Never give up

“I suspect the most we can hope for, and it’s no small hope, is that we never give up, that we never stop giving ourselves permission to try to love and receive love.” (Elizabeth Strout, Abide With Me )

I have fallen out of touch with an old and dear friend with whom I shared a critical experience. I’ve been trying to get together, unsuccessfully, for a while.

She recently emailed me and said, “Thank you for never giving up on me.”

Today I spoke to another friend, one of my very oldest and most beloved, a true native speaker.  We have not spoken in long, long months.  She emailed me hours later and told me that “taking to you is a lifejacket.”

I am glad to be a friend who doesn’t give up on those I love.  There is much about me that is moody and inconstant.  But my loyalty, once earned, is steady.  Both of these emails made me cry.  And, far more unusually, they made me proud of myself.

12 thoughts on “Never give up”

  1. To me, really, there is nothing better than feeling like a good friend. We all hope to have these friends in our lives and to be one is a gift.

  2. This process of trying to reconnect, to stay connected sometimes reminds me of the attempts I made to keep my daughter’s favorite stuffed bunny together. Sometimes you stitch and it holds for a long time, and other times, it seems almost impossible to keep the seams pulled tight.

    Always, always a worthy endeavor…

  3. A lifejacket. That truly is what sets those old, enduring friendships apart, isn’t it? Even though you may not speak frequently, you know that they are there for you.

  4. My father once told me, when I was in the midst of a middle-school-pity-party, that if you can count your true friends on one hand, then you are truly blessed. It’s funny how a number, in this case, five, can seem a deficit in one stage of life, and a surfeit in another.

  5. I honor you, as you honor yourself, for this strength of yours. It is a gift to all who are on the receiving end of your loyalty and tenacity, your huge capacity for love.

  6. Kudos for being proud of yourself – being a great friend is a priceless talent and precious gift. I hope you have friends who provide those life jacket moments FOR you as well. It’s a good thing, to never give up on those we love, including ourselves. 🙂

  7. No guilt, no pressure—the best of old friends seem to always just pick up where we left off, easily able to talk late into the night and, if the fates determine, drift separate ways for years at a time only to pick right up again in the future, no guilt, no pressure. Unbelievable treasure. Having that sort of friend is a blessing, being that sort of friend even doubly something to proudly value… and the appreciation of the chemistry that makes it work—mystical.

  8. There is a quote (forget who said it) that, the more we get to know people, the stranger they are. Isn’t that the truth.

    I had 3 major life shaking earthquake friendship bust ups last year. I am happy to say that 2 of the 3 are in mending order. The 3rd? She jumped ship, never to return. The pain of that is still buried deep for me.

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