and annoyed that we can be so excited about something new without considering the affect of our decision.  Then I decided not to let other people’s decision disturb my peace.  I realized the importance of communication.  (I suppose I could write them letters using longhand as my mother used to do when I lived abroad and save enough to purchase a new cellphone compatible to the new updated services.)

Yesterday, I read something that made me think of friendship and absence of communication I think you’ll appreciate or at least try <smile>:

“There is nothing that can replace the absence of someone dear to us, and one should not even attempt to do so.  One must simply hold out and endure it.  At first that sounds very hard, but at the same time it is also a great comfort.  For to the extent the emptiness truly remains connected to the other person through it.  It is wrong to say that God fills the emptiness.  God is now fills it but much more leaves it precisely unfilled and thus help us preserve – even in pain – the authentic relationship.  Furthermore, the more beautiful and full of remembrances, the more difficult the separation.  But gratitude transforms the torment of memory into silent joy.  One bears what was lovely in the past not as a thorn but as a precious gift deep within, a hidden treasure of which one can always be certain.”  (Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote this from his prison cell to Renate and Eberhard Bethge on Christmas Eve, 1943, fifteen months before his own death by execution.  Dietrch Bonhoeffer Works, vol 8, Letters and Papers from Prison (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2009) letter no. 89, page 238).

How amazing that in prison cell he wrote something so beautiful to his friends.  He knew he wouldn’t be released for his belief.  His memories became his treasure.  He found joy from his lovely past.

I was encouraged, found joy in the past memories.  Remembering good chats, smiles of various emoticons, stickers of toothless dog hugging a heart, waving goodbye, bear hugs, kisses and lots of hearts…  [/restrict]