I have recently started having “play dates” with two of my mother’s friends. My mother passed away in October of 2008, but luckily for me, I inherited her two wonderful friends, Helen and Libby. These women (both in their 80s) have invited me to cultural events, movies, dinners and lunches and I always include them in our holiday dinners, continuing a tradition started years ago. I have friends of all ages, but these lovely women of my mother’s generation tell me stories of long ago and people from their past. They educate me about early Los Angeles and are more knowledgeable that I am about movies, theater and literature. So I am learning a lot by listening and enjoying experiencing time slowed down, time to sit and listen and time to talk about new subjects. I am making time to include visits in my schedule and my new women friends now join me when I volunteer monthly at a shelter in the city, which happens to be located right in the neighborhood where they spent their childhoods.
Sometimes things come full-circle and just work out. These evolving friendships stem from friendships that my mother (and father) enjoyed for years but I was determined not to lose touch with these women who meant so much to my mother and have been part of our family for so long. Sometimes a little effort goes a long way and the benefits for everyone are simple but special.
Think about someone you know, or have contact with and next time the opportunity presents itself, slow down enough to talk to, and most importantly, to listen to that person for a bit. The good feeling lasts longer than you would expect.